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Commentaar
24-12-2013
Marianne Prins, Jeroen van Dillen en Ank de Jonge

Advantages of midwife-led continuity model of care

In the Dutch maternity care system women at low risk of complications in pregnancy and birth are distinguished from women at an increased risk. Primary care midwives are responsible for the care in the low-risk group, whereas obstetricians are responsible for care when the risk is increased. Most professionals and stakeholders agree that more continuity of care is warranted but there is no consensus on the ideal organization of care. A midwife-led continuity model of care has been shown to offer several health benefits compared with other models, such as ‘shared care’. We argue that this model would be appropriate for the Netherlands. Midwives should provide care where possible and obstetricians where necessary in order to use the expertise of both professions most effectively. This requires an extension of the scope of practice for primary care midwives. This model requires good cooperation between midwives and obstetricians.

Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.