Definition: Maternal mortality rate

Social statistics

A vital statistics rate based on the number of deaths due to maternal causes relative to the number of live births occurring during a given period of time, usually a calendar year, i.e., the number of deaths to women resulting from 

(a) direct obstetric complications of pregnancy, labour and the puerperium, 

(b) from interventions, omissions or incorrect treatments or their results, or 

(c) from indirect obstetric causes resulting from previously existing disease or disease arising during pregnancy and which was not due to direct obstetric causes but which was aggravated by the physiological effects of the pregnancy, occurring in a given geographical area during a given year per 100,000 (or 10,000) live births occurring in the given geographical area during the same year.
Source:
United Nations, "Handbook on Training in Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems", Studies in Methods, Series F, No. 84, New York, 2002
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