The importance of providing the right healthcare and support is so vital, and the alarming findings of a new European report has really driven this point home.
The study, published this week in the journal Paediatrics, found that for every 1% cut in government funding, deaths of new or soon-to-be mothers increased by over 10%.
The concerning statistics emerged from a study into the number of pregnant women and babies who die in Europe each year, covering 24 European countries over the past 30 years.
The study focused specifically on the number of women who died during pregnancy or childbirth, matching the figures up with government healthcare spending records.
While the study’s authors could not definitively prove that the funding cuts are the direct cause of the spike in deaths, they believe that the report shows a strong association between the two.
Pinpointing how pregnant women and new mothers can be so dramatically affected by the reduction, the study’s co-author Dr Ka Ying Bonnie Ng said: “Maternity services can be very costly. It involves a large number of multi-disciplinary teams.”
She added: “Our findings mean that policies that are aimed at introducing healthcare spending cuts, such as austerity, may increase maternal mortality and may increase child mortality.”
Dr Ng encouraged government authorities to bear the statistics in mind going forward and to “make sure the cuts are in the right place”.