‘They never checked if my baby was breathing!’: Black mother 'disregarded' during the birth of fifth child

18 April 2023, 15:35 | Updated: 18 April 2023, 15:46

Caller: ‘They never checked to see if my baby was breathing!’

Madeleine Wilson

By Madeleine Wilson

James O'Brien spoke to this black mother who says she was ‘disregarded’ during the birth of her fifth child.

A black mother, Latoya told James O'Brien how she "refused" to leave the hospital after she was asked to by the doctor.

After she did give birth, she told James: "They still never checked my notes, they still never checked to see if my baby was breathing or if everything was ok, they literally totally disregarded everything.

"I mean I do look young but unfortunately they never look at any of my records and one of the things they missed, was I had Group Strep B which is meant to be treated with antibiotics before I gave birth and they missed that."

The call comes after a report by MPs found that the UK needs to tackle "appalling" higher death rates for black women in childbirth.

The Women and Equalities Committee has said that racism has played a key part in creating health disparities.

The NHS said that it was on board with making care safer for all pregnant women in the UK.

The government wants to invest £165m into the workforce with an extra 3,650 training places a year.

READ MORE: Racial disparity in policing remains 22 years after Stephen Lawrence inquiry, MPs warn

Latoya continued: "Unfortunately I was never told I had Group Strep B and it means that after the labour I gave birth in half an hour and my daughter, who was beautiful and amazing, was born. You know what happened they came in and said 'I'm going to have to take your baby away - you've got Group Strep B.'

"They didn't even use the word Strep B, they used an abbreviation...I said to her 'what is that' and she said Group Strep B and I said 'Oh my god Group Strep B, I'm meant to be treated' and she almost had a heart attack because she didn't realise I knew so much about it."

James then asked: "What gives you confidence that a lot of this happened to you because you are black Latoya?"

Latoya replied: "It's because of the unconscious bias, immediately I walked in, and as I said they didn't actually check my records because they made an assumption..."

James interrupted: "Do you buy into this because it's a charitable interpretation of discrimination if that could be such a thing, that this idea that black women being stronger could be part of bias?"

Latoya admitted: "Always. Since I've been having kids it's always been that because I've given birth three times without any pain relief, I've chosen to and that's because I was denied it."

READ MORE: Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report: The key points

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