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Black women in the UK are five times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than white women
According to the Mbrrace UK (2018) report (a report that looks into maternal mortality and deaths), black women in the U.K. have a five times higher risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth in comparison to a white woman.
“There is a five-fold difference in maternal mortality rates amongst women from black ethnic backgrounds and an almost two-fold difference amongst women from Asian Ethnic backgrounds compared to white women.”
This is not new information. A petition to get the report discussed in parliament was closed in 2019 after it received fewer than 30,000 signatures. No one was listening.
In the government response to that petition they confirmed that “Black women are five times more likely to die from causes related to pregnancy than white women. Black babies have a 121% increased risk for stillbirth and a 50% increased risk for neonatal death (i.e. dying within 28 days after birth) compared to white babies. Asian women are twice as likely to die from causes related to pregnancy than white women. Asian babies have a 55% increased risk for stillbirth and a 66% increased risk for neonatal mortality compared to white babies.” You can read their full response here. Nothing has changed.
The fiveXmore campaign was founded by two amazing British Black women, Tinuke and Clotilde. Their aim is to raise awareness and force the government to “commit to funding the changes necessary to eradicate these statistics and improve maternal health care outcomes for Black Women.” These inspirational women, both mothers themselves, want to “see a change in the current practice and care for Black pregnant and postpartum women.” At the time of writing, their re-started petition has 154,445 signatures meaning that parliament will now consider this for debate.
As well as raising awareness of this terrifying statistic and encouraging people to sign the petition, the founders Tinuke and Clotilde also share advice for those who are currently expecting.