Temporary closure of Catalonia’s first birth center due to lack of midwives

The Hospital Sant Joan de Déu de Martorell, at Barcelona, has decided to temporarily close the birthing house because the lack of midwives “makes it difficult to attend with all the health guarantees to women who opt for non-interventional childbirth”.

This was stated by sources at the hospital, who specified that. since last October the house of natural childbirth has lost five midwives, two of them during the Christmas period.

For this reason, the hospital center, which has not specified the total number of midwives at its disposal, has stated that it has decided to “temporarily close the space since January 1, 2008”. as long as there are not enough qualified personnel”, which – he acknowledged – he expects to be “as soon as possible, if in two weeks, better than in three”.

Similar to a house

The birthing house is located outside the obstetric block of the hospital and in it the mothers find themselves in a room similar to that of a house or hotel, where there are different spaces to work the birthing process such as a bathtub, a bed, lianas, a birthing chair, a mattress or dimmable lights.

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In the event of a complicated delivery, the women are quickly transferred to the conventional delivery room, which “gives them security,” since “they know they can count on all the medical services of a hospital center.” the hospital said.

The midwives, who are responsible for the natural childbirth house, “have to be qualified personnel, with experience and responsiveness.” given that in this space “where there is no obstetric material, doctors do not attend,” added the same sources.

For this reason, the hospital has emphasized that the requirements to work and take responsibility for natural childbirths, plus the general lack of midwives in the health system, “are complicating finding sufficient staff.”

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Two midwives at each delivery

In addition, “it should be borne in mind that each natural birth requires two midwives”, who are professionals “who also attend the births in the medical delivery room.” said the health center.

“It would be a irresponsibility keeping the service open without the midwives necessary.” since it would jeopardize “the proper functioning of both natural and conventional deliveries,” the hospital stressed.

The natural birthing house at Martorell Hospital opened in 2017, is. pioneer in Catalonia and to date has hosted some 380 births, the center, who “in order to reopen it as soon as possible” have stated that they have made a “a call and initiated a selection process in order to find the necessary personnel”.

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