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HOME BIRTHS - can you solve a dispute for us about why they're massive in Holland....

(28 Posts)
bohemianbint Sat 16-Aug-08 19:36:27

...but generally thought of as a bit hippy and bonkers in this country?

We were talking about it last night and DH was wondering what made us so hospital-centric as a nation, when up until the 1950's home births were the norm? Why did the shift take place in this country, and not Holland?

Also, DH reckons that if we adopted a majority of HBs in this country that mortalities would increase. I totally disagree but does anyone know the stats from Holland?


TuttiFrutti Sat 16-Aug-08 20:54:06

I don't know the answer to your questions, but have heard that home births are about a third of all births in Holland.

In Scandinavia on the other hand, they are very rare - even rarer than here.

waldorfsalad Sat 16-Aug-08 21:07:32

here Netherlands have the same deaths of babies as us. I don't know if there are maternal deaths on this site

SoupDragon Sat 16-Aug-08 21:38:30

Does your DH realise that a home birth is statistically safer than a hospital birth for a "normal" pregnancy?

Anglepoise Sat 16-Aug-08 22:53:36

Wasn't there a huge push to get births into hospitals a few decades ago?

artichokes Sat 16-Aug-08 22:58:26

Every country seems to have a different approach to birth and what is "normal". In the US a midwife assisted birth or active birth is considered hippy and dangerous. Here is is the norm but homebirths are way out. In Holland home births are quite normal. I imagine these norms develop as a result of slowly evolving healthcare systems and policies.

Ambi Sat 16-Aug-08 22:59:44

I read this recently, they have a great support network of medical staff allowing easier home births.

CarGirl Sat 16-Aug-08 23:02:46

In Holland the midwives are "better trained" than in the Uk by that I mean they have more extensive training beyond what is required in the UK (knew a Dutch midwife) more on a par with an obstretician (spelling).

I just think they are completely geared up differently in their approach to looking after pregnant women, birth etc etc.

choosyfloosy Sat 16-Aug-08 23:04:08

Don't eat me but I do think that if there was a massive switch to home births in this country, things would get worse before they got better, largely because the average GP now will only have seen the minimum of births during general training, whereas 50 years ago it was a major part of their work. It would be a really huge shift to bring home births up to a third of all births. No doubt we could do it, if the will and the money were there. But I bet it would be done in a half-assed manner, which would be very risky.

harpsichordcarrier Sat 16-Aug-08 23:06:22

yes it is to do with the experience and training received by midwives, and the autonomy they enjoy. also, perhaps it has something to do with proximity to hospitals? (probably one of the reasons they aren't popular in Scandinavia)

Snaf Sat 16-Aug-08 23:07:18

I can't imagine that most GPs would have any more to do with homebirths than they do now, choosy. The births would (should) be managed by midwives. As usual, we just need more of 'em!

Jennster Sat 16-Aug-08 23:08:11

But GPs don't attend home births until they have happened Choosy. (We share a favourite book btw)

Jennster Sat 16-Aug-08 23:08:49

That was a playful lick not a bite

Jennster Sat 16-Aug-08 23:17:21

[hangs head in shame and leaves the dead thread in shame]

DisplacementActivity Sat 16-Aug-08 23:39:48

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bohemianbint Sun 17-Aug-08 10:02:56

Displacement - that's really interesting. I don't understand why in the UK we view pregnancy as a scary illness or a condition requiring intervention, rather than a natural part of life? Because it hasn't always been like this.

GreenMonkies Sun 17-Aug-08 10:07:14

Ohh, don't start me on this one!! grin


Pruners Sun 17-Aug-08 10:31:15

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georgiemum Sun 17-Aug-08 10:36:40

From what I remember of my developmental psychology course (eons age - for some reason we had a video of Dutch babies) they have increadible good post-natal care there -a mums help comes in every day for about 2 weeks I think to help out. So I guess they are more mum-centred than the rest of us.

And yes, we do seem to think of pregnancy as an illness in this country! In my mum's day (her earlier births anyway) mothers just gave birth at home unless there was a problem. I guess in the 1970s people just got a little more cautious and thought that this was horribly old-fashioned.

TreadmillMom Sun 17-Aug-08 10:57:53

I don't know any stats or figures but I once backpacked with a Dutch midwife in Asia and she told me that in Holland a MW not only delivers the baby but they care for the family for a week or two after the birth, I'm talking cooking, cleaning and helping out with older children shock.
So who the hell wouldn't want a homebirth with that kinda service envy?

DisplacementActivity Sun 17-Aug-08 12:40:23

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Pruners Sun 17-Aug-08 12:49:09

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Mercy Sun 17-Aug-08 12:57:21

My Dutch friend experienced a downside (in her opinion) which resulted in an emergency CS, and a planned one for her second child.

Her pelvis was too small and the baby's head/neck were at an angle. She felt this could have been identified much earlier on.

cyberseraphim Sun 17-Aug-08 12:59:50

The Netherlands allows 'euthanasia' (in some circumstances) for disabled babies sad. That's probably a hospital 'procedure' though.

fragola Sun 17-Aug-08 13:03:59

I'm not sure when or why homebirths started becoming unpopular, but in my mum's case, it seems to have been led by the medical profession rather than women themselves.

My mum had my brother at home in 1967 with one midwife, who sat on the end of the bed and let her get on with it. By the time I was born in 1972, her young new GP said that she couldn't have another home birth because he didn't in believe them (!) and that he would book her into his GP unit at the local hospital, so that was that.

I don't think my poor (very shy) mum ever got over been put in stirrups and examined by lots of different medics

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