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Dispatches: Black Maternity Scandal: Rochelle Humes Has Viewers In Tears As Woman Recalls Nearly Dying In Childbirth

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Dispatches: Black Maternity Scandal: Rochelle Humes Has Viewers In Tears As Woman Recalls Nearly Dying In Childbirth

Rochelle Humes' new Channel 4 documentary, Dispatches: Black Maternity Scandal landed last night, and viewers were moved to tears after hearing multiple women discuss how they believed they had received poor treatment in maternity wards because of their race.

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The documentary set out to investigate why Black women are roughly five times more likely to die in childbirth than white women here in the UK.

In one poignant interview, Rochelle spoke to a Black woman, who revealed that she almost died during childbirth after six litres of blood were found in her stomach.

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Jade, a mother-of-three, told the This Morning presenter that she had hemorrhaged during her first birth, and had to be given a blood transfusion.

But, at first, nobody took her husband's cries for help seriously.

Rochelle spoke to new mum Jade about her treatment (Credit: Channel 4)
Rochelle spoke to new mum Jade about her treatment (Credit: Channel 4)

"I remember saying to the doctor, 'I'm not gonna die, am I?'" she recalled. "It probably felt more traumatic at the time".

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She then went in for an emergency C-section, which all went to plan. However, after her healthy twins were delivered, she started to feel an overwhelming pain in her stomach.

"It becomes a bit of a daze. I remember asking for morphine so I had morphine and I remember asking for food.

"My husband raised the alarm a couple of times like hey, my wife isn't really responding to me, she's not really doing much.

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"I was left in that state for quite a while until my husband was continuously raising the alarm."

Rochelle was visibly emotional at the story (Credit: Channel 4)
Rochelle was visibly emotional at the story (Credit: Channel 4)

The new mum went on to explain that doctors didn't treat her symptoms appropriately for 12 whole hours, at first insisting it was just a normal response to morphine.

"I remember saying, 'I'm in pain...my stomach'. They did the scan, six litres of blood was in my stomach. Within three or four minutes I was in theatre because I guess it was a life-or-death situation".

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Statistics in the documentary were shocking, showing that Black African women are 83 per cent more likely to suffer a maternal near-miss.

A near-miss means a situation where women experience severe life-threatening complications as a result of their pregnancy, delivery or recovery.

Perhaps the most harrowing part of the chat was when Rochelle addressed the shocking prevalence of Black maternity deaths while speaking to Jade.

After hearing her gut-wrenching story, mum-of-three Rochelle questioned if she felt she would have been taken more seriously as a white woman.

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Mum-of-three Jade told her story (Credit: Channel 4)
Mum-of-three Jade told her story (Credit: Channel 4)

"Possibly yeah. I am Black and I don't want to [come across as] aggressive," she replied. "When you sit here with the reality of was I not listened to because of my skin colour, that cuts deep."

Taking to social media after watching the heartbreaking doc, viewers said they were left deeply affected by the stories they had heard.

"Just sobbed through Dispatches The Black Maternity Scandal just heartbreaking" one viewer wrote.

A second concurred: "Shocked and angered that our strong black queens are facing this monstrosity in this country!! Finally the word is getting out there. Well done @Channel4 #BlackMaternityScandal #MustSee #PregnancyDiscrimination".

"The sad truth is that even when pregnant and vulnerable, black women need to be wary and constantly fighting for a basic standard of care #Dispatches," a third lamented.

Channel 4 released these heartbreaking stats (Credit: Dispatches/ Channel 4)
Channel 4 released these heartbreaking stats (Credit: Dispatches/ Channel 4)

"Thank you @C4Dispatches for finally providing a platform for these striking FACTS to be highlighted. As a mixed raced woman I am 3x more likely to die during/around childbirth. We have the statistics, now we need to see change in the system #blackmaternityscandal," said another woman.

As a fifth highlighted that the documentary only scratched the surface of the wider issue Black women face every day when trying to access basic healthcare.

"So many assumptions are made when it comes to Black women and health. I have stories from so many Black women in my life personally who haven't been believed or had to push for check ups.We are not making it up, we speak from lived experiences. #Dispatches #blackmaternityScandal," they wrote.

Featured Image Credit: Channel 4

Topics: Rochelle Humes, TV News, TV & Film, Channel 4

Joanna Freedman
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