During your pregnancy, consider how you would like to tackle things when your child will be there. For example, how do you want to spend your maternity period? Discuss it together with your partner. Do you want to spend the maternity period as much as possible as a fresh family and maybe wait with all maternity visits? And after a few weeks organize a stall party? Or do you want a little bit of visitors every day? And at what times do you want this? Do you only want to give birth? Or do you want your best friends to assist you?
Coming from your baby
The presence of others can be fun, but it might also be very irritating. How do you want to arrange your work? Do you want to work part-time? Or do you want to continue working full-time? Have you already found a place at a daycare center? Consider possible waiting times, especially at popular crèches the waiting time can be high.
Also try to make an appointment in the hospital to have a look. Even if you plan to give birth at home, you never know for sure if that will work. Then it is so nice if you have already taken a look at the hospital and already know a bit what to expect. Many hospitals organize information evenings where you can sign up for. Be on time to sign up, because often the evenings are full soon.
In the Netherlands, everyone who receives a child is entitled to maternity care. The maternity nurse assists the midwife in a home birth but also comes the first week after the delivery and learns how to take care of the baby. She also takes over all daily tasks so that you can fully enjoy your maternity period. When you have given birth in the hospital, she comes when you are back home.
Be on time
It is important to request maternity care on time, preferably as early as possible in the pregnancy (before the 16th week). In order to be sure, check with your health insurance provider if you need to arrange your maternity care yourself or if the insurance company does this for you. Two months before your due date an employee of the maternity care will visit you. She will ask you how long and how many hours a day you want to have maternity care. You decide for yourself what you want the maternity nurse to do. Think about this before you have the conversation. Check your insurance policy for how many hours you will be reimbursed. More hours is always possible, but these are for your own account.
The Netherlands has different types of pregnancy guidance. A pregnancy course provides a good preparation for the delivery and the arrival of your baby. You practice certain techniques that can help you with childbirth and you get information about your pregnancy and baby. In addition, you can share your feelings and emotions with others. There are various possibilities so that you can choose one that suits you best. You learn breathing techniques to relax and to catch and contract your contractions. One course gives more attention to the pregnancy the other to the delivery, but all with the aim to give you confidence.
You have opted for a delivery in a familiar environment, but for this a few things have to be put in order and taken home. The midwife can tell you exactly what you need and what you need to do. In any case, you have to pick up a maternity package in good time (about 6 to 8 weeks before the delivery). Your health insurer (or home care) takes care of this. You can collect this at the pharmacy and in some cases it will be sent to your home address. You can inform your health insurance company here.
The maternity package
If you have indicated to your health insurer that you are pregnant, you can expect a maternity package around the 34th week of your pregnancy. Not all companies provide such a package free of charge, so be sure to inquire for your insurance.
The baby room
The first 12 weeks are over, you are already carefully buying those cute, cute clothes that you recently saw in the store. The chance that things are going wrong now, has become a bit smaller. You can already think carefully about the layout of the baby room. Because there is quite a lot to see and ... some furniture have a long delivery time (about 10 to 12 weeks)!
Tip for the baby room
Do you have a nice picture or maybe you like to list the ultrasound and place it in the nursery? Then take a look at this site for a suitable photo frame. Lijstentoko.nl is the largest online web store for photo frames, photo clocks and passe-partouts. The webshop has many photo frames to offer, from large to small. You will already find a list for less than 5 euros.
The pretecho is a relatively new phenomenon. The visual acquaintance with your unborn child is a unique experience. Different activities of the baby can be seen on screen and it is even possible to get a video recording of it, so that you can take a closer look at it at home.
A pretecho is made at your request. No medical need is required. The costs are therefore for your own account. In this the pretecho differs from a medical ultrasound. The latter echo is made on referral from a midwife, gynecologist or general practitioner. These echoes are reimbursed by your health insurance. A pretecho is technically the same as the medical ultrasound.
What is an ultrasound scan?
Sound waves are used in an echo. These have a higher frequency than you can hear. This sound is called ultrasound. Internal organs reflect that sound. The reflection is received and electronically processed into an image that you can view on the monitor.
When is a suitable moment?
A 2D echo is already possible from 6 weeks. In this period you can see your heart beating. From 12 weeks the head, body, arms and legs are clearly visible and from 22 weeks onwards the baby no longer fits in its entirety, but it is quite possible to look at all kinds of details. This way every development phase has its own charm.
Especially when the baby is awake you will be able to see many beautiful images. From 20 weeks onwards, the gender can be viewed, even though this never gives 100 percent certainty.
Children cost money. The Nibud has listed the costs of a baby trip. You must have a number of items already in the house for the birth of your child; these are the things that you need immediately when taking care of your child. The costs below are of course global costs, you can ultimately make it as expensive (or as cheap) as you want it to be.
|Baby room||300 Euro|
|Car seat||120 euros|
|Chest of drawers||160 euros|
|Bottle with teat||3 Euro|
|Bottle warmer||30 euros|
|Refurbish children's room||200 euros|
Of course, it is best to save on certain costs. Have a look at second-hand articles and clothing or maybe there is something else to take over in the family. Also keep in mind that you will receive a lot of clothes during your maternity period. In order to reduce costs, you can therefore initially only purchase the much needed and see what you really need after the maternity period.
Delivering costs money
Also a delivery is not for nothing. It is advisable to inquire with your health insurer about possible reimbursements early in your pregnancy. If you have to give birth in the hospital on the basis of a medical indication, everything will be reimbursed. But if this is not the case, you will have to pay the basic costs of the delivery yourself.
Your health care provider can tell you how much entitlement you have to maternity care. Handy to know in time so that you can arrange some extra help (from your environment).
Do not think that a home birth is free. Here too, payment must be made for the help of a midwife.
Although it is a natural event, it is still important to be well prepared for your birth. If there is no medical need to give birth in the hospital, you can choose where your child will be born. It can give you a familiar feeling to give birth at home, but you may feel comfortable if you give birth on an outpatient basis. There is also a third option, namely giving birth in a maternity care hotel. Once you know in which hospital you want to give birth, arrange that you can visit the maternity ward and delivery rooms in advance. At most hospitals this is possible to make an appointment for this.
Increase your bed
What do you need for a delivery? In any case, your bed will have to be raised. From 37 weeks the height of your mattress must be at least 70 (to 80) cm. This can be done by means of bobbins or with crates. This also applies if you want to give birth in the hospital. This increase is required by the health and safety at work to prevent back complaints of midwives and maternity nurses. Please note that a waterbed can not be raised. In that case, it is better to arrange a separate single bed.
When you like at home keep in mind that the same floor is also equipped with running water and ensure that there is good lighting.
Deliver a baby at home
The Netherlands is unique in the world with its amount of home births. The obstetrician and maternity assistant are well trained and have a lot of experience. In the unlikely event that problems arise during childbirth, the midwife will consult the gynecologist or pediatrician and ensure that you arrive at the hospital as soon as possible. That is also a disadvantage of home delivery; in case of complications you still have to be transported to the hospital. In addition, you can also be distracted by domestic worries.
Benefits of home birth
- Your house is familiar, so there is a relaxed atmosphere
- In your house you can walk around freely, showering, hanging, et cetera
- You have the control yourself
- At home you can decide for yourself who else is allowed to be present
- After the birth you are right in your own home
Without a medical indication is a hospital birth, an outpatient birth. Your delivery starts at home, but during the opening phase you go to the hospital. The midwife will first look at home a few times how the digestion progresses and call the hospital when the time is right. If there is no room in the hospital, you will be referred to another hospital. You have to take care of transport to the hospital yourself, so you always have to deal with contractions in the car. Outpatient delivery often involves additional costs, please inquire about this with your health insurer. Also remember that the hospital is a strange environment and offers less privacy than your own home. The advantages are however:
- In case of complications, you no longer have to be transported
- There is always someone around who understands deliveries, this can give you a safe feeling.
- You are not distracted by the daily worries
- You can exchange experiences at the maternity ward
- There is a wider choice in the administration of painkillers
You can give birth at home, in your own environment with your own midwife, assisted by a maternity nurse, or outpatient with your own midwife and assisted by the nursing in a hospital. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. But there is also a third option: the maternity care hotel.
A maternity care hotel offers a bit of the cozy and relaxed atmosphere of a home birth and the convenience of a delivery outside the door. A maternity care hotel is not an alternative to the hospital - they do not have medical equipment - but you have to see it as an alternative home birth. The maternity care hotel offers you an optimal opportunity to rest after giving birth. In addition, you can learn everything about caring for your baby.
Referral to gynecologist
At the start of the pregnancy, 77% of all women are under the supervision of a first-line midwife and a little over 20% of a gynecologist in second-line obstetric care. Of the pregnant women who are accompanied by the midwife at the beginning of the pregnancy, 30% are referred to the gynecologist during pregnancy. Slightly less than half of all women (45%) start the delivery under the supervision of a primary obstetrician. Some of them are still referred to the second line during the delivery. In the end 22% of the women like to go home and 11% give out on an outpatient basis under the supervision of a primary obstetrician. 67% of the women like in the second line under the responsibility of a gynecologist. For women who are pregnant for the first time, 77% should eventually give birth to the gynecologist, with nearly 50% still having to be relocated during the delivery (to the hospital).
In short: if you are pregnant with your first child, the chances are very high that you will be referred to the hospital during the pregnancy (56% to be exact) and if you belong to the 42% of the pregnant women who can start the delivery at home the chance is almost 50% that you still have to go to the hospital after all.
Perinatal Care in the Netherlands 2006 (Stichting Perinatale Registratie Nederland) Wiegers TA, Janssen BM. Monitor obstetric care provision: final report. Utrecht: NIVEL, 2006.