Stereotyping, racism and hostile attitudes have contributed to poor care for some bereaved parents in the UK, says Sands.
This year, Sands spoke to 56 Black and Asian bereaved parents to learn about their experiences with maternity, postnatal and neonatal care. Parents reported that their concerns were sometimes dismissed due to stereotypes that labelled them as ‘feisty’, ‘dramatic’, ‘overly anxious’, or ‘prone to exaggerating’.
Some parents also expressed concern that they did not receive enhanced care, despite their ethnicity being flagged as a risk factor.
In the UK, around 13 babies die every day shortly before, during or after birth, and around 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. In 2021, Black babies were more than twice as likely to be stillborn than white babies, while Asian babies were over 50% more likely.
‘Through the Listening Project we have found evidence that their ethnicity contributed to parents’ concerns being dismissed by health professionals,’ said Sands’ Chief Executive, Clea Harmer.
‘We are calling on the Government to make sure maternity safety is at the top of their to-do list, and to work with NHS leaders on creating long-term, funded plans aimed at eliminating inequalities in pregnancy loss and baby deaths.’
You can support Sands’ call for Government action here.
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