When Cayti Kane delivered a baby boy via cesarean section last year, her team of doctors was prepared.
Kane had been diagnosed with placenta accreta, a condition that increased the likelihood of a dangerous hemorrhage during delivery. When that happened, she had an emergency hysterectomy. Kane and her son went home healthy.
Complicated, high-risk deliveries in the United States often end tragically. An American woman is three times as likely to die from childbirth as a woman in Canada and six times as likely as a woman in Scandinavia. It’s a story NPR and ProPublica have heard repeatedly in the past year while investigating the startling rate of maternal death in America.
But despite her risk factors, Kane had something going for her that made her delivery less likely to go wrong: She lived – and gave birth – in California.