We face a maternal mortality crisis. U.S. maternal mortality rates exceed those in other high-income countries, and the latest evidence shows rising rates and startling disparities based on race and ethnicity.

These trends have roots in systemic racism and gender inequity. Reversing them will take a long-term commitment to redesigning maternal health care to reflect a “continuum approach” to help ensure that health is optimized before pregnancy and that high-quality care is delivered throughout pregnancy, birth, and an extended postpartum period.

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