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Home Birth in the Netherlands: A Model for Other Countries to Follow?

  The Netherlands has the highest home birth rate in Europe. Since 1990, about one-third of newborns in the Netherlands have been born at home every year. Although this number fluctuates year by year, it is far higher than that of developed European countries with the same economic level – in neighboring Belgium, Germany, and France, this number is all No more than 2%. Women from European countries or other regions often feel incredible after hearing about or experiencing the “system” of Dutch women giving birth at home.
  A Brazilian friend of mine in the Netherlands recently welcomed her daughter Gaia at home. Initially, when the hospital told her that she would give birth at home, she was completely confused. “No one would do that in Brazil!” But the insurance policy forced her to accept this fact. In the Netherlands, medical insurance only covers hospital births that are assessed to be at risk of dystocia due to objective factors such as advanced age, multiple births, complications (such as gestational diabetes). Of course, women who encounter difficulties or dangers during home birth will also be urgently transferred to the hospital.
  Dutch health authorities encourage Dutch women to give birth at home. On the official website of the Dutch health department, there is a “dissuade” article “Under what circumstances should you not see a general practitioner”. The core idea is: self-limiting diseases such as colds, if there is no crisis, do not Need medical attention. In the same vein, the Dutch health system also regards childbirth as a natural physiological process that does not require medical intervention if there are no known risk factors. It is precisely because of the deeply rooted tradition of “do not seek medical treatment unless necessary” and the strict referral system of the medical system (in the Netherlands, except for emergencies, people cannot go directly to the hospital for medical treatment, all medical needs must be assessed by a general practitioner and then referred to a specialist) or hospitals), the Dutch healthcare system does not suffer from the deficits common in developed countries.
  The popularity of home birth is also related to the well-developed women’s rights thought and movement in the Netherlands – hospital birth is believed to be a highly standardized, centralized and even industrialized process. Women are pushed into the delivery room like an assembly line operation, give birth, and then “leave the factory.” Women who give birth in the hospital have to sacrifice some privacy; giving birth at home retains full autonomy for the mother and her partner – the mother does not have to rush to the hospital with permission from the hospital, give birth in a hurry, take a shower in a hurry, and then leave the hospital in a hurry (In the Netherlands, if both mother and child have no problems after giving birth, they will be “kicked out” of the hospital after taking a short rest). Instead, the baby will be given birth in a familiar place, accompanied by his family. They can decorate their home as they like to welcome the arrival of new life, communicate with family and friends, and take a rest before “activating” when they are tired… “Giving birth at home is as safe as giving birth in the hospital.” This is about giving birth at home
  . The most popular slogan for childbirth. The systematic support provided by the Dutch health system for women to give birth at home is called “maternal assistance” – the hospital will arrange a qualified and experienced nurse for women in early pregnancy to maintain contact and build trust with the mother before delivery. Work as a midwife to assist with births, provide postpartum care after delivery, and even help with household chores. Ideally, they would provide ongoing care, help and support rather than a one-off medical intervention.