Fascinating, I know you're launching a campaign around Black Lives Matter, please can you talk us through it?
We have both taken our masters and as part of that we looked into the maternity death rates of black women and black babies, typically this has always been blamed on poverty or a lack of education. When we looked into this further we found that socioeconomic status didn't have much of an impact - a well educated and healthy black woman was still more likely to die than a poor white woman who smokes. The MBRRACE report states that black women were five times more likely to die. There is no protective factor to stop black women from dying and this is where we found a massive gap in the research. We want to work with students and healthcare professionals to understand the lived experiences of black women accessing maternity care and what we can do to overcome the issues. Misunderstandings of the needs of black people are not always a conscious process,for example, research has shown that in some healthcare settings, there has been the misrepresentation that black people have a higher pain threshold so there are instances of clinical issues not being identified. We are both trained in the role of the professional midwifery advocate and want to take a restorative approach to supporting midwives and student midwives. There are systemic and institutional issues that can affect woman accessing care but midwives and student midwives are the best-placed people to create positive change for these women's experiences. We need to work together to have these uncomfortable discussions, reflect and work towards the future.