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This study is one of the many on maternal morbidity in the Netherlands and also one of many to assess characteristics that differentiate Dutch maternity care from that in other high-income nations. To outsiders, it is usually the high home birth rate in the Netherlands that attracts attention. Having recently established that low-risk planned home birth in the Netherlands is unlikely to harm the baby,1 the question remains whether it will harm the mother.
Over a period of 2 years, from 1 August 2004 to 1 August 2006, de Jonge and colleagues collected nationwide data on serious acute maternal morbidity, defined as admission to intensive care, eclampsia, severe HELLP syndrome (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets) with liver haematoma …
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