The number of women who die in childbirth and afterward is increasing nationwide, Missouri included. Ashley Otto is a registered nurse specialist with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She says cardiovascular conditions are among the main culprits:


Otto says mental health conditions also play a role in the number of maternal-related deaths. The state recently unveiled an online dashboard that displays maternal mortality figures. On average, 61 women in Missouri die each year while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy, according to the State Department of Health.