A Frontier Investigation: Forgotten Mothers

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An ongoing Frontier investigation

In Oklahoma, one woman dies each month and 70 more have life-threatening complications. The lessons learned from their cases are, for the most part, uncharted.

Forgotten Mothers is an ongoing series by The Frontier to examine and investigate maternal health in Oklahoma.

Part One: More Oklahoma women are dying from pregnancy-related causes, and the reasons are myriad

The problem of maternal mortality has mostly gone uncharted in the state. Oklahoma has a state committee that looks into maternal deaths quarterly, but it has never issued a report on the 119 deaths reviewed since 2009. The lessons learned from those women’s deaths, at least so far, are mostly unknown.

“It just messes with my psyche a lot that people wouldn’t listen to me in a place you should be heard. I was highly informed, highly educated, did everything I could do in my case and bad things still happened to me.”

Part Two: In Oklahoma, pregnancy for black women can be a matter of life and death

Marnie Jackson

With a maternal mortality rate three times that of whites, pregnancy for black women in Oklahoma is sometimes a matter of life and death.

“What never stops shocking me is that regardless of socioeconomic status, regardless of health, regardless of education, it doesn’t matter what the status is. It’s so much worse for black women.”

Know the post-birth warning signs: 

Though most women who give birth do so without any problems, any woman can experience complications. It’s important to be able to recognize warning signs and know what to do if they occur. 

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Kassie McClung

Staff writer

Kassie McClung joined The Frontier in May 2016. She reports on health, criminal justice and other state issues. Kassie holds a bachelors degree in multimedia journalism from Oklahoma State University. She likes dogs, maps and data. She can be reached at Kassie@readfrontier.com or 918-935-1044. Follow her on Twitter @KassieMcClung.
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