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Preventing maternal mortality in the United States: lessons from California and policy recommendations

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Maternal mortality remains a large concern in the United States (US), although other Western countries are making progress. In this scoping review, we identify four problems that may contribute to the maternal mortality burden in the US: inadequately investing in women’s health, poor quality of care, increasing disparities, and poor data collection and monitoring of maternal health issues. Because maternal mortality is decreasing in California, we identify strategies implemented there that could improve maternal health outcomes nationwide: funding programs to address social determinants of maternal health; supporting health care strategies to improve maternal health (including national standards and goals for health care systems); and investing in maternal health monitoring and surveillance (including use of technology). We encourage researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to work together to develop evidence-based policies and practices to improve maternal health and reduce maternal. We conclude with recommendations for the United States and globally.

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Correspondence to Alison K. Cohen.

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Nichols, C.R., Cohen, A.K. Preventing maternal mortality in the United States: lessons from California and policy recommendations. J Public Health Pol 42, 127–144 (2021).

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