Depression Causes 34% of Pregnancy-Related Deaths 

Depression Causes 34% of Pregnancy-Related Deaths  Depresión causa el 34% de muertes asociadas al embarazo

(Photo/Courtesy Colorado News Connection)


Paulina Erices
Lactation Consultant and Maternal and Child Health Specialist 

Haga click aquí para leer la versión en español

For the Hispanic community, celebrating Mother’s Day is very important. Families gather to express gratitude to mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and all who fulfill that role. This special day can feel nostalgic and sorrowful when we cannot celebrate or share together due to loss, distance, or time. On this day, we honor those who play a vital role in everyone’s lives, filling us with emotion.

Our mothers are the anchor of our community; when they are not well, everyone is affected. Unfortunately, one in five mothers suffers from postpartum depression or anxiety. These are conditions that can generally be treated simply with proper therapy and support. Acting quickly is crucial to reduce the negative impact these conditions have on mothers.

In 2023, the organization Cuenta Conmigo conducted a study to understand the experiences of Latina mothers in Colorado. This study revealed that many mothers face language and cultural barriers when interacting with hospital and healthcare staff.

Depresión causa el 34% de muertes asociadas al embarazo

CAFECITO IN DENVER | Participants in support group activities from the organization Cuenta Conmigo. (Photo/Courtesy Cuenta Conmigo) 

Anxiety and Stress

These barriers create anxiety and stress, causing many mothers’ needs to go unmet. These needs include basic aspects such as getting answers to questions about breastfeeding, medical care for their young children, and maternal care. First-time and younger mothers without family in the United States are the most affected group.

These mothers feel deeply isolated. Without family nearby, community support networks emerge as a lifeline for these mothers beginning their parenting journey. Support groups, especially those in Spanish, mitigate these needs. However, even with the opportunity to participate in these groups, many mothers feel very disconnected and need specialized assistance.

The Data

The mental health of women who have given birth is a crucial aspect that requires special attention and care. In Colorado, between 2016 and 2021, according to a report from the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), 34% of pregnancy-related deaths were due to maternal depression. Addressing mental health concerns during the perinatal period is critical.

Support for Mothers


See the CDPHE report

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