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Dutch Women's Perceptions of Childbirth in the Netherlands

Johnson, Taralyn R. MSN, RN; Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN; Freeborn, Donna S. MSN, FNP, CNM; Beckstrand, Renea L. PhD, RN, CCRN; Huender, Katinka Dutch Midwife

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: May-June 2007 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 170–177
doi: 10.1097/01.NMC.0000269567.09809.b5
ongoing columns: Editorial

Purpose To explore the lived experience of childbirth in Dutch women who had given birth at home in the Netherlands.

Methods Qualitative study using audiotaped interviews with 14 women.

Results Themes included the advantages of giving birth in the home, where the women felt more in control of their environment; the difficulty and normalcy of the pain associated with giving birth; the feelings of fulfillment and empowerment that come with childbirth and motherhood; and the importance of the supportive role of the midwife–caregiver.

Nursing Implications Women in a culture different from that of the United States who gave birth at home felt fulfilled and empowered by the experience. These results can help U.S. nurses more fully understand the meaning of childbirth in a different culture and may help identify possible improvements in the design of care for women and newborns in the United States.

Oh yes, things are done differently in the Netherlands regarding childbirth. We can learn a lot from what happens in other countries.

Taralyn R. Johnson is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Care, Provo, UT.

Lynn Clark Callister is a Professor, College of Nursing, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, and an Editorial Board Member of MCN. She can be reached via e-mail at

Donna S. Freeborn is an Instructor and Co-Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

Renea L. Beckstrand is an Associate Professor of Nursing, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

Katinka Huender is a Midwife, The Midwife Clinic of Voorburg, the Netherlands.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.