National guidance key to reducing baby deaths in twin pregnancy, says RCM
Babies’ lives could be saved by following existing guidance, according to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), responding to a new MBRRACE-UK report on stillbirths and neonatal deaths in twin pregnancies published yesterday. The report says that if health professionals followed national guidance and maternity services implemented the report’s recommendations, baby deaths in twin pregnancies could be reduced.
Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional Leadership at the RCM, said: “The number of baby deaths, even in twin pregnancies, is very small, but we know that twins are more likely to be stillborn or die soon after birth than babies from a pregnancy with one baby. The national guidance is there to prevent this, and it is on every maternity service to ensure that this guidance is followed. If there are barriers to this, whether due to staff shortages or lack of training, then those should be addressed.
“Every story, every statistic within this report is a real family dealing with the grief of losing a child, and we must not lose sight of that. We owe it to them to ensure that maternity and other services follow national guidance, and that the report’s recommendations are implemented in full as a matter of urgency.”
The report found that, in just over half of pregnancies, improvements in care were identified which may have made a difference to the outcome for the baby, and in two-thirds of pregnancies, improvements in care were identified which may have made a difference to the outcome for the woman.
Notes to editors
The full MBRRACE-UK report on stillbirths and neonatal deaths in twin pregnancies can be read at https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk/reports.
The RCM also responded to another MBRRACE report on maternal deaths published yesterday, see https://www.rcm.org.uk/media-releases/2020/december/investment-needed-to-support-safer-maternity-care-says-rcm/.
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.