Having a baby in the Netherlands – the Hague – TARA midwives
Congratulations! You are pregnant! For all women who get pregnant lots of questions might rise. But for you being pregnant in a different country with a different health-care system there will probably be more questions needing to be answered.
What to do?
First of all let us tell you a bit more about the Dutch midwivery system. When you have a positive pregnancytest the first thing you ought tot do is finding a midwivery practice in your neighbourhood and contact the to make a first appointment (070-3655424). It is not necessary tot contact your family doctor first. In many other countries it is common to make an appointment for a first visit with a gynaecologist. In Holland the midwife is the one who is in charge of taking care of regular pregnancies. She provides prenatal, natal and postnatal care. Only in case of medical complications she will consult a gynaecologist. They are the experts in handling and solving obstetric problems.
The first appointment will take place within the 6th and 10th week of your pregnancy. Your intake will last approximately 60 minutes. We will ask you lots of questions about your medical history to determine whether you are a healthy pregnant woman. If so you can stay within the care of the midwife. We will ask you about previous pregnancies. We will inform you about the available prenatal tests and refer you to BovenMaas where special educated midwives perform ultrasounds. We hand you a form to run a bloodtest in the hospital and last but not least we will answer all your questions.
You will be given a form to go to a hospital of your choise to have your blood checked. Your blood is being checked in order to determine your bloodtype and Rhesus factor, irregular antibodies, Hepatitis B, lues, HIV, iron and glucose level.
As mentioned above we closely work together with BovenMaas. The first ultrasound is made to determine your due date. A second one is made in the 20th week of your pregnancy. Additional ultrasounds are made when necessary.
Prenatal screening: Nuchaltranslucency/Combinationtest/ NIPT
You have the opportunity to investigate the risk of your child having Down syndrome, Edward’s syndrome or Patau’s syndrome. You can read the full information in the brochure and the midwife will talk about/inform you during your first visit.
The 20 week ultrasound (SEO)
Around the 20th week of your pregnancy an ultrasound can be made in order to screen the baby for congenital defects. This ultrasound is also performed by BovenMaas. Whenever a follow-up is needed we will refer you to a specialized gynaecologist in a hospital of your choice. For further information read the brochure: Information on the anomaly scan
There are several different ways to prepare oneself for a delivery. In the Hague you can choose from a number of English spoken prenatal classes. For example:
Home birth/ Hospital birth
You will be asked where you want tot deliver your baby. In Holland it’s possible to have your baby at home, in a hospital or birthclinic within the hospital. You choose!
One of our midwives will assist you in case of a birth without complications. And if you haven’t decided yet at the end of your pregnancy? No problem. In some cases the decision is made for you once you get into labour…..
Painrelief during labour is not routinely offered but can be provided whenever you ask for it. If necessary even the midwife could suggest that painrelief is helpful! Every hospital offers you an epidural 24 hours a day. Other methods of painrelief will be discussed with you around the 36 th week of your pregnancy or earlier.
You can read about the different types of painrelief in the brochure.
Making a birth plan may help you to express your wishes regarding your delivery. Around the 36th week of your pregnancy we reserve extra time to discuss the birth plan with you (and your partner)
Complications during your pregnancy or delivery may occur. Since the midwife is only allowed to assist you during a regular pregnancy and delivery the gynaecologist will take over the care for you and the baby in case of complications.
After giving birth the midwife will visit you and your baby again at home.
Some women receive obstetric care from a gynaecologist based on their medical history. Even then you will be needing the midwife for postnatal care. The midwife takes over the responsibility from the gynaecologist during the first week after the baby is born. At home she works closely together with the kraamverzorgster to provide the best of care for mother and child.
For registration of postnatal care contact our practice: 0703655424
Kraamzorg (maternity care at home)
Postnatal care in Holland is mainly given by the midwife and the kraamverzorgster (the nurse). It is not common to stay in the hospital for a few days unless for medical reasons. In a birthclinic it is possible to stay for a few days because it is similar to the care you receive at home.
You have tot register early in pregnancy. Our practice is working closely togehter with two kraamzorg organisations who are able to give you information and care in English:
Kraamzorg is covered by your health insurance company. Contact them for further information and additional costs!
Breastfeeding your baby is considered to be the best. The kraamverzorgster (nurse) will help you to make this happen since it is something you and your baby will have to learn. The nurses are usually very qualified and have lots of experience helping mothers to give breastfeeding.
We evaluate the breastfeeding with the nurse when the baby is one week old together with the mother. It isn’t always possible or nice to give breastfeeding. We help you to make a good choice in order to help you to continu feeding the baby the best way there is.
Many kraamzorgorganisations organize breastfeedingcourses. At our office we also have a little book for you about breastfeeding written in English.
In Holland the registration of the baby at the town hall has tot take place within 3 days after the baby is being born. The father can register, but also the mother or someone else who attended the birth. The hospital will give you a little document you can bring to the town hall.
It is also necessary to bring both your passports, official documents when you are not married, a marriage book or certificate with a postille ( if applicable) and residence permits.
You will receive a birth certificate after registration. Don’t forget to register the baby with your health insurance company too!
Check your embassy what needs to be done for obtaining international documents.
Consultatiebureau/ CJG/ Youth health care services
In Holland the midwife gives postnatal care until the baby is approximately one week old. The Consultatiebureau will take over and is monitoring the child’s general growth and development for the first four years. Their care starts with a letter inviting you for a hearing test when the baby is 14 days old. The nurse will contact you by telephone or letter in order to visit you at home. She then makes an appointment with you for your first visit at the Consultatiebureau when the baby is four weeks old. They will also take care of all the vaccinations. The nurse works closely together with a childrens doctor. In case of problems they refer you to a pedeatrician, your family doctor or another specialist.
For all questions about your baby, including breast and bottle feeding you can contact the Consultatiebureau. There are several spread throughout the Hague but you are appointed to one based on your postal code.