Midwives’ medical bags are packed and ready to go at their homes so that they can help pregnant parents in the Capital Region of Denmark who want to give birth at home. Their bag is no longer the traditional soft brown leather bag, but a practical back-pack with room for all the midwive’s equipment.
Midwives no longer drive out from the maternity department, but now they are based at their own homes when they are on duty. Because the Capital Region of Denmark’s new regional home-birth scheme takes off from 1 September 2019.
Dedicated home-birth midwives
In future, the midwives despatched to parents giving birth at home will be sent from a team from across the four maternity departments in the Greater Copenhagen area. However, the midwives will not be waiting on duty at the maternity ward as they were previously, instead they will be on standby at home.
“Some parents want to give birth at hospital, while others want to stay at home in surroundings they know. But they all want a safe birth and a good, cohesive birth experience so that the newborn and the parents get the very best start to family life".
"Under the new regional home-birth scheme, the midwife comes from a team of midwives who all love their work to help people give birth at home. And parents giving birth will fully benefit from this dedication, said Chairman of the Regional Council Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Danish Social Democrats), who stressed that the initiative makes for a more human health service.
Better planning for home births
The new home-birth scheme will secure a better course of treatment for the person giving birth, and it will improve working conditions for midwives. The new home-birth scheme is the result of a request from maternity departments in the Region, who saw a need to be able to organise duty rotas and home births better.
“Previously, a midwife at work at the maternity department would be sent out to assist in a home birth. If the department was busy, it could be very difficult to take a midwife away from the team on duty at the department because the midwife was needed there. However, the parent giving birth at home also needs help,” said Head of Midwifery at Hvidovre Hospital Dorte Dahl, who is facilitating the scheme.
The scheme has been in operation for a month now, and the first reports are very positive.
- The regional home-birth scheme covers maternity departments at Hvidovre Hospital, Herlev Hospital, Nordsjællands Hospital and Rigshospitalet. Bornholm Hospital will continue with their own home-birth scheme.
- Each shift is covered by midwives from all four departments, and when a parent rings to say that they are ready to give birth, as far as possible, the midwife linked to the parent's local maternity area will be dispatched.
- All the midwives on the scheme have volunteered to join. This ensures that only midwives who want to work with home births are sent out.
- The scheme ensures uniformity in the programme for parents, because all the home-birth midwives will have been on the same courses and they will have the same equipment in their bags.
For more information, contact:
- Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, Chairman of the Regional Council, through the press office at the Capital Region of Denmark: tel: +45 70 20 95 88.
- Head of Midwifery Dorte Dahl, Department of Gynecological Obstetrics, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital, through Hanne Ida Alsbirk, Head of Media Relations on +45 21 28 75 04.