From 37 weeks until 42 weeks you can deliver with us, your midwives. The vast majority of women deliver past their due date, about 70%. In this last stage of pregnancy you will have weekly consultations at the practice. Do you have urgent questions or are you worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby (less foetal movements, feeling ill, severe headache) or did labour start? Call the midwife. When you call we prefer to talk to you personally; it makes assessing your situation much more accurate.
Together we will make your birthplan. Around the 35th week you will have a double consultation at the practice to discuss your wishes about your birth. For example where you want to give birth and how. At home or in hospital, with or without pain relief, whatever suits your needs.
Choice of home or hospital birth
In the Netherland, low-risk women may choose where and how to give birth: in bed, on a birthingstool, at home or in a hospital (outpatient clinic). We will assist you at whichever place or in any way you want to give birth unless there is a necessity to change the plan. In the uneventful case of a complication we will refer you to an obstetrician in a hospital of your choice. At approximately 35 week we will plan a consultation at the practice to talk about the delivery and answer all your questions. You may have clear ideas or wishes about how or where you would like to give birth. We are more than happy to answer all your questions. If you would like to deliver in a hospital, you do not have to arrange anything in advance. When your delivery has started we will organise everything for you.
If you choose a home birth, we will attend your birth, aided by a maternity assistant. The insurance company usually provide a maternity box, which contains bed protectors, maternity pads, gauze and sterilizing alcohol amongst other necessities. We will bring our own equipment, which always includes a neonatal resuscitation set and oxygen.
If you opt for a hospital birth (“poliklinische bevalling”) you have to pay the hospital around € 325. Some health insurances will cover this expense. Your birth will still attended by the one of us and an (obstetric) nurse who is employed by the hospital. Usually, in contrary of other countries, women will leave the hospital a couple of hours after birth.
Women who have an increased obstetrical risk give birth in hospital, without extra costs to themselves. A secondary or tertiary care professional will attend them during birth. This is either a clinical midwife, a general doctor or an obstetrician in training. They will call upon an obstetrician if a serious complication arises.
During your consultations we will give you honest information about pain relief during labour, to help you make you decision if and which pain relief you want to use during labour. The Dutch midwives are known for their high quality of continuous support during birth which makes our pain relief percentage lower than in other countries. Nevertheless, it is your choice if and what type of pain relief you wish for your birth.
There are four different types of pain relief. Depending on the situation, you can opt for gas and air, pethidine, remifentanil and an epidural. When you need pain relief, an obstetrician is consulted and the care will be taken over by the hospital. There is one exception in this, which is gas and air. This can only be administered by us in the “Bevalcentrum” and the care won’t be taken over by the hospital . Read more about pain relief during labour here.