Birth & Midwifery in Croatia
Resources for parents and practitioners

Connect with many more midwives and birth enthusiasts from around the world by joining IAM, the International Alliance of Midwives!

Some of the following sites may not be in English; an online translator may be useful.

Birth Situation Room Report

Midwifery Today Country Contact*

*To learn what a Country Contact is or to reach any Midwifery Today Country Contact, click here.

If you are interested in becoming the Midwifery Today Country Contact for Croatia, please write to the IAM administrator. Midwifery Today is interested in promoting international networking among childbirth practitioners. Our goal is to strengthen the international community by establishing country contacts in every country of the world.



Midwives Battle Medicalization in Croatia [July 2006]

Having a child in Croatia today is often hard, painful and humiliating for the woman. It is an attack on the physical integrity not only of the mother, but also of the child. The woman does not have the right to choose or speak; she must submit to the strict hospital protocols and medicalization of childbirth, as well as many unnecessary interventions.

The leading role of today’s midwife in Croatia is to implement the protocols of medicalized birth, which probably is one of the factors that has contributed to the loss of the profession and the inability of midwives to face birth without intervention.

Another important factor is the inability of today’s midwife to educate herself in Croatia and in that way to acquire the autonomy and knowledge necessary for independently leading the birth process. However, enabling every woman to have a physiological birth is the goal of every real midwife.

Letting nature take its course requires preparation and education. One must not be fooled—we cannot have natural birth in contemporary Croatian society if we do not take the steps that are necessary to make that happen, together, women and midwives.

Midwives from the Croatian Association of Midwives, Branch Rijeka, have gone the furthest in their endeavors and attitude to enable women to have the right to choose. In other hospitals only one way exists—high-intervention birth—because doctors consider it the safest way. Imagine! Women from Zagreb (the Croatian capital) travel to Rijeka to have waterbirth and natural birth without interventions!

Iva Podhorsky Storek and Barbara Finderle
excerpted from “Having a Child in Croatia”
Midwifery Today Issue 78