select search filters
roundups & rapid reactions
factsheets & briefing notes
before the headlines
Fiona fox's blog

perinatal depression and suicide

Whilst the number of direct pregnancy-related deaths has been steadily falling, the same cannot be said for indirect deaths linked to mental health. In fact almost a quarter of women who died due to indirect effects were due to mental health reasons and experts argue that these deaths were often unnecessary.

Using data from the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (MBRRACE-UK), experts have assessed pregnancy-related deaths from 2009-2013 including reviews of more than 100 women who committed suicide during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

Journalists came to the Science Media Centre to hear about issues such as:

  • What defines an indirect death and how sure can we be that it’s related to the pregnancy?
  • How many of these deaths could easily be avoided?
  • Why has there been such little improvement? Is the main barrier to stopping these deaths a lack in funds, specialist knowledge, public awareness or stigma?
  • What treatments are available, how effective are they and where do we need more research?
  • What needs to be done and who needs to take the lead?



Prof. Marian Knight, NIHR Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health and Maternal Programme Lead for MBBRACE-UK, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford

Prof. Jenny Kurinczuk, Professor of Perinatal Epidemiology and National Programme Lead for MBRRACE-UK, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford

in this section

filter Briefings by year

search by tag