ACCESS NL > Healthcare in the Netherlands > Having a baby in the Netherlands > Dutch prenatal care > I am pregnant and will be giving birth in the Netherlands. What practical preparations do I need to make?
Dutch prenatal care
I am pregnant and will be giving birth in the Netherlands. What practical preparations do I need to make?
The Dutch philosophy is that childbirth is a natural, physical process, not a medical condition. Prenatal care is usually provided by a verloskundige (midwife). The role of the doctor or gynaecologist in a normal pregnancy in the Netherlands is minor, and in most cases they do not get involved at all, unless there are complications. Therefore, the first priority is to find a midwife. It is best to register with your midwife by week 8-10 or as soon as you arrive in the Netherlands.
You can search the online ‘Yellow Pages’ (in Dutch only), under ‘verloskundigenpraktijk’ or talk to your huisarts (GP) – he/she will be able to point you in the right direction.
There are a few other things that you should consider:
- Make sure you know what your health insurance coverage covers for you.
- Register yourself with a kraamzorg (postnatal maternity care) agency, preferably before week 12 of your pregnancy. Your midwife can direct you to organisations that they partner with, and your health insurance provider must be contacted to ensure your chosen maternity care agency or ‘so-called’ kraamcentrum is approved by them.
- Decide where you want your baby delivered. The Dutch are big believers in home births, so make it clear if you want to give birth in a hospital. You have the flexibility of changing your mind at the last minute if you decide to go for a home birth.
In addition to midwife visits, it may also be advisable for you to consider attending a childbirth preparation course. ACCESS offers this course in The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Visit the ACCESS website for further information.