MBRRACE-UK is the annual investigation into the deaths of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the year after birth. The 2022 report, which looks at maternal deaths between 2018 and 2020 in the UK, finds stark and widening social inequalities linked to poverty and disadvantage. It shows that:
- Women living in the most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to die than those in the most affluent parts of the country;
- One in five of the women who died had involvement from social services, a known marker for high levels of vulnerability and trauma;
- Deaths by suicide have risen three-fold since the previous report, with suicide now the leading direct cause of death during pregnancy, childbirth and the year after birth;
- Severe mental health issues were found to be a factor in 40% of the deaths between six weeks and a year after pregnancy;
- Mental ill-health and substance misuse are increasingly common causes of maternal death;
- More than one in ten of those women who died by suicide, and 59% of those who died through substance misuse, had had an infant removed from their care and/or ongoing care proceedings.
Birth Companions is pleased to have been part of the writing team on this important report, and you can read our full response to the alarming findings here.
Download the full report and lay summary below.