Women are dying in childbirth
As we come to the end of Black History Month, there is no nice way to put this, no easy way to dress this up;
Black women are dying at a rate of 5 times more than white women in the UK and it is happening today.
It’s really hard to believe that today, in the UK, respectively Black and Asian women are 5 and 2 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. This is a heart breaking statistic. These disturbing figures revealed in the MMBRACE report have been in circulation for a while now. Something is seriously wrong.
Every woman should be able to give birth safely, with dignity and without fear.
Our birthing experiences stay with us forever. Giving birth should be moving, magical and transformative in the most positive of ways, with the focus being on delivery and the transition into parenthood.
The repercussions of maternal mortality are far reaching.
As a society, we don’t often speak about loss of life but, ask yourself;
- What happens when a mother doesn’t make it?
- What is the impact on those who are left behind?
- And what of the baby that may or may not have survived?
- Outside of the immediate family, how far reaching is the impact of an often unforeseen death?
- How is it possible to move on from such a significant loss?
The MBBRACE report refers to specific groups of women affected by shocking higher rates of maternal mortality, namely; Black, Asian and Mixed Race women.
Whatever your colour or sex, this is a human tragedy.
Whether you are a man or a woman, if you live with, work with or know women then this affects you too.
If you are a mother or father of nursery or school age children, this impacts on your child too.
The loss of a mother generates trauma and, this type of trauma undoubtedly, has ripples that touch wider communities that we are all a part of.
Poignantly, I read somewhere recently “Why is my heartbreak not loud enough???”.
What can you do?
There is a petition campaigning for this disparity to be explored in parliament. There are currently just under 30,000 signatures on the petition. A further 70,000 signatures are needed.
Join us by adding your signature too. Please sign the petition. Please share the petition for others to sign too.
Please let’s come together, let’s hear the heartbreak and try to make a change. We can begin with one signature at a time, by signing the petition in the link below to address and improve maternity services for black women.
A total of 100,000 signatures are required, before the end of November 2019, in order for these appalling losses of lives to be heard in Parliament. With only one month to go, please act today.
This comes with a trigger warning, but if you are thinking you would rather not get involved, then please listen to BBC women’s hour which asks the question why are women dying at disproportionate rates? The birthing experience of Candice Braithwaite definitely moved me. Thankfully, she is still here to share her truth.