Chair of Economic and Social Policy

Call (and Pay) the Midwife

What are mothers willing to pay to ensure the availability of a midwife?

Women in Germany are entitled to midwifery care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. However, due to the current shortage of midwives, availability is not always given to the desired extent. In a discrete choice experiment, we investigate mothers' preferences to provide policy recommendations on prioritization in times of skilled labour shortage. We find that there is a high willingness to co-pay to ensure the availability of a midwife. Midwifery services are essential for most women, especially during the postpartum period. Online counselling can be a useful supplement to home visits, but not a substitute. The article by Jessica Rheindorf, Prof. Christian Hagist and Prof. Christian Schlereth will appear in the International Journal of Nursing Studies and is already available online.

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