Statement from AIMSI on the publication of the MAMMI STUDY

Dublin, Tuesday November 8th 2016

The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services in Ireland (AIMSI) welcomes today’s publication of the MAMMI (Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland) study. AIMSI is keen to point out, however, that up until this point, the safety of the Irish maternity system has been measured purely by maternal mortality, which according to AIMSI Chair Krysia Lynch is “crude and uninformative”.

The study findings show alarming prevalence of life changing health issues – issues that make everyday life hugely challenging for Ireland’s mothers. AIMSI is also concerned by the under-reporting of such issues illustrated in the findings, for example 70% of women reporting pelvic pain in pregnancy, but only 5.8% documented as having such issues in hospital records.

Speaking in Dublin following the publication of the study, AIMSI Chair, Krysia Lynch said, “Women enter our maternity services every day feeling well and leave feeling unwell with morbidities that are rarely discussed; pelvic floor problems, mental health problems, incontinence, scar breakdown and infection. Women need to be aware of these risks and how to minimise them. The only way to do this is for women to be able to access high quality evidenced based information such as this study illustrates.”

“Women need to know that certain settings and care providers have greater associations with certain morbidities” she added, “a fact which is rarely discussed in Ireland. In particular, given our soaring birth by caesarian rate, women need to be aware that birth by c-section carries morbidities for both mother and baby and women should factor them into any choices made about their birth setting, care provider and mode of birth”.

AIMSI also notes commentary that suggests women are not reporting or discussing health issues because of inexperience, embarrassment and fear. The Association would prefer if society could stop blaming women asks if we should be asking our health professionals if they are listening instead.

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