Dutch prenatal care

I am pregnant and will be giving birth in the Netherlands. What practical preparations do I need to make?

Can you please tell me what services I can expect from a midwife?

Which prenatal tests are usually carried out in the Netherlands?

Should I follow a prenatal course?

Prenatal courses are organised to educate expectant women and their partners in the preparation for labour, offering you tools to manage your labour pain, optimal positions for birth, tips for recovery after birth and how to be a new mother. They usually last between four to eight weeks and are often followed by a postnatal session. It is recommended to register by week 16, as the classes can often fill up quickly.

A prenatal course provides the opportunity to meet other expectant mothers or couples, but the class you choose and how helpful it is once labour starts may depend on your knowledge of the language (courses will be available mainly in Dutch but also in English). Therefore, it is important to choose a prenatal course carefully.

In larger Dutch cities, you can find prenatal courses offered especially for internationals. ACCESS offers childbirth preparation courses in various cities. These courses are tailored specifically to the international community and are conducted in English. The courses provide an informative practical insight into pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding and explain how the Dutch healthcare system works. The courses also have the added advantage that you are able to meet other international couples.

If you want to take part in the course, you need to be in your third trimester, i.e. be at least 26 weeks pregnant. More information about the ACCESS-run childbirth preparation courses is available via this link. Alternatively, if you wish to find a prenatal course in your area, you can ask the Helpdesk to locate one nearest to you.

Where can I learn more about breastfeeding?