Comments from the union follows after MBRRACE-UK published their ‘Saving lives, improving mothers’ care’ report today.
The UK study found that while the overall number of deaths is down, improvements in care could still be made to provide support for women with mental health problems, as well as women with pre-existing medical conditions.
Authors of the MBRRACE-UK study found that out of the number of causes of maternal death, many maternal suicides could have been prevented.
In the report, figures show that 23% of women who died between six weeks and one year after giving birth died from mental health-related causes, with 1 in 7 women dying through suicide.
Commenting on the study, Director for Midwifery at RCM, Louise Silverton said: “The RCM welcomes this report and in particular the reduction in deaths directly related to pregnancy and birth that continue to decrease steadily.
“Deaths such as those related to medical and mental health problems have not fallen significantly and that is most concerning. This includes women with pre-existing medical conditions where their condition is often exacerbated by pregnancy. These women with complex medical needs require good preconception care and additional support after birth.”
The report has come shortly after the RCM recommended that all trusts should have maternal mental health specialist midwives, to provide support for women.
“A number of causes of maternal deaths have been identified and in areas where we know care could be better and lives potentially saved. These need urgent attention and targeting of resources to help bring the number of deaths down even further,” Louise Silverton added.
The official MBRRACE-UK ‘Saving lives, improving mothers’ care’ report can be found here.
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