Black Maternity Scandal: Rochelle Humes felt ‘broken’ filming Dispatches documentary on death rates

Rochelle Humes said she ‘felt broken as mother’ as she talked about her upcoming documentary, Black Maternity Scandal Dispatches, on This Morning on Friday. 

The presenter, 32, will front the Channel 4 programme which investigates why black women are four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and childbirth. 

Speaking on Friday’s show, Rochelle detailed the emotional impact making the documentary had on her and said she was pregnant with her son Blake, five months, when she was first approached to host the show.

Emotional: Rochelle Humes said she 'felt broken as mother' as she talked about her upcoming documentary, Black Maternity Scandal Dispatches, on This Morning on Friday

Emotional: Rochelle Humes said she 'felt broken as mother' as she talked about her upcoming documentary, Black Maternity Scandal Dispatches, on This Morning on Friday

Emotional: Rochelle Humes said she ‘felt broken as mother’ as she talked about her upcoming documentary, Black Maternity Scandal Dispatches, on This Morning on Friday

Rochelle told Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, she had been completely unaware of the statistics until making the programme.

‘I didn’t know until I was pregnant with Blake and I was supposed to start filming this last year and it felt too heavy to be totally honest with you, at a time when I was pregnant myself,’ she said.

‘Black women are now four times more likely to die, mixed race women are three times as likely and Asian women twice as likely.’ 

Eye-opening: Speaking on Friday's show, Rochelle detailed the emotional impact making the documentary had on her as she was pregnant with her son Blake, five months,

Eye-opening: Speaking on Friday's show, Rochelle detailed the emotional impact making the documentary had on her as she was pregnant with her son Blake, five months,

Eye-opening: Speaking on Friday’s show, Rochelle detailed the emotional impact making the documentary had on her as she was pregnant with her son Blake, five months,

Asked if doing the documentary affected her as a mother, Rochelle revealed: ‘One hundred percent. I don’t think you have to be a mother for it to affect you. On a human level it’s not okay. 

‘The disparities are so vast and it’s not okay, and as a mother it broke me really, it really did.’ 

Rochelle said she ‘felt compelled to investigate’ why women of colour are more at risk of dying around childbirth. 

Investigation: The presenter, 32, will front the Channel 4 show which investigates why black women are four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and childbirth

Investigation: The presenter, 32, will front the Channel 4 show which investigates why black women are four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and childbirth

Investigation: The presenter, 32, will front the Channel 4 show which investigates why black women are four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and childbirth

The shocking truth: Rochelle told Alison and Dermot, she had been completely unaware of the statistics until making the programme (pictured with Dr Christine Ekechi)

The shocking truth: Rochelle told Alison and Dermot, she had been completely unaware of the statistics until making the programme (pictured with Dr Christine Ekechi)

The shocking truth: Rochelle told Alison and Dermot, she had been completely unaware of the statistics until making the programme (pictured with Dr Christine Ekechi)

‘I wish the documentary tied up and there was resolve, but unfortunately it’s a lot more deep rooted than that…,’ she told the hosts. 

‘The main issue that comes to play is that black women aren’t feeling like their pain is being taken seriously or that they’re listened to and that is the underlying issue that comes up time after time.’ 

Rochelle said she hopes the film will ‘make a noise’ and ‘we get a solid commitment from the Government to introduce a target because that is what we haven’t seen’.

Heartbreaking: She said: 'The disparities are so vast and it's not okay, and as a mother it broke me really, it really did'

Heartbreaking: She said: 'The disparities are so vast and it's not okay, and as a mother it broke me really, it really did'

Heartbreaking: She said: ‘The disparities are so vast and it’s not okay, and as a mother it broke me really, it really did’

Doting mum: Rochelle is proud mum to daughters Alaia-Mai, seven, Valentina, four, and son Blake

Doting mum: Rochelle is proud mum to daughters Alaia-Mai, seven, Valentina, four, and son Blake

Doting mum: Rochelle is proud mum to daughters Alaia-Mai, seven, Valentina, four, and son Blake

The programme is set to air on Monday 29 March. 

Last month, Rochelle spoke out about claims she ‘replaced’ author Candice Brathwaite as the host of the documentary.  

Candice had revealed on social media that she was in talks to present a documentary on the same topic but has since clarified it was not the same one that Rochelle is tied to, following speculation the Saturdays singer had ‘replaced’ her.

In her Instagram statement, Rochelle wrote: ‘Hey gang. The situation around the documentary playing out online is complex and I know that my response won’t satisfy everyone. 

Speaking out: Last month, Rochelle spoke out about claims she 'replaced' author Candice Brathwaite (pictured) as the host of the documentary

Speaking out: Last month, Rochelle spoke out about claims she 'replaced' author Candice Brathwaite (pictured) as the host of the documentary

Speaking out: Last month, Rochelle spoke out about claims she ‘replaced’ author Candice Brathwaite (pictured) as the host of the documentary

‘That being said, I am going to speak to the facts and what I know to be true. Firstly, I recognise that I am contributing to a conversation that many black women have been central to and fighting for a long time.

‘When taking on this project, it was necessary to the producers and I, that the voices of the people who’ve been directly affected are centred in the storytelling. 

‘It’s important to me personally and everyone involved in this documentary that this ongoing issue is brought to the widest possible audience.

Statement: Rochelle said: 'It's important to me personally and everyone involved in this documentary that this ongoing issue is brought to the widest possible audience'

Statement: Rochelle said: 'It's important to me personally and everyone involved in this documentary that this ongoing issue is brought to the widest possible audience'

Statement: Rochelle said: ‘It’s important to me personally and everyone involved in this documentary that this ongoing issue is brought to the widest possible audience’

‘I want to utilise my platform to add further reach and visibility to this ongoing issue, with the sole intention of creating broader awareness to affect change.

‘I was offered the role as host last year, to go on an exploratory journey through the lends of the audience to ask the question why.

‘To tackle any issue on a national scale, it involves a community of people pulling together to advocate and rally for change as ultimately we all share the same goal. 

Blogger Candice, 32, later shut down rumours that the role was taken from her by Rochelle as she insisted she was ‘never in the running’ to host the show as the pair were working on two different programmes.   

Statement: Blogger Candice, 32, later shut down rumours that the role was taken from her by the This Morning star, 31, as the pair were working on two different programmes

Statement: Blogger Candice, 32, later shut down rumours that the role was taken from her by the This Morning star, 31, as the pair were working on two different programmes

Details: Candice explained how she was offered an opportunity to contribute her knowledge on the topic, but declined

Details: Candice explained how she was offered an opportunity to contribute her knowledge on the topic, but declined

Statement: Blogger Candice, 32, later shut down rumours that the role was taken from her by the This Morning star as the pair were working on two different programmes

Heart-breaking: In 2014, Candice was rushed to the hospital to drain infected pus which sent her into septic shock after giving birth to her daughter Esmé, now six

Heart-breaking: In 2014, Candice was rushed to the hospital to drain infected pus which sent her into septic shock after giving birth to her daughter Esmé, now six

Heart-breaking: In 2014, Candice was rushed to the hospital to drain infected pus which sent her into septic shock after giving birth to her daughter Esmé, now six

Lorraine’s style correspondent published her book I Am Not Your Baby Mother in May 2020, years on from when she was rushed to the hospital to drain infected pus which sent her into septic shock after giving birth to her daughter Esmé, now six.  

Candice – who has campaigned about the tragic issue for years – wrote on Sunday: ‘The producer of the show that Rochelle Humes is to present has called me asking me to clarify that I was never in the running to present that particular documentary.

‘So for the record – I was contacted in March 2020 by a different production company about developing a similar documentary and had been speaking with them throughout 2020 – our last zoom call being on December 1st 2020.

‘I’ve been advised that the show with Rochelle was also being developed at the same time I was engaged in discussions and was obviously commissioned.’ 

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV and catch up on ITV Hub. 

Raising awareness: Rochelle said she hopes the film will 'make a noise' and 'we get a solid commitment from the Government to introduce a target because that is what we haven't seen'

Raising awareness: Rochelle said she hopes the film will 'make a noise' and 'we get a solid commitment from the Government to introduce a target because that is what we haven't seen'

Raising awareness: Rochelle said she hopes the film will ‘make a noise’ and ‘we get a solid commitment from the Government to introduce a target because that is what we haven’t seen’

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