Baby boom threatening Danish maternity wards

Already enduring budget cuts to the bone, baby influx could impact safety

Maternity wards across the country are already under pressure from budget cuts and over-worked staff due to a lack of resources. And here’s the kicker: it’s only going to get worse.

According to figures from national statistiks keeper Danmarks Statistik, the number of births in Denmark is expected to increase by 21 percent over the next nine years.

“At the moment we are having a serious crisis,” Thomas Larsen, the head of the Dansk Organisation for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, told Metroxpress newspaper.

“Should the birth rate increase to 72,000 births annually and we aren’t given any more resources, then it is obvious that safety will become a problem. In the birth area we don’t have any regulations or the like that ensure quality and safety.”

READ MORE: Danish families choosing private maternity clinics over hospitals

Bye bye Barselshotel
The news comes in the wake of the much-publicised resignation in Copenhagen of Morten Hedegaard, the clinical head of Rigshospitalet’s maternity ward, earlier this week.

Hedegaard resigned in protest over the continued budget cuts the maternity ward has been forced to endure despite the knowledge that the birth rates would increase dramatically this year.

One of the consequences of the budget cuts has been the future closure of the popular barselshotel (maternity hotel), where new parents can learn how to take good care of their babies, including breast-feeding techniques and nappy changing.

The hospital’s cuts may also be the reason behind more and more Danish women opting to give birth at home or in private birthing clinics.