McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster midwifery dean accepts prestigious appointment in Netherlands

Published: July 19, 2010
Eileen Hutton
Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of McMaster’s midwifery program

Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of McMaster’s midwifery program, is the first midwife to hold an endowed professorship in the Netherlands.

She has been appointed to the new role as professor of the Midwifery Science Division at Vrije University (VU) and VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam for a five-year term. She will maintain her McMaster roles as assistant dean and director for the McMaster Midwifery Education Program and associate professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

The obstetrics system in Canada is similar to the Dutch system. In both countries women with a low-risk pregnancy are able to choose between a home birth and a hospital birth under the supervision of a midwife. The newly formed Midwifery Science Division at VU has undertaken a major national study into primary midwifery care in The Netherlands. Hutton will collaborate on this project, and will facilitate research into midwifery practices in the country.

"The time is ripe for systematic scientific research into the unique Dutch obstetrics system," said Hutton. "Research is important to ensure continuous improvement of the care of women and babies during pregnancy and birth."

The Dutch government has prioritised research into the national obstetrics system to determine where improvements can be made.

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