Listening to bereaved Black and Asian parents to improve care and save babies' lives

Posted By: Amy Tubb

14th December 2023

  • Policy
  • Baby loss
  • lived experience
  • Research
  • EDI

1 minute read

Maternal Mental Health Alliance member, Sands has released their eye-opening Listening Project report today; a profound look at the maternity experiences of 56 bereaved Black and Asian parents. Their tragic stories highlight the challenges that must be addressed to eliminate inequalities, support parents, and save babies' lives.


Some families felt unheard, with worries downplayed or ignored leading to missed warning signs and safety issues. Half of the parents faced disparities due to ethnicity, impacting care quality. In some cases, the concerns of women with a history of mental illness and baby loss were wrongly dismissed by healthcare professionals as anxiety or ‘paranoia’.

[The midwife] told me that I shouldn’t be going in with reduced movements. If I was to go in again... they would be thinking about sectioning me...

A, a mother of Asian/ Pakistani ethnicity

Parents described a range of safety issues that fell within four key areas of care:

1. Being listened to and heard

2. Personalised, joined-up care

3. Communication about safety and risk

4. Safety and learning

Recommendations for change

The report calls on UK Governments to set out long-term, funded plans to eliminate inequalities, ensuring maternity services have the necessary resources. Initiatives include a research program for effective interventions and a focus on tackling inequalities in safety improvement schemes, with close monitoring.

Take action

It's time to amplify these voices, raise awareness, and work collaboratively to ensure every parent receives the care they deserve. Together, we can make a difference and save lives.

Read the report

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