Where would you like to give birth? There are several options
For us it does not matter where you give birth. We aim for both an optimal and safe delivery experience
The Dutch obstetric and midwifery care system enables women with a normal, healthy pregnancy to choose their birth location themselves.
Midwives are trained to continually assess whether your pregnancy and delivery are progressing normally. As soon as there are indications you or the baby need some extra care, we will cooperate closely with our colleague-midwives or gynaecologist at the hospital.
It is important that you feel as safe as possible when you are giving birth
Whatever you choose, we’ll support you. We aim for the best and safest birth experience possible. Dilation will happen faster when you feel safe and comfortable. You are the only one that knows where that would be, however, most of the time you will only find out where exactly this is during the birthing process itself. Therefore we advise you to be flexible and don’t focus too much on one specific option. You don’t have to make up your mind about where you want to give birth in advance; you can take the final decision once labour has started.
On average, labour for women who are having their first baby will take about 14 hours, although it can go much quicker or slower too. A second labour is usually quicker although it does depend on how the first delivery went
Choosing to have your baby at home is a safe option in the Netherlands as there will always be a hospital nearby, and because Dutch midwives are trained to constantly assess whether the pregnancy is progressing normally.
When you are at home, you are in your own environment which helps to give you and your partner a sense of control. This way you can decide the circumstances you want to give birth in whilst you are in your own safe surroundings. During the birth process, we will be assisted by a maternity nurse who will also be there to support you. There are two practical conditions for a safe home birth: the front side of the house needs to have a door or a window (no back entrance only) and one long side of the bed needs to be free.
It is possible that, while you are in labour, we have to decide to transfer you to hospital. For women having their first bay, there is a 50% chance of this happening; most of the time because of a request for pain relief. For a subsequent delivery, a transfer is a lot less likely to happen; about 14%.
A home birth is just as safe as a hospital delivery. It is not linked to a higher infant mortality rate or a higher number of hospital admissions for newborn infants. These are conclusions from a study that followed more than 80.000 women in 2015.
Outpatient delivery in hospital
If you prefer being in a hospital while you are having your baby, you can choose an outpatient hospital birth. This option ensures that you won’t have to organise a transfer to the hospital in case you need a gynaecologist or require pain relief. Or perhaps you feel your house is too small, too hectic or too noisy to accommodate a delivery. A disadvantage of a hospital birth is that on average interventions will take place more often even if perhaps not entirely necessary. You will always have your own room which sometimes even may include a birth pool. During the birthing process we will be assisted by a hospital (maternity) nurse.
A hospital birth starts at home. Under normal circumstances we would visit you for a check and then we will decide together when we should go to the hospital; normally when you have dilated 5 cm. You can take your own car or a taxi. At the hospital you essentially ‘rent’ a delivery room: you have to contribute to the costs yourself although this does depend on your health insurance. This so called ‘personal contribution’ is about €360.- and will usually be covered by an additional insurance package. We mostly work with the OLVG Oost but in case they are experiencing a high volume of births or when you have specifically requested to go elsewhere, we do regularly cooperate with the OLVG West, AMC, the VU or BovenIJ as well.
Giving birth in a birth centre
Perhaps you cannot or do not want a home delivery but aren’t too keen on the clinical environment of a hospital either? In that case you might be interested in Bevalcentrum West. In one of their hallways, the OLVG-West has created 4 rooms in which you can give birth in a homely environment. It’s almost as if you were at home, only you are in a hospital. These rooms in the BCW are also equipped with comfortable birth pools and gas and air is available too. A disadvantage is the possibility that in very few cases we might not get a room in one of the medical delivery[HG1] rooms for a birth in case there is a non-urgent referral. If that is the case we need to transfer to another hospital. The costs for giving birth in a birth centre are similar to a hospital birth.
A disadvantage is that if non-urgent complications arise, we may not be able to transfer to one of the medical delivery rooms in OLVG-West. If that is the case we need to transfer to another hospital.
The costs for giving birth in a birth centre are similar to a hospital birth.
A hospital birth with a medical indication
Sometimes we will need to advise you to go to the hospital for extra checks during your pregnancy or during labour. We will then hand you over to our team of colleagues at the hospital. Here, your delivery will be monitored in a different way; in the Netherlands this is called a medical delivery. You will normally be assisted by a hospital midwife or a consultant. Because you no longer have the option of a home birth, you don’t need to pay extra for a medical delivery.