On 8th December, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society (BMFMS) issued a joint statement in response to Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care, a report published by MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies – Reducing risk through audits and confidential enquiries across the UK) .

The statement voices concern over the high rates of indirect deaths due medical co-morbidities that include mental health problems, epilepsy, heart disease or cancer.  One quarter of all maternal deaths between six weeks and a year after childbirth are related to mental health problems and one in seven of the women who died in this period in the UK committed suicide.

Although a harrowing read, the report will serve a very important purpose by providing healthcare professionals with the evidence to learn from what has happened in order to make maternity services as safe as possible for women and their families in the future. Core to this will be the need to ensure better links between primary and secondary care so that women with medical or psychiatric conditions can be correctly assessed before becoming pregnant so that the appropriate care can be provided throughout the pregnancy and following birth.

Link to Joint Statement:

Link to the Report: https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk/reports