Report ranks Indiana #3 in the country for maternal mortality rates

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana ranks third in the country for maternal mortality rates, according to a new report by USA Today. Numbers from the state's Department of Health say 50 women died in 2016 during pregnancy, childbirth or a few weeks after. That's up from 30 women in 2012.

A mom of two boys in Carmel is thankful to not be a part of those statistics. A day in November of 2012 was supposed to be one of the happiest for Kristin Hinton and her husband. They were welcoming their first child but the fact that she and her son Brendan are both alive is a miracle.

"They told my husband when they wheeled me out for surgery that I had a 20 percent chance of survival," she said.

It's also a miracle she is here with her second boy, Nathan. Her pregnancy with him was complication free. Her one with Brendan started out that way until she got to the hospital for delivery.

"The doctor said I have never seen anything like this other than car accidents, in stabbings or gunshots," said Hinton.

While in labor for 26 hours, she learned she had preeclempsia and a ruptured liver. Doctors told her she was bleeding out.

"I think I am dying," she said.

She was one of the lucky ones. The number of women who have died in Indiana during pregnancy, childbirth or a few weeks after has gone up since 2012.

"Go see your doctor, a doctor that specializes in helping babies and have them look over your history, your significant other's history," said Chris Mernitz, OB/ GYN. “Your partner’s history.”

Mernitz thankfully has not seen too many complications in his 19 years as an OB/GYN. Still, state lawmakers want to know why it's happening at all. There is now a full committee devoted to that for the next 5 years.

This new law requires a health care provider or health care facility that has a patient who dies of a maternal mortality to report the death to the committee and it sets forth immunity provisions for the provider or facility. The law also requires the committee to submit a report to the state department before July 1 of each year concerning the committee's.

"It is so important to all of our daughters, granddaughters, whatever that will be giving birth in Indiana," said Senator Jean Leising, co-author of the bill.

Hinton also pledged to raise awareness so more moms can raise their kids. To her surprise, she found two neighbors who had similar complications during childbirth.

She plans to attend the Preeclampsia Foundation Summit in Chicago next month. She also helps with the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia which is held every spring. All donations during the event go towards the Preeclampsia Foundation.