Logo: Merck for Mothers
  • Logo: Merck Be Well

We are working to improve maternal health by increasing women's access to quality care in healthcare facilities and communities across the U.S. Our progress to date:

States Covered

States covered

Maternal Mortality Review Boards Strengthened

Maternal mortality review boards strengthened

Hospitals Strengthened

Hospitals strengthened to provide quality care

Women with Improved Access to Quality Care

Women with reliable access to quality care

Most people think that maternal deaths only happen in the developing world. What people don't realize is that women are dying here in the United States — our own backyard.

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Our Focus in the United States

Maternal mortality is on the rise in the U.S., even as it is declining globally.1 In fact, the U.S. is one of very few wealthy countries where the problem is getting worse, ranking 46th worldwide.2 In addition to the tragic deaths that occur during pregnancy and childbirth, more than 60,000 women per year — one every ten minutes — nearly die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth.3

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Our Partners and Projects

Working in 16 states across the U.S., our partners are:

  • Pioneering new community initiatives to connect women struggling with chronic health problems to care before, during, and after pregnancy
  • Empowering women to obtain the care they need during the critical days and weeks after childbirth
  • Implementing standard approaches for health providers to treat obstetric emergencies to help ensure all women have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Learn More
  • Building the capacity of states and hospitals to collect stronger data and review cases more effectively to understand why maternal deaths are occurring. Learn More


1 WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank. "Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990-2015. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/194254/1/9789241565141_eng.pdf?ua=1
2 Ibid.
3 Creanga, AA, Berg, CJ, Ko, JY, Farr, SL, Tong, VT, Bruce, FC, Callaghan, WM. Maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States: Where Are We Now? Journal of Women’s Health (Larchmt). 2014 Jan;23(1):3-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2013.4617. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880915/