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United States map with counties in shades of red indicating maternity deserts. United States map with counties in shades of red indicating maternity deserts.

The March of Dimes 2020 report, Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S., identifies counties in which access to maternity health care services is limited or absent, either through lack of services or barriers to a woman’s ability to access that care. The report found that 7 million women of childbearing age live in counties with limited or no access to maternity care. Women who live in these areas give birth 1 in 8 babies (500,000 babies) a year.

About 35% of counties (1,095 counties) across the U.S. are identified as maternity care deserts – counties with no hospital that is staffed appropriately to provide care for pregnant women and no obstetrician/gynecologist or certified nurse midwives to care for them.

Additional Key Findings:

Every 12 hours a woman dies
due to complications resulting from pregnancy.

Black women are 3 times more likely
than White women to die from pregnancy-related causes nationwide.

3.3 million women
live in urban counties, yet still lack full access to maternity care.


Supporting #BlanketChange means demanding equity, access, and prevention. If you demand #BlanketChange you are calling for:

• Eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities and driving economic, social and health equity by focusing on prevention, treatment and social determinants of health.

• Improving access to care through expanding critical health programs and closing gaps in coverage.

• Addressing preventable health conditions through expanding research and improving maternal morbidity and mortality data collection.

We imagine a nation where every mom and every baby is healthy, regardless of wealth, race or geography. Providing women with access to quality health care is a critical part of this equation. We hope you join us in this fight for the health of all moms and babies. Visit to learn more.

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