The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) Maternal Mortality Monitoring Program (MMMS) recently launched Hear Her Michigan, a new website aimed at preventing pregnancy-related deaths. This website provides key information on potentially life-saving maternal health emergency warning signs. Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive, emphasizes the importance of preventing maternal mortality and morbidity through education, resources and awareness. The campaign also encourages everyone, including health professionals, carers, friends and family, to listen and take action when pregnant and postpartum women raise concerns. In preventing maternal deaths, each person has a role to play.

Pregnancy-related death refers to the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy due to complications of pregnancy, a series of pregnancy-induced events, or worsening of an unrelated condition due to the physiological effects of pregnancy. Sadly, in the United States, more than 700 women die each year from pregnancy-related complications within a year of giving birth. In Michigan alone, there are an average of 25 pregnancy-related deaths per year, about 60% of which are preventable. Data from the MMMS reveal that the most common causes of these deaths are hypertensive disorders and bleeding. In addition, the data highlights that black women are 2.8 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes.

Recognizing the urgency of maternal health issues, Hear Her Michigan provides a list of warning signs that individuals should be aware of. These include persistent or worsening headaches, dizziness or fainting, thoughts of harming yourself or the baby, changes in vision, fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain or fast heartbeat, severe stomach pain that persists, severe nausea and vomiting, decreased or stopped movement of the fetus, vaginal bleeding or leaking during or after pregnancy, swelling, redness or pain in the legs, extreme swelling of the hands or face, and extreme fatigue. These warning signs are important indicators that individuals should not ignore.

To learn more about the emergency warning signs for a mother and find out how you can prevent pregnancy-related deaths, visit By being informed and taking action, we can make a difference in reducing the maternal mortality rate.

By Editor

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