Government teams up with midwives, health experts, and academics to investigate BAME maternal mortality

Tragic maternal deaths now occur in less than 1 in 10,000 pregnancies. 209 mothers died in the UK from pregnancy-related causes from 2015 to 2017.

During this period more than 2.2 million women gave birth in the UK.

Evidence points to a concerning disparity in maternal mortality between Black women and White women. Black British mothers are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or six weeks after childbirth, than White women. Women of mixed ethnicity have three times the risk, and Asian women almost twice the risk. 

BAME women are also at an increased risk of having a pre-term birth, stillbirth, neonatal death or a baby born with low birth weight.

The Government has set up a new model of community hubs, which bring a range of perinatal and sometimes intrapartum care services together in one setting closer to women’s homes to identify potential problems sooner. They have been opened across the country, with over 100 new hubs open as of December 2019.

This is part of the aim to half stillbirths, maternal mortality, neonatal mortality and serious brain injury by 2025. Recommendations from the landmark National Maternity Review: Better Births are being implemented through Local Maternity Systems – bringing together the NHS, local authorities and other local partners to ensure mother and baby receive seamless care.

A roundtable will now assemble experts to understand exactly what more can be done to ensure every mother and baby receives the best and safest maternity care.

Minister for Equalities Kemi Badenoch said: “The government takes the issue of maternal mortality very seriously. We have brought the numbers down significantly and want mothers and children of all backgrounds to know we continue to do more.”