Weird History
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Maternal Mortality: Famous Women Who Died In Childbirth

Updated November 19, 2020 278.2k views65 items

Maternal death was a common tragedy long ago. In ancient times, maternal mortality rates were particularly high and generally related to complications during delivery. Nearly one in every 100 live births resulted in a mother's death during delivery as recently as the early 20th century. Experts say obesity and giving birth in late 30s and 40s, increases the risk of maternal deaths. Death from childbirth remains fairly rare in the United States now and the rate of the maternal death in childbirth has plummeted in the 20th century worldwide.

  • Agafya Grushetskaya

  • Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia

    BirthplaceCorfu, Greece

    Wife of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia
  • Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna of Russia

    BirthplaceSaint Petersburg, Russia

    Archduchess of Austria as wife of Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
  • Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt

    Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt

    Dec. at 23 (1861-1884)

    BirthplaceChestnut Hill, Newton, Massachusetts

    First wife of Theodore Roosevelt
  • Alix, Duchess of Brittany

    Alix, Duchess of Brittany

    Dec. at 20 (1201-1221)

    BirthplaceBrittany, France

    Duchess of Brittany
  • Anna Charlotta Schr�derhiem

    Salonist and socialite
  • Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia

    Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia

    Dec. at 28 (1718-1746)

    BirthplaceRostock, Germany

    Regent of Russia and mother of Ivan VI of Russia
  • Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia

    BirthplaceMoscow, Russia

    Daughter of Catherine I of Russia and mother of Peter III of Russia
  • Anna von Schweidnitz

    Anna von Schweidnitz

    Dec. at 23 (1339-1362)

    BirthplaceŚwidnica, Poland

    Third wife of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
  • Barbara Zápolya

    Barbara Zápolya

    Dec. at 20 (1495-1515)
    Queen of Poland
  • Blanche of Navarre, Duchess of Brittany
    Wife of the f*ture King Sancho III of Castile
  • Carin du Rietz

    Dec. at 22 (1766-1788)


  • Catherine Parr

    Catherine Parr

    Dec. at 36 (1512-1548)

    BirthplaceBlackfriars, London, London, United Kingdom

    Sixth Wife Henry VIII of England
  • Cecilia Mettler

    Dec. at 34 (1909-1943)
    Medical historian
  • Charlotte Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg

    Charlotte Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg

    Dec. at 21 (1694-1715)

    BirthplaceWolfenbüttel, Germany

    Wife of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia
  • Christiana Oxenstierna

  • Eleanor de Montfort

    Eleanor de Montfort

    Dec. at 30 (1252-1282)


    Princess of Wales and Lady of Snowdon
  • Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg

    The spouse of the king
  • Elisabeth of Valois

    Elisabeth of Valois

    Dec. at 23 (1545-1568)

    BirthplaceFontainebleau, France

    Third wife of Philip II of Spain
  • Elizabeth of York

    Elizabeth of York

    Dec. at 37 (1466-1503)

    BirthplacePalace of Westminster, London, United Kingdom

    Queen of Henry VII of England and mother of Henry VIII
  • Emilia Uggla

  • Emilie Hammarskj�ld

    Composer, musician, member of the Royal Swedish academy of Music
  • Gabrielle d'Estrées

    Gabrielle d'Estrées

    Dec. at 26 (1573-1599)


    Mistress of the French King, died following eclampsia
  • Galla
    Wife of Theodosius I.
  • Gianna Beretta Molla

    Gianna Beretta Molla

    Dec. at 40 (1922-1962)

    BirthplaceMagenta, Italy

    Pediatrician who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004.