Black Maternal Health - A look at the government's findings

We have taken a look into the worrying disparities in women’s maternal mortality based on their ethnicity which were addressed in the government’s Black Maternal Health Report.

What does the Black Maternal Health report show?

It found that Black women are nearly four times more likely than White women to die during and up to six weeks after pregnancy.

There are also significant disparities for Asian and mixed ethnicity women.

What is causing these disparities?

The exact cause is not fully understood but, according to the report, a number of factors might be affecting it:

  • Pre-existing conditions

Some conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, are more common in Black and Asian women.

  • Socio-economic factors

There is a link between poor health and deprivation and a higher proportion of babies from Black and Asian mothers were born in the most deprived areas, compared with the White ethnic group.

  • Maternity care

The report found that maternity care was often not culturally sensitive, and that racial or ethnic stereotypes and racism played a part in poor care.

  • Lack of training

Maternity professionals often lacked training on black maternal health inequalities and how to challenge prejudices in order to deliver respectful and personalised care.

What next?

The report looks in depth as the challenges the government and NHS face in improving black maternal health and makes a number of recommendations. It also stresses the need for targets to improve on the figures.

Let’s hope this report can act as an impetus for an effective and coherent strategy that can quickly begin to make sustained progress for Black, Asian and mixed ethnicity patients.

You can read the report in full here. 

Can we help?

If you’re concerned about the care that you, or a loved one received, get in touch with our team of friendly and empathetic medical negligence specialists.


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