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Giving birth

Here we will give answers to questions such as: when do you call us, when will you give birth and what do you have to prepare.

When do you call us? Where do you want to give birth?

How do you choose where to give birth?

When do you call us?

In case of a normal gestation period of 37 to 42 weeks and without any complications, you are free to give birth at home or in a polyclinic under the supervision of an obstetrician. Contact an obstetrician in any of the following cases:

  • Uncertainty
  • Clear red blood loss
  • When your water breaks (the color of the amniotic fluid is important)
  • Contractions every 3 minutes that last 60 seconds, for longer than 2 hours
  • Any questions
Preparation

Make sure that you have everything you need to give birth and everything your baby needs starting from week 37. Starting from week 37, your bed must be raised to a minimum of 70 cm and you should have bought the maternity package and the first essential items for the baby. Consider preparing a bag with personal belongings in case the delivery has to take place at the hospital (see ‘giving birth at home’ and ‘giving birth in a polyclinic’). Don’t forget to keep the photo camera and/or video camera ready.

Giving birth at home

In case of a normal gestation period of 37 to 42 weeks and without any complications, you are free to give birth at home. The obstetrician and the maternity nurse will come to your home to assist you during the delivery.

Things you need for giving birth at home

Thuisbevalling

Where do you want to give birth?

In the Netherlands, you get to choose whether you want to give birth at home, at a birth center, in a polyclinic or at the hospital. Research has shown that all these places are safe. However, your choice might be affected by the course of your pregnancy and the delivery.

Consider beforehand where you want to give birth

If you had a healthy pregnancy, you will not have to decide where you want to give birth until the actual delivery and you can easily give birth at home. Nonetheless, it is wise to consider where you want to give birth beforehand. The location of the delivery depends on your own preference and situation. The most important part is that you are comfortable and that you can relax. Being relaxed is extremely important in order to make giving birth as easy as possible. Some women are more comfortable at home, while others prefer being at the hospital.
But it is also possible that your doctor advises you to give birth at the hospital, for medical reasons. Many hospitals give tours on a regular basis. That way, you get to experience the atmosphere beforehand, which may help you to make your choice.

And no matter how well you’ve considered your choice beforehand, things might turn out completely different at the moment of truth. You might have to go to the hospital for medical reasons.
This is the case for about half the women giving birth for the first time. But the other way around is also possible. You were planning on going to the hospital, but in the end, you prefer to stay home.

Facts
  • About 20% of Dutch women give birth at home. (source: Stichting Perinatale Registratie)
  • Dutch women are more positive about their childbirth if they are assisted by their own obstetrician (source: Kennispoort Verloskunde)
  • 96% of the women who give birth at home are happy about the experience. Women who unexpectedly had to go to the hospital are the least satisfied.
  • 27% of the women giving birth for the first time used an epidural against the pain, compared to 10% of the women who had already given birth. (source: Stichting Perinatale Registratie; table 4.4.1)
  • It is best to give birth at a location where you feel comfortable.
  • Giving birth at home isn’t less safe than giving birth at the hospital.

 

More information about where you want to give birth?

Things you need for giving birth at the hospital

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