Research: it makes a huge difference if maternity care is delivered much earlier
This effect was already known from abroad, but no research had yet been done in the Netherlands. The Maastricht researchers did this by looking at about a thousand births.
In most cases, maternity care always assists with home births, but usually does not accompany a hospital birth by a gynaecologist. This study looked at the effect if the maternity care was there much earlier for a home birth (or an outpatient birth) or if the maternity care stayed on during a medical birth.
The maternity care, which is now usually only available to the midwife during the last part of the delivery, can provide the expectant mother and partner with emotional and practical support in the hours before, making them feel more at ease.
The results were clear: the number of caesarean sections was halved, 40 percent less pain relief was needed and, in the end, these births were also cheaper, despite the extra hours of maternity care.
“If we think this is a better form of care, then we should facilitate this in the Netherlands,” says gynecologist and lead researcher Liesbeth Scheepers. Nevertheless, further research is needed to see if it is suitable for all women in the Netherlands.