Why are so many Oklahoma moms dying or nearly dying after delivering a baby? Why are babies in the state dying at some of the highest rates in the nation?
It’s a topic The Frontier has been exploring since 2019. A state committee released its first-ever report last year showing the vast majority of maternal deaths in the state might have been preventable. From 2009 to 2019, at least 110 women have died in the year year after their pregnancies ended.
For every woman who dies, about 70 experience potentially fatal complications, accounting for nearly 2 percent of all births in the state in 2017, data obtained from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows. The complications included severe bleeding, infections and heart failure.
And Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the U.S., partially driven by the number of premature births here.
Before Oklahoma expanded Medicaid in July, the state had one of the highest uninsured rates in the nation. Where someone lives can determine their access to health care.
To truly understand what’s happening in the state, we need to hear from people who live across Oklahoma.
If you live in Oklahoma and had severe pregnancy complications or difficulty accessing care, or if you know someone who died during or after childbirth, please reach out to us. If you’re someone whose baby had severe health complications, please complete the form below or email us at email@example.com.
Your response will help inform the public, policymakers and our reporting, and hopefully improve health outcomes in Oklahoma. We will never publish something without your permission.