JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The latest Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report, which was released on Thursday, showed disparities between white and Black outcomes for new mothers.

According to the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH), the Mississippi Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) is statutorily tasked with investigating maternal deaths to identify opportunities for improvement and make recommendations for preventing future deaths.

For the 2017- 2019 reporting period key findings of the 93 deaths include:

  • 43-percent of maternal deaths were directly related to pregnancy – 87.5 percent were determined to be preventable and 57.5 percent occurred during pregnancy or within 60 days after delivery;
  • Black, non-Hispanic women had a maternal mortality rate four times higher than White, non-Hispanic women; and
  • Most maternal deaths among Black, non-Hispanic mothers were attributed to cardiovascular conditions and cardiomyopathy (a weakening of the heart muscle).

The report also included recommendations to policy makers, including ensuring that insurance coverage exists before pregnancy and beyond the 60 day postpartum (now in place), to one year.

The report also includes recommendations for hospitals, providers, and expectant mothers.