You’ve just found that out you are pregnant… Congratulations! As if being pregnant isn’t exciting enough, you are also doing it in a country in which you are not familiar with the health care system. You may feel out of your element and not sure where to turn, but you can find the most important information you need for having this baby in the Netherlands right here! If you would like more in depth information, check out this website: www.mama-su.com.
The health care system surrounding birth is most likely different here in the Netherlands than what you are used to from home. Even though your first impulse after finding out about the awesome bun in your oven may have been “I am not having my baby here!!! Get me on the first plane home!”, wherever that may me, you might find that the system here is actually quite nice once you know more about it. In the Netherlands pregnancy isn’t treated like a medical condition, but rather like a natural process. There will only be a medical intervention if a problem arises. Dutch midwives try to interfere as little as possible with pregnancy and birth. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t receive the best care possible.
- Generally, prenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies is provided by midwives. It is recommended to register between 8 and 10 weeks of pregnancy and schedule your first appointment between 9 and 12 weeks of pregnancy. In most countries you would probably see the gynaecologist, but you can rest assured that you are in excellent hands with your Dutch midwife. They perform all the tests that gynaecologists do elsewhere and are just as knowledgeable.
You can choose between midwives located at a hospital or your local midwife clinic.
LOCAL MIDWIFE PRACTICES
All prenatal appointments with local midwife clinics take place at their local practices. You will most likely meet all of the midwives working at the clinic during your prenatal appointments, to ensure you have met the one that will be there for your birth. During labour, your midwife will check your dilation regularly but will try to intervene as little as possible. She will visit you for the postnatal appointments at home to ensure mommy and baby are doing well.
> MIDWIVES IN DELFT:
HOSPITAL MIDWIFE PRACTICE
A team of several midwives have their practice located within the walls of the hospital, but they work independently. If you give birth at a hospital with hospital midwives, they will meet you at the hospital once you are in labour. All pre- and postnatal appointments will also take place at the hospital midwife practice.
You will only be referred to a gynaecologist if there are complications during your pregnancy. You cannot go to a gynaecologist directly, you need to be referred by either your GP or a midwife. All appointments (prenatal, birth and postnatal) with gynaecologists will take place at the hospital.
Having a baby abroad brings its own unique challenges… you aren’t familiar with the local Healthcare System, the culture is different , families are far away and you might not have established a support system yet. That’s why many expats choose a doula to support them during pregnancy and birth. Studies consistently demonstrate the very significant benefits for mother, father and baby of having a doula present during labor and birth.
A doula’s presence at birth:
- – tends to result in shorter labours with fewer complications
- – reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- – reduces the need for pitocin (a labor inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesarean sections
- – reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
- – tends to lead to increased rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks post-partum
- – tends to lead to higher self-esteem, less anxiety and less depression at 6 weeks post-partum
Research shows that parents who receive doula support during labor and birth:
- – are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- – have less postpartum depression
- – feel more secure and have greater self-confidence
- – have greater success with breastfeeding
> DOULAS IN DELFT AREA
BIRTH IN HOLLAND
An excellent way to prepare for the first baby is to follow a course by Birth in Holland. They have courses, workshops and doula services in Delft, Rotterdam, The Hague and surrounding areas.
Are you less than 12 weeks pregnant? There is a simple way to help couples with fertility problems. Moeders voor Moeders is an organisation that collects urine of pregnant women, from which the hCG hormone is recovered and used by pharmaceutical companies for the manufacture of fertility medicine. If you would like to contribute, find more information at their website: https://www.moedersvoormoeders.nl/>
The credits for the wonderfully informative prenatal pages you find here – goes out to Esther. Thank you for your hard work!
Esther, the woman behind the doula practice is from Germany, and she’ living in the expat world since 2011 with her husband. When she became a mother she realized just how significant and transformative this journey is for a woman and what a profound and enduring impact it can have on her.
Her goal is to guide, support and empower new parents who may not have friends and loved ones around, through this life-changing experience. By providing emotional, physical and educational support she wants to enable an empowering and memorable birthing experience. She is a Doula (Certification with JJ Doula), and trained for Optimal Fetal Positioning Techniques – based on Spinning Babies. Esther speaks English, German and Dutch and her travel area extends to approximately 45 minutes around Rijswijk/The Hague/Delft.