Perinatal mortality could drop by 25% according to study


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.


  1. Orangemaster says:

    I have so many questions and comments:

    I keep reading that infant mortality is higher withI foreign nationals (read immigrants, not expats) because they are less educated, don’t eat as well and all that jazz.

    I read that women continue to give birth at home because their mothers did and because of peer pressure to do so (hospitals are for sick people).

    I read that women who give birth (mainly Dutch women) in the countryside are encouraged to go to hospital to avoid anything going wrong because of distance related issues.

    Before our non-Dutch inclinded readers go nuts on your use of the word ‘mafia’, we have a mommy mafia (moms do things right, fathers do things wrong), a breast-feeding mafia (if you don’t breast feed, you’re a bad mom), a you-shouldn’t-work-after-you-bear-children mafia (50% of the country!) and so on.

    Oh and more and more expats tell me personally that they give birth abroad (Belgium and Germany) because they are afraid of the ‘boorish’ prenatal care here and because they plan to get back to work as soon as they can, like much of the Western world.

    And I wonder why France does worse than the Netherlands. Do they blame their immigrants too?

  2. […] Netherlands is also terribly depressed, is the infant mortality leader in the EU and has questionable women’s health care practices, including lack of gynaecologists on […]

  3. […] observations on the topic. In particular: The Netherlands is also terribly depressed, is the infant mortality leader in the EU and has questionable women’s health care practices, including lack of gynaecologists on […]

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