This is the transcript of a Westminster Hall debate in the House of Commons on Black Maternal Health Awareness Week 2022, dedicated to raising awareness about disparities in maternal outcomes.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Member of Parliament (MP) for Streatham, who secured this debate, highlighted some of the key statistics around black maternal health and mortality in the UK:
- Black babies have a 121% increased risk of stillbirth and a 50% increased risk of neonatal death.
- Asian babies have a 55% increased risk of stillbirth and a 66% increased risk of neonatal mortality.
- Black women have a 43% higher risk of miscarriage, and black ethnicity is now regarded as a risk factor for miscarriage.
She also referred to the findings of black maternal experiences survey carried out by grassroots organisation Five X More published earlier this year. She noted that this report highlights all the negative interactions that women experienced with healthcare professionals, from feeling discriminated against in their care to receiving a poor standard of care, which put their safety at risk, and being denied pain relief because of the trope that black women are less likely to feel pain.
The Government response in this debate was provided by Maria Caulfield MP, Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy.
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