The California Department of Health has reported that the number of women who have died in childbirth is increasing, having tripled in the last 10 years. Possible causes for the spike include increased probability of obesity and other health problems going in to pregnancy, as well as an increase in the demand for C-sections -- a procedure known to up the likelihood of complications and infections immediately following childbirth.
According to experts, the spike can be prevented by swift, low-cost preventive action on the part of hospitals. Additionally, women should avoid C-sections if possible, and communicate any concerns with their doctor immediately.
For more information, see ABC News.