Kraamzorg (postnatal maternity care) in the Netherlands

What is kraamzorg?

What is the role of a kraamverzorgende (maternity nurse)?

The kraamverzorgende (maternity aide) is a trained medical professional who will provide a range of services that may include:

  • Helping during a home birth
  • Guiding the mother through the feeding, bathing and taking care of their child, physically as well as emotionally, teaching her how to recognise the baby’s needs and how to attend to them
  • Monitoring the health of the mother and her newborn child, acting as a link between the family and the midwife/GP
  • Ensuring the house environment is maintained to an appropriate level of hygiene by cleaning the toilets, the bathroom and the mother’s and baby’s rooms every day
  • Helping with light household duties during her stay to ensure the mother gets sufficient rest

The exact details of what your particular maternity aide will help with, as well as the frequency and length of her visits, will normally be determined before the birth. This first (prenatal) home visit will take place at around the seventh or eighth month of the pregnancy. It allows both parties to discuss the expectant mother’s needs and expectations. Once the baby is born, you have the option of adjusting the agreed schedule to more or less involvement after consultation with the agency. Flexibility is the key here.

It is important to note that the maternity aide is trained to guide and assist, not dominate or interfere. They will adapt to your way of doing things, not the other way around. If you decide that you do not want to breastfeed, then that will be taken as your choice. No pressure will be applied for you to conform to a given dogma, and support will be provided if you want it.

How much will the kraamzorg cost me?

What is a 'doula' and what can she help me with?