American Mothers Need More Care Than They're Getting

Dr. Eldrin Lewis is the Simon Stertzer M.D. Professor of Medicine and the Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University; he is also a member of the Association of Black Cardiologists. Over the course of his 25 year career, Dr. Lewis has seen far too many patients suffer from preventable cardiac issues before, during and after pregnancy—and for some women, these conditions are fatal. In this video, he spells out exactly why the United States has some of the worst maternal health outcomes:

*In America, Black women are two-to-three times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than white women.
*Sixty percent of these pregnancy related deaths are preventable.
*Black women with pregnancy complications are four times as likely to experience high blood pressure.
*According to a recent study, a preterm birth can elevate a mother's risk for high blood pressure for decades to come, requiring long-term care that is prohibitively expensive in the U.S.

Now is the time for all of us to be a part of the solution. We must demand more open and equitable access to prenatal and postpartum healthcare.

Visit OWN's Heart Health page throughout the month of February for vital updates and information about cardiac disease prevention.