Tommy’s launches midwife video call service for Black mums

Tommy’s midwives have launched a new support service for Black and Black mixed heritage women and pregnant people.

More than 2 million people visit our PregnancyHub each month to find reliable information about pregnancy or support and advice after loss. People can also access our midwife-run phone line and email service from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

But we know that Black women experience higher risks of complications during pregnancy – for example, our research shows a 40% higher risk of miscarriage compared to White women – and also often have poorer maternity and birthing experiences. 

Three research reports published this year by FiveXMore, Birthrights, and Muslim Women’s Network UK on Black, Asian and minority ethnic maternity experiences have highlighted how standards of care vary between different groups of women and pregnant people and how this could be contributing toward poorer outcomes for parents and babies.

Research shows that increased risks and poorer experiences for women and birthing people from minority ethnic or religious backgrounds are not necessarily down to biological factors, but bias within the healthcare system and wider social inequalities. 

Current systems don’t always successfully identify women at risk and don’t always deliver the specific, personalised care they need. We also know that some families find it harder to access the care they need and are entitled to.

Our researchers are currently working to find the answers, but we know these families need additional, tailored, support. Only by giving the right care to the right women at the right time can we change these statistics, make pregnancy safer and save babies’ lives. 

Funding from the Government's Tampon Tax (which allocates money generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls) has enabled us to grow our resources and offer extra support to those who need it most.

We will now be offering Black and Black mixed heritage women and people the option of one-to-one video calls to help build collaborative, trusting, longer-lasting, relationships with our midwives, who can support women and pregnant people to feel informed and able to make evidence based informed choices about their care during pregnancy or after loss. 

The service will also be an opportunity to reflect and be supported after difficult experiences, or to plan for conversations and appointments with healthcare professionals. We hope that by doing this, we are able to work towards ensuring that care is more equitable for these groups of women and birthing people. 

Supported by the Tampon Tax, in 2021 we launched our ‘Equality in Miscarriage and Pregnancy Care’ project to tackle the disproportionate risks that mothers and pregnant people face in some communities. The funding is helping us provide specialist support for underrepresented or disadvantaged women and pregnant people across the UK.

With this funding, we are also currently working on a new digital tool for women who have experienced recurrent miscarriages, which will provide accurate information about their chances of having a baby and suggest personalised changes that could help reduce risk of miscarriage.

Meet our new midwife, Alanna, and find out more about the role of Tommy’s midwives 

To speak to one of our midwives about your pregnancy, or if you need support and advice following a pregnancy loss, you can contact the team at [email protected]. You can also call them for free on 0800 014 7800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). 

Black and Black mixed heritage people who would like to have a video call should include ‘video call’ in their email subject line. 

Alternatively, new service users can send a DM to Tommy’s PregnancyHub Instagram and Facebook.