Intended for healthcare professionals


Racism is “at the root” of inequities in UK maternity care, finds inquiry

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 24 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1300
  1. Adele Waters
  1. The BMJ

Urgent action must be taken to tackle systemic racism in UK maternity services.

That is the central finding of a year long inquiry into racial injustice and human rights in UK maternity care by the childbirth charity Birthrights. The inquiry team analysed the factors that contribute to poorer outcomes and experiences of ethnic minorities in UK maternity care.

According to evidence already gathered (2018 figures1), black women in the UK are four times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than white women, while Asian and mixed race women are twice as likely.

In addition, 2019 figures2 found a disparity in the rates of baby loss. Stillbirth rates in babies of black and black British ethnicity were more than twice those for white babies and neonatal …

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