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Accurate reporting of maternal suicide data enables development of targeted suicide prevention interventions
  1. Nicola Clibbens,
  2. Annessa Rebair
  1. Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nicola Clibbens, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; NICOLA.CLIBBENS{at}NORTHUMBRIA.AC.UK

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Commentary on: Lommerse K M, Merelle S, Rietveld A L, Berkelmans G and van der Akker T (2024). The contribution of suicide to maternal mortality: A nationwide population-based cohort study. BJOG, 00; 1–7; doi:10.1111/1471–0528.17784

Implications for practice and research

  • Many maternal suicides occur after 42 days post partum, suggesting a need for targeted suicide prevention for late maternal suicides.

  • Improved data linkage between suicide and maternal deaths could inform service design and commissioning but requires integration with suicide prevention theory to design and deliver effective suicide prevention interventions.


Suicide is defined as a ‘direct cause’ of maternal death while pregnant or within 1 year post partum.1 Maternal suicide has been identified as a leading cause of maternal mortality in high-income countries including, for example, the Netherlands, where the study2 was conducted, the UK3 and France.4 Suicide is considered preventable when there are appropriate and accessible services.3 International under-reporting …

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  • X @nicola.clibbens

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.