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A UK-wide study of pregnancy-related deaths in women has found that while overall numbers are falling, some women could receive better care, particularly in relation to their mental health.

The report, Saving lives, Improving Mothers’ Care, is the latest analysis from the MBRRACE-UK Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths, based at the University of Oxford.  The report focussed particularly on maternal mental health, and includes lessons learned from reviews of the care of more than 100 women who died by suicide during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth between 2009 and 2013. One in eleven of the women who died during or up to six weeks after pregnancy died from mental health-related causes. However, almost a quarter of maternal deaths between six weeks and a year after birth are related to mental health problems, and one in seven of the women who died in this period died by suicide.

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