The maternal mortality rate is rising every year, which is a frightening thing for any woman who is pregnant or hoping to become pregnant.

One woman, Linda Coale, died 11 days after her son Benjamin was born by C-section. She woke up in the middle of the night and was in a lot of pain and one of her legs was swollen. She died of a blood clot before she could make it to the doctor.

Deaths like this have tripled in the last year – at least in the state of California which is the state keeping the closest track. There are about 550 maternal deaths a year out of the 4 million births nationally – however this is not nearly as rare as it should be.

Dr. Mark Chassin of The Joint Commission recently said: “It’s unacceptable. Maybe as many as half of these are preventable.”

Something has to be done, but what?

For starters, women should become more educated about the warning signs of an emergency with their body. So before delivering your baby, be sure to talk with your doctor about any complications you may experience once you return home.