List of women who died in childbirth
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal death as "the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes."
Generally, there is a distinction between a direct maternal death that is the result of a complication of the pregnancy, delivery, or management of the two, and an indirect maternal death that is a pregnancy-related death in a woman with a pre-existing or newly developed health problem unrelated to pregnancy. Fatalities during but unrelated to a pregnancy are termed accidental, incidental, or non-obstetrical maternal deaths.
Women by country
- Caroline Lovell (2012), advocate of home births
- Joanna of Austria (1574), Grand Duchess of Tuscany
- Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain (1580)
- Margaret of Austria (1611), Queen of Spain and Portugal
- Maria Anna of Spain (1646)
- Maria Leopoldine of Austria (1649), Holy Roman Empress and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia
- Maria Anna of Austria (1744)
- Elisabeth of Württemberg (1790) Archduchess of Austria.
- Princess Hermine of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym (1817), Archduchess of Austria.
- Maria Leopoldina of Austria (1826), Empress of Brazil and Queen of Portugal
- Adelaide of Austria (1855), first wife of Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia, future King of Italy.
- Catherine of Habsburg (1282), daughter of Rudolph I of Germany and his first wife Gertrude of Hohenburg
- Judith of Habsburg (1297), Queen of Bohemia
- Margaret of Bohemia (1322), a daughter of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Judith of Habsburg.
- Agnes of Bohemia, Duchess of Jawor (1337)
- Kunigunde of Sternberg (1449), days after she delivered twins, Catherine of Poděbrady and Sidonie
- Catherine of Poděbrady (1464), Bohemian princess, Queen of Hungary
- Anna of Bohemia and Hungary (1547)
Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma (1899), mother of Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria.
- Elizabeth Jane Weston (1612), an English-Czech poet
- Dagmar of Bohemia (1213), queen consort of King Valdemar II of Denmark.
- Eleanor of Portugal, Queen of Denmark (1231)
- Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg (1704), the spouse of the king
- Louise of Great Britain (1751), Queen of Denmark and Norway as first wife of Frederick V. She was the youngest surviving daughter of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach.
- Princess Louise of Denmark (1756)
- Henhenet (2015 BC), a lower ranking wife of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II of the 11th dynasty.
- Mutnedjmet (13th century BC), wife of Pharaoh Horemheb
- Matilda of Frisia (1044), second wife and first Queen of Henry I, King of the Franks
- Constance of Castile (1160), second wife of Louis VII, King of France
- Isabella of Hainault (1190), first wife of King Philip II of France died the day after giving birth to twins. Both twins lived for only 4 days.
- Constance, Duchess of Brittany (1201)
- Alix of Thouars (1221), Duchess of Brittany
- Yolande of Dreux (1248), first wife of Hugh IV of Burgundy
- Margaret of France, Duchess of Brabant (1271), daughter of Louis IX of France and his wife Margaret of Provence
- Marie of Luxembourg (1324), was Queen consort of France and Navarre, second wife of King Charles IV of France.
- Isabelle of Valois (1373), wife of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Lord of Milan
- Gabrielle d'Estrées (1599), mistress of the French King, died following eclampsia
- Margravine Auguste Marie Johanna of Baden-Baden, duchesse d'Orléans, (1726) and paternal great-grandmother of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French
- Louise Diane d'Orléans (1736), princesse de Conti, youngest daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, Regent of France'
- Princess Anne Therese of Savoy (1745), daughter of the Prince and Princess of Carignan, wife of Charles de Rohan;
- Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain, Dauphine of France (1746), first wife of Louis, Dauphin of France (1729–1765) and daughter in law of Louis XV of France
- Émilie du Châtelet (1749), mathematician, physicist, and author.
- Princess Maria Teresa Felicitas of Modena, duchesse de Penthièvre (1754) and maternal grandmother of Louis-Philippe I
- Jacqueline Marguerite Carrault (1764), mother of Maximilien Robespierre
- Anna von Schweidnitz (1362), third wife of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
- Johanna Elisabeth of Nassau-Hadamar (1647), princess
- Princess Friederike Caroline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1782), Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
- Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Darmstadt (1785), was by marriage Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
- Duchess Frederica of Württemberg (1785), was a daughter of Frederick II Eugene, Duke of Württemberg and Friederike Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt.
- Duchess Augusta of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1788)
- Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1801), maternal grandmother of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria of the UK.
- Paula Modersohn-Becker (1907), artist
- Grete Planck (1917), daughter of Max Planck
- Emma Planck (1919), daughter of Max Planck, twin of Grete Planck who also died in Childbirth
- Mumtaz Mahal (1631), wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Her memorial is the Taj Mahal
- Gowri Lakshmi Bayi (1815), Maharani of Travancore
- Maharani Lakshmi Bayi of Travancore (1857), mother of Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma, Maharajah of Travancore
- Smita Patil (1986), an Indian actress and wife of Raj Babbar
- Raden Ajeng Kartini (1904), Promoter of gender equality in Indonesia
- Julia Cornelia (104 BC), daughter of consul Lucius Julius Caesar II
- Caecilia Metella Balearica (89 BC), second daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Balearicus
- Aemilia Scaura (82 BC) was the daughter of the patrician Roman Marcus Aemilius Scaurus
- Julia (54 BC), daughter of Julius Caesar
- Galla (394), wife of Theodosius I.
- Yolande Palaiologina (1342), daughter of Theodore I, Marquess of Montferrat
- Beatrice d'Este (1497), wife of Lodovico Sforza.
- Lucrezia Borgia (1519), daughter of Pope Alexander VI,
- Marietta Robusti (1590), 16th century artist and daughter of the artist Jacopo Tintoretto
- Catherine Michelle of Spain (1597), daughter of Philip II of Spain and Elisabeth of Valois
- Princess Margaret Yolande of Savoy (1663), Duchess of Parma
- Princess Charlotte Felicity of Brunswick (1710), died in Modena, wife of Rinaldo d'Este, Duke of Modena
- Anne Christine of Sulzbach (1723)
- Princess Luisa of Naples and Sicily (1802), died in Vienna; wife of Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany
- Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily (1807), the eldest daughter of Ferdinand IV & III of Naples and Sicily
- Maria Cristina of Savoy (1836), the first Queen consort of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies.
- Charlotte Napoléone Bonaparte (1839), daughter of Joseph Bonaparte, the older brother of Emperor Napoleon I
- Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1882)
- Gianna Beretta Molla (1962), pediatrician who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004.
- Anna Maria de Bruyn (1744), ballet dancer and stage actor
- Suzanna Sablairolles (1867), stage actor
- C.C. van Asch van Wijck (1900-1932), Sculptor
- Christina of Norway (1213), Princess of Norway
- Margaret of Scotland (Queen of Norway) (1283), after giving birth to Margaret, Maid of Norway
- Agnes of Silesia-Liegnitz (1265), after caesarean section
- Jadwiga of Poland (1399), monarch of Poland
- Barbara Zápolya (1515), queen of Poland
- Emilia Wojtyła (1929), mother of Pope John Paul II.
- Berengaria of Portugal (1221), Queen consort of Denmark
- Isabella of Asturias (1498), married Afonso of Portugal and Manuel I of Portugal
- Beatrice of Portugal, Duchess of Savoy (1538)
- Maria Manuela of Portugal (1545), daughter of King John III of Portugal and his wife Catherine of Austria.
- Maria Isabel of Portugal (1818), Queen of Spain as the second wife of Ferdinand VII of Spain.
- Queen Maria II of Portugal (1853)
- Agafya Grushetskaya (1681), the first wife of Tsar Feodor III of Russia
- Charlotte Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1715), consort of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia
- Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna of Russia (1728), daughter of Catherine I of Russia and mother of Peter III of Russia
- Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia (1746), regent of Russia and mother of Ivan VI of Russia
- Grand Duchess Natalia Alexeievna of Russia (1776) first daughter in law of Catherine II of Russia the child was stillborn
- Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna of Russia (1801), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia and archduchess of Austria as consort of Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary
- Praskovia Kovalyova-Zhemchugova (1803), opera singer and actress
- Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna of Russia (1844) was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia, and his wife, Princess Charlotte of Prussia
- Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia (1845) daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich of Russia and Princess Charlotte of Württemberg
- Alexandra Georgievna of Greece and Denmark, (1891) consort of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia
- Urraca of León and Castile (1126), Queen regnant of León, Castile, and Galicia
- Blanche of Navarre (1156), wife of the future King Sancho III of Castile
- Zaida of Seville (c.1171), a mistress of Alfonso VI of Castile
- Teresa d'Entença (1327), Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to King Alfonso IV of Aragon
- Elisabeth of Valois (1568), third wife of Philip II of Spain
- Maria Anna of Spain (1646), the youngest daughter of King Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria
- Margarita Teresa of Spain (1673)
- Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain (1746), wife of Louis Ferdinand, Dauphin of France
- Mercedes, Princess of Asturias (1904)
- Benedicta Ebbesdotter of Hvide (1200), queen consort of King Sverker II of Sweden.
- Ingeborg Eriksdotter of Sweden (1254), princess and the mother of the king
- Christiana Oxenstierna (1701), noble
- Hedvig Taube (1744), royal mistress, salonist
- Carin du Rietz (1788), adventurer
- Anna Charlotta Schröderhiem (1791), salonist and socialite
- Emilie Hammarskjöld (1854), composer, musician, member of the Royal Swedish academy of Music
- Emilia Uggla (1855), pianist
- Tzitzak (750), first wife of Byzantine Emperor Constantine V
- Eudokia Baïana (901), third wife of Leo VI the Wise.
Great Britain and Ireland
- Ælfgifu of York (1002), first wife of Æthelred the Unready, King of England.
- Isabel Marshal (1240), an English countess; a great grandparent of Robert the Bruce of Scotland.
- Isabella of England (1241), was an English princess and, by marriage, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, and Queen consort of Sicily.
- Eleanor de Montfort (1282), Princess of Wales and Lady of Snowdon
- Isabella of Mar (1296), first wife of Robert I of Scotland, after delivering Marjorie Bruce, who also died in childbirth
- Marjorie Bruce (1316), after delivering the future Robert II of Scotland
- Elizabeth of Rhuddlan (1316), daughter of King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile.
- Mary de Bohun (1394), first wife of Henry IV of England and mother of Henry V
- Anne de Mortimer (1411), Countess of Cambridge, mother of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York
- Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter (1476)
- Elizabeth of York (1503), queen of Henry VII of England and mother of Henry VIII
- Jane Seymour (1537), third wife of Henry VIII of England, after delivering Edward VI
- Catherine Parr (1548), sixth wife of Henry VIII of England
- Jane Browne, Viscountess Montague (1552), a noblewoman.
- Elizabeth Cecil, 16th Baroness de Ros (1591) daughter and heir of Edward Manners, 3rd Earl of Rutland
- Margaret Butler (1632), daughter of Thomas Butler, 2nd Baron Cahir and wife of Edmond Butler, 3rd/13th Baron Dunboyne.
- Mary Digby (1648), daughter of John Digby, 1st Earl of Bristol and 2nd wife of Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall (1606–1674) to whom she bore six sons and one daughter. Died giving birth to a second daughter (stillborn). She was buried in Eggesford Church, Devon, where is situated her memorial effigy.
- Lady Mary Butler (1713), second daughter of the 2nd Duke of Ormonde
- Mary Wollstonecraft (1797), author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, after delivering Mary Shelley
- Mary Hamilton (c 1800), wife of William Allen (Quaker), after delivering Mary Allen who also died in childbirth.
- Ann Griffiths (née Thomas) (1805), a Welsh poet and writer of Methodist Christian hymns.
- Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1817), only legitimate child of the future King George IV of the United Kingdom. The obstetrician later committed suicide.
- Mary Allen (1823), the daughter of William Allen (Quaker) and Mary Hamilton who had died giving birth to her.
- Sophia Sidney, Baroness De L'Isle and Dudley (1837), eldest daughter of William IV and his longtime mistress Dorothea Jordan.
- Joanna Mary Boyce (1861), a painter.
- Harriet Kenrick (1863), the mother of Austen Chamberlain, statesman and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- Isabella Beeton (1865), author of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management
- Mary Shield Bell (1871), the mother of Gertrude Bell, traveller and diplomat
- Florence Kenrick (1875), mother of Neville Chamberlain, prime minister
- the mother of Michael Dillon (1915), an early female-to-male transsexual
- Olivia Burges (1930), secretary to the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts first World Camp.
- Pauline Gower (1947), married name Pauline Fahie, a pilot who headed the female branch of the Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War. Died giving birth to twin sons
- Savita Halappanavar (2012), her death caused widespread outrage after doctors refused to terminate her 17-week long pregnancy, and ignited protests and debate on Irish abortion laws.
- Mary Forth (1615), wife of John Winthrop
- Thomasine Clopton (1616), wife of John Winthrop
- Mary (Norris) Allerton (1621), a Mayflower passenger
- Kalanipauahi (1826), Hawaiian queen consort/princess and a member of the House of Kamehameha
- Sarah Lincoln Grigsby (1828), sister of Abraham Lincoln
- Minnie Warren (1878), an entertainer
- Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt (1884), first wife of Theodore Roosevelt
- Margery Latimer (1932), writer and first wife of Jean Toomer
- Edith Roberts, actress, vaudevillian (1935)
- Marjorie Oelrichs (1937), socialite
- Cecilia Mettler (1943), medical historian
- Nadine Shamir (2004), singer/songwriter
- Fawziya Ammodi (2009), child bride