maternal mortality

Tatiana Vdb / Flickr

Most maternal deaths during or within a year of pregnancy in Louisiana in 2017 could have been avoided, according to a newly released review by the Louisiana Department of Health.

Claire Bangser / For WWNO/WRKF

Everything was ready for Arion Moore-Smith’s baby shower, set for April 4. The decorations, the caterer, the cake. Even the party favors had been made. At about 100 friends and family, it wasn’t going to be small. Moore-Smith, 29, had endured three miscarriages to get to this place: a healthy pregnancy with a month and a half left before her due date on April 30.

Tatiana Vdb / Flickr

The letter arrived in December, nearly two years into a new program aimed at tackling the high rate of women in Louisiana who die from pregnancy.

Pregnant women in Louisiana die at a rate twice the national average, making the state the deadliest place in the country for having a baby.