Netherlands: Immigrant women prefer giving birth in hospitals

Almost 75% of immigrant women in the Netherlands prefer to give birth in a hospital.  75% of Dutch women prefer giving birth at home.  Research agency TNO came to these conclusions after analyzing 1.4 million births over eight years.  

According to TNO There are big difference between the different ethnic groups.  Among Turks and Moroccan women, a third prefer giving birth at home, among Surinamese and Antillean women about a quarter prefer this option.  For a third of Dutch women the actual birth happens at home, compared to one in eight among Turkish and Moroccan women and one in twelve among Surinamese and Antillean women.

TNO suspects that immigrant women are not well informed about the Dutch care system and the possibilities it offers.  A former study of the agency showed that immigrants get little maternity care, because they don't know what it's for.  "That a midwife has the knowledge and experience to independently attend to a birth is often unknown."  In the land of origin of immigrant women is is often unusual to give birth at home, or it's a sign of poverty, says TNO.

According to TNO it is important that not only Dutch, but also immigrant women be informed when choosing the place of birth.  Researcher Dineke Korfker wants to know whether immigrant women choose to give birth in hospitals based on complete and good information.  She says that if it appears that they're not informed enough of the options, more attention should be paid to guidance.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

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