Giving birth

Can I choose to give birth in a hospital?

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

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

Will I be able to get pain relief?

In the Netherlands, only a third of women in labour are given pain relief, and caesareans are relatively low, there is 24/7 availability of epidural pain relief for women in labour,  making it much easier to get an epidural. Please note that medical pain relief cannot be administered during home births. Midwives in the Netherlands are not qualified to administer anaesthetics and are restricted to using only non-prescription drugs. Your midwife can then refer you to a hospital or birth centre, but please be aware that there is not always an anaesthetist (the person who will be able to give you the epidural) available outside normal working hours.

During pregnancy, Dutch midwives provide information about medical pain relief, and they provide high quality continuous support during birth. In this way, they try to optimise their care and minimise the need for medical pain relief.

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