Yesterday MPs on the House of Commons Women’s and Equalities Committee responded with a call to action to a 2022 analysis by Oxford University that shows that Black women are 4 times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than White women. Asian women are twice as likely to die and there is reason to believe from previous data (although this is not currently collected), that women in the asylum system are at even higher risk.
Report says racism played a role in the higher death rates of black and Asian women giving birth. www.bbc.com
Experts believe that a number of factors are responsible for these horrifying statistics but failure to listen to women has been highlighted by many ethnically diverse women themselves as a contributing factor.
Our Creative Influencers – part of the Best for Baby Too collaborative, a partnership led by the Cheshire and Merseyside NHS Integrated Care Board – have created a theatre piece that brings the voice of the most vulnerable women accessing NHS maternity services – women in the asylum and immigration system – to healthcare workers and decision-makers.
The work includes verbatim theatre communicating the real stories and experiences of women, puppetry, music and statistics compiled from NHS and research data to create a compelling case for change in how maternity services are created and conducted for women in the asylum system.
Today the piece is being toured to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and a collaborative group is being set up to integrate parts of the work into midwifery training at all the main training institutions in Merseyside.
Liverpool Lighthouse uses theatre residencies and creativity to empower groups that struggle to make their voices heard. For feedback on the impact of the Best For Baby Too theatre piece see our blogpost.