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Young Mother And Baby

First Black Maternal Health Conference 

The Motherhood Group, founded by Sandra Igwe, will host a Black Maternal Health Conference that aims to create change by bringing together clinicians, service providers and Black mothers.

Posted on 09 March 2023

The conference on Monday 20 March is believed to be the first of its kind ever held in the UK and aims to highlight racism and bias that has created inequalities in maternity care experienced by Black women in the UK.
By sharing women’s experiences of maternity services and recommendations for improvement, the conference aims to build a conversation that will bring about change for the good.
Conference leader and host, Sandra Igwe is the co-chair of the Birthrights Inquiry and was invited by Donna Ockenden to take part in the Nottingham maternity services inquiry. She is the author of My Black Motherhood: Mental Health, Stigma, Racism and the System.
This Black Maternal Health Conference will bridge the gap between professionals such as obstetrics specialists, academics and practitioners.
She aims to highlight gaps in the system and disparities, reiterating the importance of Black women receiving healthcare that is respectful, culturally competent, safe and of the highest quality.
As well as presentations, there will be interactive sessions and a space for applied learning, including workshops and conversations. 
Sandra Igwe said:
“We have powerful and reputable voices within the sector contributing to the day which will support in improving Black women’s health outcomes. We want to rebuild trust between the Black community and maternity service providers and we believe the best way to start will be to hold the Black Maternal Health Conference so that Black women’s voices can be heard.”
The conference is being held in partnership with law firm Leigh Day. Suzanne White, head of clinical negligence at Leigh Day, represents Ernest Boateng, widower of Mary Agyapong who died after giving birth to their second child during the Covid 19 pandemic.
Leigh Day partner Suzanne White said:
“As a law firm whose ethos is human rights, Leigh Day had no hesitation in agreeing to sponsor the Black Maternal Health Conference when Sandra asked us. The issues behind the event have become increasingly clear over the past few years, especially during the pandemic. 
“As evidenced by the several recent and ongoing inquiries, maternity care in the UK is in a dire state at present. Racism and bias has worsened the experience and risk for Black mothers and this conference aims to highlight those issues and start a conversation between clinicians and mothers that will hopefully begin to create change for good.”
Leigh Day solicitor Firdous Ibrahim said:
“From my experience of working on the Birthrights Inquiry into racial inequality in maternity care, it is clear that statistics alone do not paint the full picture of the historical and lived experiences of those most impacted by maternal morbidity and mortality. This public health issue is preventable, and stakeholders should prioritise Black and Brown women and birthing people as decision-makers in their care and in the wider maternity system, to ensure patient safety.  
“The latest statistics from the MBrrace report reveals that there continues to be growing maternal disparities between Black and White women and birthing people, as a Black woman is still 3.7 times more likely to die in pregnancy. This conference will offer a national space for learning about these disparities, rich discussions, and mobilisation to transform Black Maternal Health, rights, and justice. I am hopeful that these discussions will drive forward urgent and significant change needed to achieve racial equity in maternity care.”

The Black Maternal Health Conference will be held on Monday 20 March, 9am-5pm at the Cavendish Conference Centre, 22 Duchess Mews, London W1G 9DT.
Speakers will include:
Professor Jacqueline Dunkley Bent OBE
Bell Riberriro Addy MP
Dr Ria Clarke - Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar
Dr Karen Joash - Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Mars Lord - Founder, Abuela Doulas and Inclusion Consultant
Kadra Abdinasir - Associate Director for CYP Mental Health
Carol King-Stephens - Equality Diversity Inclusion Lead Midwife
Stacy Moore - Chartered Psychologist & Founder of The Nesting Coach
Dr Natalie Darko - Associate Professor Social Sciences (Health Inequalities)
Stacy Gacheru - Practitioner, Qualified Counsellor and Mentor
Jennifer Ogunyemi - Founder of Muslim community organisation
Caroline Bazambanza - PHD student
Anna Horn - Doctoral researcher
Stacy Gacheru  - Practitioner, Qualified Counsellor and Mentor
Afua Hagan – Journalist and broadcaster
Marley Hall - Midwife
Dr Ria Clarke – Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar
Alicia Burnett – Midwife, Tommy’s
Jayde Edwards – Project Manager Young Mums Connect at The Mental Health Foundation
To book a place at the conference, go to 
Journalists who wish to attend the conference should email info@themotherhoodgroup.com
with subject: BMHCUK Press

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