Prospective cohort study
The initial part of this study - a comparison between midwife-led home births and midwife-led hospital births - showed that there was a big difference in the number of interventions (assisted deliveries and caesarean sections) between low-risk births that started in midwife-led primary care and low-risk births that started in obstetric-led secondary care. However, these kinds of studies are not yet conducted prospectively, prompting the researchers to start this multi-centre prospective cohort study.
Start date: 2006
End date: 2016
The study included women without any medical indication for secondary midwifery care and who were pregnant with their first child. We recruited nationwide and followed 500 women in the first line and 250 women in the second line from 16 weeks gestation to six weeks postpartum. Respondents completed two questionnaires during pregnancy and one after childbirth and kept a weekly dairy to indicate how often there was contact with caregivers. Eventually, the respondents’ medical records were used.
To identify differences in interventions and outcomes, but also characteristics, preferences, expectations and experiences among healthy pregenat women in primary care versus secondary care. Partners also are included in the study.
The Dutch obstetric system is unique. Research is paramount to maintain and improve the quality of this system, applying data that are valid to Dutch obstetric care and recommending pathways for improvement. This study will contribute to the scientific quality and the organization of obstetric care in the Netherlands. Results are expected to clarify the nature and number of interventions, outcomes, preferences, expectations and experiences during pregnancy and childbirth.