Scientists of the Erasmus teaching hospital in Rotterdam have found that perinatal deaths (deaths of children between 0 and 7 days old) could be reduced by 25% if midwives and doctors communicated better, Volkskrant reports.
Currently, the Netherlands is a sad infant mortality leader in the European Union with 1 in 100 babies dying between the 22nd week of gestation and the first week of birth. Only France and Latvia are worse off.
Rather than taking responsibility, the union for midwives, KNOV, has responded furiously to the findings of professor Gouke Bonsel. Chairwoman Angela Verbeten berates the Rotterdam scientists for studying forbidden subject matter.
The Netherlands is the only country in the European Union with a sizeable number of home births (around 30% versus statistic noise in most other Member States). It is the midwife’s responsibility to warn a doctor about any complications during a pregnancy.
A 2009 study found that there are no differences between the perinatal mortality rates of home births and of hospital births, even though the latter pool should contain all the complicated births.
Although the reason for the KNOV’s anger is not apparent, it would seem likely that the home birth mafia’s contradictory depiction of home births as both natural and safe has something to do with it.
Tags: home births, infant mortality rate, midwifery, mortality rate
Two Dutch gynaecologists have published a report which shows that more babies die at night and on the weekend in Dutch hospitals compared with weekdays. At night, the mortality rate is nearly 25% higher, and 7% higher on the weekend.
The gynaecologists say it is due to the absence of gynaecologists. At night and on the weekend, deliveries are performed by assistants who are less likely to request the assistance of a fully qualified gynaecologist if there is not one around. This situation reportedly leads to the deaths of 35 to 40 babies a year.
The two gynaecologists write that the Dutch obstetric system is under pressure. Recently published EU figures show that infant mortality in the Netherlands is above the European average. The report’s authors also wonder whether the traditional Dutch emphasis on home deliveries is still acceptable.
Well, if you know you’re going to give birth at night on on a weekend, maybe you’d better do it at home after all, which is still where many Dutch women give birth. According to women I once met working for Access NL, an organisation that supports expats and the likes, one of the major cultural shocks between other Western cultures and the Dutch for many women is how pregnancies are monitored.
Tags: babies, hospitals, infant mortality rate