More women want hospital births
Increasing numbers of Dutch women are choosing to give birth in hospital, so many hospitals have begun building more delivery rooms.
Professor of Obstetrics Jan van Lith of the Leiden University Medical Centre confirms a report in De Telegraaf newspaper: “The pressure on hospitals and their personnel is increasing. The delivery rooms are being taken by women who could just as well give birth at home. If a hospital can perform 2,000 deliveries a year and it turns out to be 2,500, the options are exhausted.” The Netherlands is a country with an extensive network of midwifes where women traditionally give birth at home.
Van Lith thinks the change is because women increasingly want medication to alleviate pain and this is only available in hospitals. He thinks women also feel safer in hospital, particularly with the media attention given to the relatively high level of infant mortality in the Netherlands.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide