Today MBRRACE-UK has published its latest Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity findings.
The latest from the national collaborative programme studying maternal and infant deaths, MBRRACE-UK, reviewed the care of 124 women who died and 46 women who had severe illness during or after pregnancy in the UK and Ireland between 2013 and 2015. The report, ‘Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care’, examined the care of women with severe epilepsy and women who had severe mental illness, as well as the care of women who died.
Concerning maternal mental health, the report says:
“Maternal mental health remains a serious concern in the weeks and months after birth. Maternal suicide is the third largest cause of direct maternal death in the first few weeks, but is the leading cause of death when looked at over a year. 1 in 9 women who die during pregnancy or up to one year after pregnancy die by suicide. While there are funds being channelled into improving perinatal mental health services around the country, there is still much vital progress to be made.”
In response, Dr Alain Gregoire, Chair of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance said:
“The avoidable human tragedies described in this report yet again highlight the urgency of seriously addressing the gaps in essential specialist mental health care in pregnancy, postnatally and pre-conceptually. This report shows that many of these severe and dangerous illnesses are preventable and treatable, with good outcomes for mothers and babies.
Despite the additional dedicated funding towards specialist services in England and Wales, many women across the UK are still missing out on vital services and this can have a devastating and long term impact on them and their families. We know what we can do to prevent maternal suicides and unnecessary suffering, now the NHS throughout England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales needs to get on and do it.”
Download the full report, lay summary and infographic for Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care report – Lessons learned to inform maternity care from the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity 2013-15