A birth progresses best if the woman giving birth is at ease. Psychological turmoil may have an adverse effect on the birth. It is therefore important that you give birth in a place where you think you will feel safest/most comfortable.
We often ask early on in the pregnancy whether you know where you want to give birth. You do not have to know it for certain at this stage. You do not have to reserve a place in the hospital in advance. You can let your choice depend on how the pregnancy progresses. Keep an open mind and see how you feel when the moment of the birth arrives before you make a definite choice.
It may be that we think it is important that you give birth in the hospital because problems occurred during a previous birth. This is also called a medium risk birth. We will discuss this with you on your first appointment.
In the Netherlands pregnancy and birth are medically regarded as normal and healthy processes, where intervention is not necessary. If the pregnancy progresses normally and there is no increased risk of any problems during the birth it is possible to give birth at home under supervision in the Netherlands. We are available anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This degree of highly qualified service is unique in the world. At home you are in your own surroundings and you and your partner have more control over the birth. You determine the conditions for giving birth and you are in familiar surroundings. Dilation will progress quicker when you feel safe and comfortable.
You may choose to have your baby in a polyclinic because you feel more comfortable in the hospital. Sometimes there can be circumstances that make a birth at a polyclinic more desirable. In both cases we come with you to the hospital.
A birth in a polyclinic starts at home. Together we determine the moment to go to the hospital. This is usually when the contractions have started properly and dilation is a few centimetres.
There are costs involved when you have your baby at a polyclinic (approximately 490 Euros). You can make enquiries at your health insurance company if they reimburse part of that. In the case of a medium risk birth the costs will be reimbursed completely.
Homebirth in The Netherlands
Simone Buitendijk, Professor of Maternal and Child Health gives a keynote speech about giving birth in the Netherlands at the Babyface congress in Amsterdam.