ACCESS NL > Childbirth Courses
Starting (or expanding) a family far from home, where health care practices and customs may differ, can be overwhelming. This is why the ACCESS Childbirth Preparation Courses have been so popular over the years. In addition to answering your questions, you will also learn how to prepare for labour and delivery in the Netherlands.
What to expect
Our courses are designed for couples/parent(s) and are offered either as a weekly class or as a one-day intensive course. Check Dates & Locations for exact details in your area. Our trainers suggest that you be at least 26 weeks pregnant or during your third trimester when starting the course.
The cost of our intensive ACCESS Childbirth Preparation Course is €295. The four or five-weekly extensive course plus a baby reunion is €325. These extensive courses are also available online. A receipt is issued upon payment, and fees include 21% VAT.
Some of the topics covered include:
- The Dutch health system as pertaining to prenatal and postpartum care
- The stages of labour and delivery
- Relaxation, breathing and massage techniques to deal with labour pain
- The role of the birthing partner during labour and delivery
- Attitude towards pain and contractions
- Breathing and positioning during the different stages of labour
- The pros and cons of medical pain relief
- Instrumental assisted delivery (vacuum extraction, caesarean section)
- Breastfeeding information (limited)
- First week of motherhood
- Dutch habits and customs
* The costs of the course may be reimbursed by your health insurance. ACCESS, however, bears no responsibility for this process. Please check with your insurance company for details.
You can read about our Birth Course Trainers – Truus Gale in Amsterdam; Meida van Baal and Maggie Bijl in The Hague; Chitra Natarajan in Utrecht, and Maggie Bijl in Rotterdam here.
“First of all, we would like to thank you for last weekend’s class. It was very informative and we specially appreciated the way you explained everything and see how passionate you are about what you are doing.” Course participant, 2020, Rotterdam
“I found this course very informative and it gave me and my husband a nice refresher about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum phase. Chitra was very open for questions and provided us with a lot of materials which was extra to the course.” Anh & Thomas, 2020, Utrecht
“Totally recommend ACCESS for birthing courses. We followed one a few weeks ago, in English and at the last minute it had to happen via Zoom because of the COVID-19 measures and it was still totally worthwhile and extremely informative, even for a 2nd time mum.” Becki Slegg, April 2020, The Hague
“Last summer, our lives changed, when our daughter joined us and we found ourselves starting our journey of becoming her parents. 12 weeks before that day, on a Friday evening at 19:00, after a long day of working behind the computer in the covid reality, 30 weeks pregnant, we logged in to Zoom to join the first session together with 5 other couples, all of us with bellies that fill up the screen, red eyes, low on energy, and – truly want to prepare well for this thing that you cannot prepare for. Because that is the truth, pregnancy and giving birth are chapters in life that are full of uncertainty. As Chitra kept on telling us – it is not your ‘due date’ it is your ‘expected date of birth’ and it is not your ‘birth plan’, it is your ’birth wishes’. Every Friday evening Chitra would show up with mountains of knowledge, care, patience, and most of all – presence. We got above and beyond what we ever expected, not only during the course but also in the following weeks, when the pressure started to build up and questions started popping. Chitra was there with answers, ideas, and tips. She opened our eyes to what is possible and mainly helped us remember that we got this and that it will all work out well in the end. And it did. So the truth is you cannot prepare for this, giving birth or becoming a parent for the first time. But, having Chitra on your side, is the closest that you can get. Thank you Chitra, from all of us.” T, F & Z, online during COVID, Utrecht
“My husband and I had no idea what to expect when we signed up for Chitra’s ACCESS childbirth preparation course – we felt we should enroll in a course to gain some knowledge as neither of us had any experience in births or babies and we wanted a course that would be in English. However, Chitra’s course taught us more than we could have imagined, from detailed information on different stages of labour and pain relief (including very insightful background on how the body itself works to prepare for and deal with labour), to practical ways that we can work together and support each other through the birthing experience and after. Active participation in the classes was encouraged, which made them interactive rather than ‘lecture style’, which we have experienced with a couple of other online information classes. As well as the course itself, we found Chitra to be warm and approachable. She is very positive, a fountain of knowledge, and happy to answer the many questions that we all had throughout the course. We would highly recommend this course.” Cliona & Jesper, 2022, Utrecht
“We got to meet Chitra following the ACCESS child preparation course for expats. What a wonderful person to guide you through the process of mentally and physically preparing for labor (but also for the weeks right before and after). We had the chance to discuss all of our questions and had very interesting conversations with her and the other participants, something you can’t have by just reading a birth preparation book. Chitra is a very positive person that is really on top of her field. What we appreciated the most is that she gave us info and guidance for all sorts of birth scenarios, without any bias towards a certain approach. She also provided us with all sorts of material to study further after the course. Definitely a recommended experience.” Sofia & Bas, 2022, Utrecht