Epidurals now standard practice in Dutch hospitals

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New guidelines mean women giving birth at any hospitals in the Netherlands can now ask for epidurals.

3 December 2008

THE NETHERLANDS – Women can now demand epidurals while giving birth at any hospital in the Netherlands.

The change is part of new guidelines issued by the national association of gynaecologists, obstetricians and anaesthetists.

Up to now, the Netherlands was one of the few countries where the use of epidurals during labour was not standard practice.

Anaesthetists must be present during the administration of epidurals.

The Netherlands has a culture of natural childbirth and many obstetricians advise women against pain relief.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

1 Comment To This Article

  • Barbara Summa posted:

    on 3rd December 2008, 17:48:15 - Reply

    I had two children in Amsterdam as a foreigner and I admit it took me a few months to get into the whole Dutch system. But now I wouldn't want to have children anywhere else.

    It is not that the Dutch system is so concentrated on natural birth as such, it's just that they rightly refuse to consider pregnancy as a medical condition, unless, indeed, medical problems are involved. Something included in the recomandations of most countries, including Italy where I am from, but rarely put into practice.

    Epidurals have always been administrated in the Netherlands whenever necessary, but there are enough serious studies proving that it has a number of consequences, and that the baby gets drugs into circle, which often cause breathing problems, thus creating a medical condition. So your care-takers rightly inform you of that.

    The greatest thing about the Dutch system is that they do everything so that the mother can make an informed choice amd being an active subject in the organization of her own delivery.

    Anyway, lots of info about having children in the Netherland has recently appearen in a number of blogs in italian, so I give you one reference for those interested in reading on a number of child birth experience in the Netherlands of Italian women.