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Midwife shortage in Norway

Pregnant womanPregnant woman.Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

The Midwife Association warned of a crisis in Norway, and said the
municipal health services lack about 1,000 midwives.


If a woman has more than 90 minutes to the birthplace, she is dependent on the midwife, but they risk not getting help because there are not enough midwives,’’ wrote NRK news.

‘’We see that transport births are increasing, and over the past 15 years, 6,000 children have been born involuntarily outside of a planned birthplace. This is a very high number and has consequences for those with the longest travel routes, and we also see that midwives are not in place,” said Hanne Charlotte Schjelderup, head of the Midwife Association.

‘’There must be immediate measures to get more midwives in place. More must be educated, and more must be employed. There are many midwives who choose to leave the profession because there is too much pressure,’’ Schjelderup told NRK.


There is a shortage in the three municipalities of Smøla, Halsa and Aure. There should actually be six midwives in readiness, but now Ytre Nordmøre has only one.

53-year-old Elisabeth Jørgenvåg is the only one in the area, so she is always on duty, even when she is supposed to be free.

‘’Some have told me that you have to switch off the phone, but when I know that I am the only midwife and we must have readiness 100% around the clock, I can’t do it. It’s totally out of hand,’’ she told NRK.

In 2017, there were 57,462 children in Norway. 336 of these babies came into the world on their way to the hospital or nursery.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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