Warning: This post deals with mental illness and suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.
Perhaps you might suspect blood loss or infection. And those would be a fair guess. Even today, complications such obstetric haemorrhage, embolism and infection still happen and sadly sometimes have fatal results.
But none of those are the leading cause of maternal death in Australia.
After heart disease (which is the leading cause of all Australian deaths), the biggest cause of death in postpartum women is suicide.
You read that correctly. More new mothers die by their own hand, than by any pregnancy- or birth-related complication.