Societal Cost of Nine Selected Maternal Morbidities in the United States

Societal Cost of Nine Selected Maternal Morbidities in the United States

Published: Oct 26, 2022
Publisher: PLOS ONE

So O'Neil

Emma Pendl-Robinson

Eric Dehus

Laurie Zephyrin


To estimate the cost of maternal morbidity for all 2019 pregnancies and births in the United States.


Using data from 2010 to 2020, we developed a cost analysis model that calculated the excess cases of outcomes attributed to nine maternal morbidity conditions with evidence of outcomes in the literature. We then modeled the associated medical and nonmedical costs of each outcome incurred by birthing people and their children in 2019, projected through five years postpartum.


We estimated that the total cost of nine maternal morbidity conditions for all pregnancies and births in 2019 was $32.3 billion from conception to five years postpartum, amounting to $8,624 in societal costs per birthing person.


We found only nine maternal morbidity conditions with sufficient supporting evidence of linkages to outcomes and costs. The lack of comprehensive data for other conditions suggests that maternal morbidity exacts a higher toll on society than we found.

Policy implications

Although this study likely provides lower bound cost estimates, it establishes the substantial adverse societal impact of maternal morbidity and suggests further opportunities to invest in maternal health.

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