A new study has found that suicide and drug overdoses have been found to be major causes of death among new mothers who die in just a year after their delivery. The study was based on the data collected from California and it was found that almost 20% of the postpartum deaths were caused due to these two reasons from the year 2010-2012.
The co-author of the study, Claire Margerison, who is also the assistant professor in epidemiology and biostatistics at Michigan State University, East Lansing said that although these kinds of deaths are considerably less, they are really devastating for the families. More emphasis needs to be laid on their prevention. More than 1 million records were analyzed from the hospitals of California by Margerison and colleagues. While the number of maternal deaths during pregnancy and after pregnancy is on a rise nationwide, the rates in California are way below the average rate. Drug overdose was found to be the second-leading reason for death among the women in California during the first year of postpartum. It was also found in the study that fatal overdoses and suicide was common among the poor and white women.
The various factors which might have contributed to a drop in the number of maternal deaths in California are the efforts made for improving mental health, drug abuse and care. There are still some numbers of new mothers who are affected by this. It was also pointed out by the researchers that some of the deaths threw light on the stigmas which stopped women from getting mental help as well as drug problems. Nearly 75% of those people who died had visited the emergency department at least one time after their delivery. Hence the authors felt that the ER would be the first place to identify the problems and where treatment can be begun.
Margerison said that new mothers should get themselves connected with programs for suicide prevention and addiction. She also said that it is time that women should be helped in understanding their problems during pregnancy as well as after it.