Rochelle Humes sobs as new mum says racist hospital treatment nearly killed her

Rochelle Humes broke down in tears during her Dispatches documentary, The Black Maternity Scandal, which aired on Monday night on Channel 4.

The former Saturdays star was investigating why black women are at least four times as likely to die in childbirth than white women, and spoke to a woman whose sister died shortly after giving birth.

Rochelle met a woman called Jade, who had haemorrhaged and needed a blood transfusion after giving birth to her first daughter, and then had blood in her stomach that left her close to death after giving birth to twins almost two years ago.

Jade was given morphine after a caesarean and did not receive an antidote to reverse the effect for 12 hours, and she was almost unresponsive to her husband who became concerned.

The medical staff informed him she was experiencing a “hangover” from the morphine and said her vital signs were fine.

The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches - with Rochelle Humes
Rochelle, who gave birth to son Blake last October, broke down in tears

Jade finally received a scan on her stomach after repeatedly telling the staff she was in pain, and they discovered six litres of blood in her stomach, and four minutes later she was in the operating theatre.

“It was a life or death situation,” she said, and added she woke up in intensive care the next afternoon.

Rochelle asked: “Do you feel that if you were a white woman your pain would have been taken more seriously?”

The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches - with Rochelle Humes
Jade feels she may have been listened to if she was white after suffering for hours while being ignored

Jade replied: “Would I have been shown more empathy, if it was white, possibly, yes.

“Am I fearful of being that strong opinionated person because I am black, I don’t want to come across as aggressive?

“When you sit here and think of the reality of, was I not listened to because of the colour of my skin, that cuts deep, that cuts really deep.”

Rochelle, who recently gave birth also spoke to a doula named Mars, who said she actively notices that her black clients are treated differently to her white clients.

The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches - with Rochelle Humes
Naomi told Rochelle her devastating story after the death of her sister Naomi

She recalled a pregnant woman’s partner telling the medical staff: “You’re not listening to my wife, can you please read her her birth plan?”

The healthcare professional replied: “If you don’t sit down and be quiet, I am going to call security, because you are being aggressive.”

Mars said: “That has never happened to a white partner,” adding that white women are asked if their birth plan and treatment is okay, while black women are just told what is happening and not consulted.

The Black Maternity Scandal: Dispatches - with Rochelle Humes
Naomi’s sister Natalie died shortly after giving birth to her daughter

“If white women were dying at these rates, they would damn well do something about it, and they would do something about it now,” she said.

Rochelle also spoke to a woman named Naomi, whose sister Natalie died aged 35, just after giving birth to daughter Chloe.

Naomi and Rochelle both cried as Naomi recalled Natalie’s partner calling her and saying there was something wrong, and when she arrived at the hospital, she knew it was too late, and Natalie died from amniotic fluid embolism after suffering a heart attack.

Rochelle Humes recently welcomed a baby son named Blake

One study showed black women and other ethnic minorities are three times more likely to die from this condition, one study shows.

“I knew she’d gone, I felt her leave, and then they told us that, what do you do?” asked Naomi.

“You’re not supposed to know what to do in that situation, no one is,” said Rochelle.

* Dispatches: The Black Maternity Scandal is available to watch back on All 4

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