By Jo Berry.
Singer Rochelle Humes presents a new Channel 4 Dispatches documentary tonight (Monday 30th March, 8pm) that focuses on the health care that Black women receive during their pregnancies in the UK.
During filming for the Dispatches episode, 32-year-old Rochelle met with a number of Black women who experienced problems during their pregnancy, and visited Newham Hospital in London, which has introduced a scheme to make sure more women have the same midwives throughout their pregnancy.
According to the documentary, Black women are four times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than white women.
When is The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches on?
The documentary is on Channel 4 on Monday, 30th March at 8pm.
What does The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches uncover?
The latest published maternal mortality figures show that, as well as Black women being four times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women, mixed ethnicity women are three times as likely to suffer maternal death while Asian women are nearly twice as likely.
As Rochelle says about pregnancy during the programme: “It’s such a personal journey, so it means something different to everybody and there’s parts to your pregnancy where you think, ‘I hope everything’s all right’.
“But not at any point should you think, ‘Am I going to make it through this because of my race?’”
A mother of three herself – to daughters Alaia-Mai and Valentina Raine, and son Blake who was born in October last year – Rochelle spoke to This Morning last Friday about filming the show affected her.
“The disparities are so vast and it’s not OK, and as a mother it broke me, really, it really did.”
She also spoke about the discovery she made during the making of the documentary about Black women and pregnancy. “The main issue that comes to play is that Black women aren’t feeling like their pain is being taken seriously or that they’re listened to and that is the underlying issue that comes up time after time.”
The singer and TV presenter hopes to shine a light on the scandal through the Dispatches documentary.
“I felt compelled to share this to a wider audience,” she says. “While we’re incredibly lucky to have the NHS, and the UK remains a relatively safe place to give birth, it is essential that we better understand why these disparities in maternal deaths exist and ask what we can do to reduce risk for all mothers.”