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IRE Radio Podcast | America’s Lost Mothers

The numbers are striking: Across the country, some 700-900 women die every year from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world. For more than six months, ProPublica’s Nina Martin and NPR’s Renee Montagne dug into the stories behind these statistics. On this episode of the podcast, Nina and Renee discuss how they shed light on a system that places a greater emphasis on caring for newborns than the mothers who birthed them.

You can find the podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. If you have a story you think we should feature on the show, drop us a note at We’d love to hear from you.



Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week's podcast? We've collected them for you.

  • Read the initial investigation, “The Last Person You’d Expect To Die In Childbirth,” on ProPublica or NPR.
  • Browse follow-up pieces in the “Lost Mothers” series on ProPublica or NPR.
  • Listen to the “All Things Considered” radio piece that delves into Larry and Lauren Bloomstein’s story on NPR.
  • Members only: Download the tipsheet on “Truth from fiction on the health beat” by Christina Jewett.



Purple Light (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Filing Away (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Fervent (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Illway (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

November Mist (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Felt Lining (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Thoughtless (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0



Thanks to ProPublica and NPR’s All Things Considered for use of their audio interview with Larry Bloomstein.

Tessa Weinberg reported this episode. Erin McKinstry is our host. IRE Editorial Director Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. Blake Nelson draws our episode art. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.

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