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Poorer mothers three times ‘more likely to have stillborn children’

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Poorer mothers are three times more likely to have stillborn children than those from more affluent backgrounds, according to a new study.

The wide-ranging research, conducted by pregnancy charity Tommy’s, also found that high levels of stress doubled the likelihood of stillbirth, irrespective of other social factors and pregnancy complications. Unemployed mothers were almost three times more at risk.

The government has been urged to take immediate action to address the social determinants of health and halt the rise in pregnant women who face the stress of financial insecurity.

Researchers said getting more antenatal care can stop women from having a stillbirth — with mothers who went to more appointments than national rules stipulate having a 72% lower risk.

Ros Bragg, director of Maternity Action said, “If the government is serious about combatting stillbirths, it must address the social determinants of health as well as clinical care. Women need safe, secure employment during their pregnancy and the certainty of a decent income if they find themselves out of work. It is not right that increasing numbers of pregnant women are dealing with the stress of financial insecurity, putting them at increased risk of serious health problems, including stillbirth.”

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Source: The Independent, 29 October 2020

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