There are several options for giving birth in the Netherlands

Delivering the baby

In the Netherlands, you have several different options when it comes to delivering the baby. You can give birth in a birth centre, at hospital, or at home, depending upon whether you experienced complications during your pregnancy. If you did experience medical complications, your midwife or obstetrician will advise you to choose a hospital birth.

Baby arriving

Birth plan

In the Netherlands, it is common to make a birth plan with your partner and care provider. A birth plan is part of your medical record and represents your wishes concerning the birth. However, in case of emergency it is possible that aspects of your birth plan will be adjusted and slightly changed.

Home Births 

The Netherlands is famous for home births, in fact 30% of all births take place at home. 

On the day of labour, the midwife will arrive to assist you through the process. There will also be a nurse in attendance who makes sure that the delivery goes as smoothly as possible. It is important to note that epidural or nitrous oxide for pain relief is not available for home births, although birth centres will offer some forms of pain relief. Women will receive a Kraampakket, or maternity box from their insurer. Additionally, the midwife will also bring specialised equipment. 

Birth Centres 

Birth centres are a great option if it is not medically required to give birth in a hospital, and if you do not wish to deliver the baby at home either. Your midwife or obstetrician will supervise the birth. The advantages of birth centres are: comfort and a homely feeling, possibility of pain relief medication, taking personal wishes into account. However, be aware that not all Dutch health insurances cover all the costs of a birth centre. 

Hospital Births 

If you wish to give birth at a hospital, you need to attend the one closest to your home unless told otherwise. There are two types of hospital births in the Netherlands; you can give birth as an outpatient or an inpatient. 

  • Outpatient: If you are an outpatient, your midwide or obstetrician will meet you at the hospital’s maternity ward on the day of labour. A gynaecologist will not be present. 

  • Inpatient: You are considered an inpatient at a hospital if you have to give birth in a hospital due to medical reasons.

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