CDC Reports Nearly 20% of Women Report Mistreatment during Maternity Care

During late summer of 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published findings from a survey that nearly 1 in 5 women reported experiencing mistreatment from medical staff while receiving maternity care.

According to the findings, “approximately 30% of Black, Hispanic, and multiracial mothers reported mistreatment (e.g., violations of physical privacy or verbal abuse) during maternity care. Approximately 40% of Black, Hispanic, and multiracial mothers reported discrimination during maternity care, and 45% of all mothers reported holding back from asking questions or discussing concerns with their provider.”

Mistreatment reported among the women surveyed included the following:

  • Requests for help were ignored.
  • Medical staff shouted at or scolded the mother.
  • Medical staff threatened to withhold treatment or forced a woman to accept unwanted treatment.
  • Medical staff didn’t protect a woman’s physical privacy.

Because maternal death rates rose during a period between 2018 and 2021, a trend in women reporting mistreatment from medical staff is concerning—especially when many who were surveyed believed the mistreatment was due to racial or economic discrimination.

Mistreatment Can Constitute Medical Malpractice

In many cases, the types of mistreatment that women reported could be legally actionable. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional deviates from the standard of care accepted by the medical community and causes harm to their patient. If you experienced such treatment, you may have a legal claim.

For more information, contact the Law Office of David A. Kates today.