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How employers can help with maternity disparities

8th Jun 2022
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Following the publication of the findings from charity Birthrights that shows the racial disparities in maternity care, it's crucial that employers understand that they can play an important role in ensuring all groups receive good care.

It’s very disappointing to see the disparity of care given to different ethnic groups resulting in much poorer outcomes during pregnancy and childbirth. It’s important for employers to recognise that they can play a vital role in ensuring all are treated equally. As part of organisations’ D&I policies, employee benefits offerings and maternity policies we are seeing an increasing number of employers offer access to specialist support, and this makes a huge difference, particularly in ensuring consistency of care across all groups and demographics.

What support needs to include

Support needs to be all inclusive, encompassing fertility, all stages of pregnancy and birth, antenatal and post-natal, right through to the early days of parenting and early childhood. Providing access to specialist clinicians that can offer expert advice, guidance and information from clinical experts is a must. This helps to inform and educate, and puts people in a much stronger position to get the care they need. And having access to the same clinician also helps build trust and understanding, facilitating better health outcomes.

Experts can highlight issues that people need to be aware of, support people with their specific concerns, and point them in the right direction for getting issues checked out, helping to explain diagnosis and treatment options.

There are many conditions that may need checking out, including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, recurrent miscarriage and hyperemesis; and different types of birth that people need advice on. With the current strains on the NHS, providing access to specialist support has never been more important.

The available support that’s accessible via employee benefits has advanced hugely in recent years, and employers that offer access to such support make a huge difference to the lives of their staff, and can actively contribute to improving equality in care.

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