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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?

In the case of a low-risk pregnancy, you will be offered two ultrasound scans: one in the first term or trimester (0-13 weeks) to determine a due date and one anomaly scan at twenty weeks. Both scans are covered by your health insurance. Some midwives perform an additional scan at 30 and/or 36 weeks, but this is not done in all cases. Usually there needs to be a medical reason to have additional ultrasound scans. The scans are sometimes made by the midwife herself in her own practice; otherwise, you will be referred to a primary care ultrasound centre.

As a pregnant woman living in the Netherlands, you have the option of having your child tested before birth. In this way, you can opt for tests that screen for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes. It is worth noting that not all pregnant women opt for screening tests, but all will be offered them.

  1. If you decide to have your child tested for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes, you can choose to have:
  • A combined test: a blood test between the ninth and fourteenth week and an ultrasound scan between the 11th and 14th weeks of pregnancy.


  • The NIPT (non-invasive prenatal testing): a blood test that can be performed in the eleventh week of pregnancy or later.
  1. Parents who are expecting a child can have their unborn baby tested for spina bifida or other genetic disorders. The ultrasound is performed between the 18th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy.

For more information about the costs of these tests, we suggest that you consult this website (in Dutch only) linked to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport).

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