High suicide rate for pregnant women, new mums

A FRIGHTENING new statistic for pregnant women and those in the first year of motherhood in Queensland has emerged, with a new report revealing suicide as the biggest cause of death.

The latest Queensland Maternal and Perinatal Quality Council report states that more than 60 Queensland women died in a three-year period while carrying a baby or within 365 days of their pregnancy ending. Of those, 19 took their own lives.

The report covers deaths between January 2009 and December 2011.

Council chairman Professor Michael Humphrey said the number of suicides was a key concern.

"It's pretty scary," Prof Humphrey said.

"But this is not just happening in Queensland or Australia.

"The incidence of suicide in relation to maternal deaths is also seen very clearly in reports coming out of New Zealand and the UK. It's a major phenomenon."

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 131114 or or beyondblue on 1300224636.

For crisis assistance, call 000.


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