Trends in pregnancy and childbirth complications in the U.S.

A nationwide analysis of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association data reveals an increasing number of women are experiencing pregnancy and childbirth complications. As a result of this data, last week we announced our new maternity program aimed to support pregnant and postpartum women. Read more about the new program and how to enroll here

Chronic conditions are more prevalent before pregnancy

Pre-existing conditions increase the risk of pregnancy complications and childbirth complications. There was a significant increase in the prevalence of chronic physical and behavioral health conditions before becoming pregnant from 2015 to 2018, with the largest increases seen in diagnosed obesity and major depression.

Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia driving increase in pregnant complication rates

While 80% of women have healthy pregnancies and deliveries, rates of complications are rising. Between 2014-2018, the rates of pregnancy complications rose more than 16%, while rates for childbirth complications rose more than 14%. About seven out of every 1,000 pregnant women experienced both kinds of complications, a nearly 31% increase since 2014. Pregnancy complication rates were much higher for older women.

Among pregnancy complications, rates of both gestational diabetes and preeclampsia increased by double digits. For childbirth, rates of almost all complications but transfusion increased by double digits, as well. While rates of childbirth complications were low, the rates of these complications are increasing rapidly.

In addition, women who have complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, are twice as likely to have childbirth complications than women who did not have pregnancy complications.

The new BCBSKS maternity program is open to pregnant women who have BCBSKS as the primary health insurance. You can find more details on our website. Members can enroll by completing an online enrollment form or by calling 800-520-3137.

Source: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health of America report

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