Twice as many United States women are dying in childbirth today as in 1990, even though all other wealthy nations have seen declines in maternal mortality rates. And, at over 28 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2010 and 2014, Missouri’s maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the country. Illinois measured 16 deaths per 100,000 births, according to America’s Health Rankings . The national rate was 20 deaths per 100,000. Dr. Shilpa Babbar, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis County, said that rising rates of obesity and women having children later in life may help explain these figures.