Half of pregnant women turned back to the OLVG
The midwives of Amsterdam have their hands full. About one in two pregnant women has been turned away at the OLVG, AT5 reported. Instead, they had to travel to other hospitals in the city or outside of Amsterdam to give birth.
“Everyone wants to give birth in a hospital in Amsterdam, but it has to be safe,” said obstetrics nurse Femke Brans of the OLVG. The OLVG, which represents two-thirds of all hospitals in Amsterdam, faces staff shortages due to people on sick leave.
Brans is also responsible for the capacity of the hospital ward. “When I start my shift, the department is usually already completely filled with women giving birth,” Brans said. “We have already started with less staff and you also have to factor in the next shift. You have to be careful not to overcrowd the room.
“People don’t have to worry: they won’t have to give birth on the street outside the hospital. I think it would be a good idea to lower the expectations a bit. We can’t always meet the expectation of being able to give birth in Amsterdam, ”Brans said.
So far in 2021, there have been 880 pregnant women in Amsterdam who were unable to give birth in the hospital of their choice out of a total of 2,835 deliveries at the OLVG.
Often, several hospitals must be called before finding a place for a pregnant woman. “The need is really great,” said Karlijn Janssen, obstetrician at the Amsterdam birth center. “On average, we have to call four hospitals before we can find one that’s free. “
One solution Brans suggested was to give birth at home. “Of course it’s not for everyone, but I would definitely take it as an option,” Brans said.