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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1991 Apr 16;39(2):139-46.

Place of delivery in The Netherlands: actual location of confinement.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Preferred and actual locations of confinement were compared in a group of 170 nulliparous women. Voluntary changes in preferred location for birth were rare and concerned only changes from hospital to home confinement. Obligatory changes due to referral to consultant obstetricians occurred frequently: 58.8% of the total sample. Fewer referrals were found for women with an initial preference for a home confinement (53%) than for those who preferred a hospital confinement (64%). Most referrals occurred in the group of older women initially in doubt about their preferred location for giving birth: 72%. The differences were not significant, however. To reveal differences between referrals and non-referrals, discriminant analysis was performed at the 18th week of gestation. The explained variance for the total group of referrals was 64.7%. Partially, the variables pertaining to the explained variance were the same as those related to a preferred hospital confinement. The explained variance for the group of referrals in which psychosocial influences were presupposed was not better, with the exception of referrals due to insufficient progress during labour: 76.4% of the variance could be explained at the 34th gestational week. When birth weight and amenorrhoea were included, these percentages increased to 79.0 and 84.8%, respectively.

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