Help prevent pregnancy-related deaths – Health Matters for Women

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April, 2023 

New from CDC Authors

Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality

Black Maternal Health Week is recognized each year from April 11-17 to bring attention and action in improving Black maternal health. Everyone can play a role in working to prevent pregnancy-related deaths and improving maternal health outcomes.

Alcohol Use During Pregnancy and FASDs

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. FASDs have lifelong effects, including problems with behavior and learning as well as physical problems. FASDs are preventable if a developing baby is not exposed to alcohol.

Vaccines and Pregnancy: 8 Things You Need to Know

Get the latest information about vaccines while pregnant or breastfeeding.

An Assessment of Clinical Mentorship for Quality Improvement: The African Health Professions Regional Collaborative for Nurses and Midwives

The African Regional Collaborative for nurses and midwives funded quality improvement projects in five countries - Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia - to enhance clinical mentorship programs supporting HIV service delivery for women, infants, and children.

Influence Of Depression on Breast Cancer Treatment and Survival: A Kentucky Population-Based Study
Depression is common among breast cancer patients and can affect concordance with guideline-recommended treatment plans. Yet, the impact of depression on cancer treatment and survival is understudied, particularly in relation to the timing of the depression diagnosis. This study examines the impact of depression on receiving guideline-recommended treatment and survival.

Limited Awareness of HIV Status Hinders Uptake of Treatment Among Female Sex Workers and Sexually Exploited Adolescents in Wau and Yambio, South Sudan

Several factors determine uptake of HIV testing services by female sex workers, including their knowledge of HIV and their awareness of services supporting people with HIV. A cross-sectional biobehavioural survey was conducted to determine HIV prevalence and progress towards care within this population in South Sudan.

Factors That Influence Compliance for Referral from Primary Care to Hospital for Maternal and Neonatal Complications in Bosaso, Somalia: A Qualitative Study

This study examined timely referral compliance from the primary center to the hospital  to estimate referral compliance and examine factors that influence decisions to comply with referral for newborn and maternal complications in Bosaso, Somalia.

Screening and Brief Interventions for Alcohol Use During Pregnancy: Practices Among US Primary Care Clinicians, DocStyles 2019

Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause birth defects and developmental disabilities. From 2018 through 2020, 13.5% of pregnant women reported current drinking. DocStyles 2019 data was used to conduct a cross-sectional analysis to examine current screening and brief intervention practices that primary care clinicians conduct among pregnant patients; clinicians' confidence levels in conducting screening, brief interventions, and referral to treatment; and the documentation of brief interventions in the medical record.

Preventing Sexual Violence Among High School Students Through Norms Correction and Bystander Intervention: A School-Based Cluster Trial of Your Voice Your View

Risk for sexual violence begins early in the lifespan; thus, interventions are needed to decrease the risk for sexual violence among high school youth. The current study evaluates the Your Voice Your View sexual violence prevention program using a school-based cluster trial among 26 high schools in the Northeastern United States.

Lack of Awareness of Human Papillomavirus Testing Among U.S. Women

This study examines women's awareness of receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) testing using three national surveys: the 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the 2019 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and the 2017-2019 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).

Black-White Disparities in Maternal Vulnerability and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: An Ecological Population Study in the United States, 2014-2018

Systematic information on the association between community-level determinants and maternal health outcomes and disparities is needed. This study aims to investigate multi-dimensional place-based contributions to Black-White maternal health disparities in the United States.

Early Pregnancy Phthalates and Replacements in Relation to Fetal Growth: The Human Placenta and Phthalates Study

Pregnant persons are exposed ubiquitously to phthalates and increasingly to chemicals introduced to replace phthalates. Phthalates are a class of synthetic chemicals used in food packaging, hygiene, personal, and consumer care products.  In early pregnancy, exposure to these chemicals may disrupt fetal formation and development, manifesting adverse fetal growth. Previous studies examining the consequences of early pregnancy exposure relied on single spot urine measures and did not investigate replacement chemicals. The objective of this study is to characterize associations between urinary phthalate and replacement biomarkers in early pregnancy and fetal growth outcomes. 

Identification of Pregnancies and Their Outcomes in Healthcare Claims Data, 2008-2019: An Algorithm

Pregnancy is a condition of broad interest across many medical and health services research domains, but one not easily identified in healthcare claims data. The objective of this study was to establish an algorithm to identify pregnant women and their pregnancies in claims data.

Seroprevalence of High Incidence Congenital Infections Among Pregnant Women in Coatepeque, Guatemala and Surrounding Areas, 2017-2018

Maternal infections during pregnancy can potentially cause birth defects and severe adverse effects in infants. The authors of this study investigated the seroprevalence of five antibodies among 436 mother-infant pairs enrolled in a pregnancy cohort study in Coatepeque, Guatemala from 2017 to 2018. 

Differences in Health Care Experiences among Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth by Gender Identity and Race/Ethnicity

Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth experience significant risk for negative health outcomes, yet few studies exist that address TGD youth's experiences of health care. This paper explores the equitable access and utilization of health care in a sample of TGD youth of diverse gender and racial/ethnic identities from the 2018 Survey of Today’s Adolescent Relationships and Transitions (START) Project. 




Question of the Month:

Over _______ of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable.

A. 20%

B. 50%

C. 80%

How did you do on March's question?

What percentage of women between 15 and 44 are affected by endometriosis?

The answer is more than 11%! Endometriosis is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else. This “misplaced” tissue can cause pain, infertility, and very heavy periods. Some women have no symptoms at all. Endometriosis may affect more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44. It is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s. Learn more: Endometriosis | Office on Women’s Health (


Federal Agencies

Select Announcements, Statements, Reports, and Events from Federal Agencies

Tranexamic Acid Does Not Appear to Prevent Maternal Hemorrhage After Cesarean Delivery - National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Health Observances, May 2023

American Stroke Month

Lupus Awareness Month

National Arthritis Awareness Month

National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

Preeclampsia Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

5/14 – 5/20 National Women’s Health Week

5/8 National Women’s Check-Up Day

5/12 Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

5/28 Menstrual Hygiene Day

5/31 World No Tobacco Day


This service is provided by the CDC/ATSDR Office of Women's Health. Email comments or suggestions to owh@xxxxxxx.

For more information about women’s health, visit


The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC/ATSDR or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC/ATSDR is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

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