A 4-day-old newborn baby lies in a baby bed in the maternity ward of a hospital on August 12, 2011 in the east German state of Brandenburg, Germany.
Women in the United States are more likely to die during childbirth today than they were 20 years ago, according to an updated report on maternal mortality trends the World Health Organization (WHO) released last week.
The study found that while most countries around the world — both developed and developing — have seen a decrease in maternal deaths, the U.S. maternal mortality ratio has increased 136% since 1990. In 2013, 28 women per every 100,000 births died, while 12 women per every 100,000 births died in 1990.
WHO experts told Reuters that this increase could have several reasons, including lack of health insurance, increased number of C-sections, obesity, diabetes, older women giving birth or even improved reporting for maternal deaths.
Finland, Norway and Sweden have the best maternal mortality ratios on the WHO list, each of which has a rate of 4 deaths per every 100,000 births.
More than one-third of all maternal deaths occur in just two countries — Nigeria and India. Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounted for 62% of maternal deaths in 2013.
The following chart, created by Statista, compares the rise of maternal deaths in the U.S. between 1990 and 2013 with the overall decrease of maternal deaths in developed regions during the same time.