Having a baby in the Netherlands
When you are far from home, living in a country you are unfamiliar with and just building your network around you, having a baby can be an overwhelming experience. However, it need not be a stressful one. It is important to research all your options, and know what to expect – during the pregnancy, delivery and in post-partum period. Again, things in the Netherlands are arranged differently when it comes to birth. What you will find is that the Dutch healthcare system provides well-organised and comprehensive care – for the baby and parents to be. For instance, it is possible in the Netherlands that from pregnancy through birth you do not see a gynaecologist. Home births from a mid-wife and kraamzorg (maternity nurse) are not uncommon.
In general, there is a natural, non-interventionist approach to maternity care in the Netherlands; huisartsen provide less information to patients about their condition and there are far fewer screenings as compared to other countries. And, for the newborn? In the Netherlands, children from 0-4 have a place just for them, where their health, growth and development is monitored. This is called the consultatiebureau (child health clinic).
Because we know, as internationals, that there is much to learn, and that there is added value of learning it in a group setting with others who are in the same situation, the ACCESS Birth Preparation Courses have been a popular choice for many ‘expat’ parents to be. These take place throughout the year in The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam.