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Giving birth

Which are the options for delivering a baby in the Netherlands?

Low-risk women may choose whether to give birth at home, in a hospital or a birth centre. If you have an increased obstetrical risk, the birth will be supervised by a gynaecologist.

Thuis bevallen (home birth)                                                                                                        

If a woman chooses a home birth, her primary care verloskundige (midwife) will attend her birth, aided by a kraamverzorgster (maternity aide). The insurance company usually provides a maternity box and the midwife will bring her own equipment, which always includes a neonatal resuscitation set and oxygen. If complications arise, the midwife will refer the patient to a gynaecologist in a hospital. Every hospital in the Netherlands accepts these referrals from primary care midwives.

Poliklinisch or geboortecentrum bevallen (hospital or birth centre)

The birth is attended by the same primary care midwife who provided care during the pregnancy. The midwife will also provide the postnatal care at home.  In case of giving birth at a birth centre your own midwife will assist you.  Birth centres are often part of a hospital. Both options are considered outpatient clinics, meaning the mother will usually stay less than 24 hours in the hospital or the birth centre.

Ziekenhuisbevalling (hospital birth with medical necessity)

Women who have an increased obstetrical risk be referred to a hospital and therefore there will not be extra costs. The birth will be supervised by a gynaecologist (in training).

You can find more information about the different places you can give birth here (in Dutch only).

What will happen if I choose to give birth at home?

Can I choose to give birth in a hospital?

Will I be able to get pain relief?

Are the costs for giving birth covered by my Dutch health insurance?