Hi everyone, new member! Sorry, I'm posting this message again as I realised I was commenting on a year-old thread.
I'm having my first baby in the Netherlands (Noord Brabant) and my Dutch is passable at best. Having never had a baby before, let alone in a foreign country, I'm a bit lost, tbh. I'd be ever so grateful for some support from people who've gone through it themselves.
One specific question: I know the norm here seems to be no pain relief and I'd like to go down that route if possible, but I've heard amazing things about water births. Is that even an option here? I'm going to be birthing in a hospital, btw.
You'll be fine! I did it, and compared to friends' and family's experiences in the UK you'll be a lot better off here. Have got DS feeding on my lap at the moment but will be back tomorrow to post properly. Actually, DS was born in Noord Brabant too.....
I had my ds last year I felt the birth experience here much better than in the UK that could partly be due to the fact I had a very quick labour .
For me the difference was that the midwife really supported me as did the two nurses that were also there the whole time I was in labour. The midwife let me put my legs on her shoulders when I was pushing which really helped me, when I had my dd I was made to hold my own legs and as I had canulas in both arms ( which kept trying to come out) it made it hard to hold my legs up and push I was pushing for over an hour and a half compared to about 10 minutes with ds. Not sure if I have given TMI but I think the overall care was much better for me here than in the UK.
I did not have painkillers, by the time I got to the hospital it was too late, but I was told I could have them if I needed to
The midwife spoke to me in English she was lovely and was one of the midwifes I saw during pregnancy the nurses were great too. having the Kramzorger come to your house is fantastic too, just remember if you don't like the one you get you can ring and change them you don't have to put up with someone you don't like.
Back again, although this time DS is asleep on my lap making typing a challenge.....
Water births - no idea on that one!
Are you registered with the midwives yet? I was referred to mine by the doctor but if not you'll just find your local centre in the phone book. You can always call you insurance company too, who will point you in the right direction as well as telling you what level of care you 'officially' qualify for. They'll hold your hand every step of the way.
Um, what do you need to know? Nearly everyone speaks English, even those not confident to speak it will understand you, and if you speak Dutch communication will not be a problem. Medical care here is private so there is a much better level of service, more MW appts, more scans if needed, aftercare by the Kraamzorg. No-one will be trying to cut corners to save money.
The Kraamzorg is fantastic in Holland. You actually get someone who will take over domestic chores for you, for example he/she will even make tea and beschuit met muisjes for your visitors so you can take it really easy. Not like the health visitor who comes in for just half an hour or so just to weigh the baby.
However, I've heard that some consultatie bureaus (sort of health visitor practice, but you visit them instead of they coming to you; They take over after the kraamzorg has finished) can be a bit rigid with regards to breastfeeding, insisting on feeds every 4 hours or so rather than on demand. But I suppose that may depend per practice or even the person.
While the norm is no pain relief, they will give it to you if you need it.
I agree Baroness, it's easier to go along with the Consultatie Bureau and actually I have found them to be helpful and very supportive, though I have just told them what they want to hear on many occasions.
haha glad to see I'm not the only one who uses the "smile & nod" approach with the CB!
I've had both my sons here, just found my mw's by googling - they both spoke English to me. I was planning to have a homebirth but got PE and ended up in hospital with an emcs.
The second birth I wasn't "allowed" to have at home due to my problems the first time, my local hospital didn't have water birth facilities but did have epidurals! Their morphine is pretty good too...
I went for an elcs.
The care both times was extraordinary - I saw mostly the same nurses both time who really took care of me, e.g., holding my hand when the hormones & tears came in, wheeling me up at 2am to SCBU in my bed just because I wanted to see my baby, cleaning me down below when I couldn't move, feeding my husband, I could go on.
Kraamzorg - wow! On the first day I wanted them to fuck off... by day 7 I was begging them to stay!
Had ds here last year. No idea about water birth. We went to birthing centre in our local hospital and ended up not using any pain relief. Perhaps if we'd wanted a water birth it would have been an option for a home birth.
We were directed to our midwives by our GP. They should be able to tell you what the options in your area are.
I always spoke Dutch with my MWs but they understood English. My kraamzorg didn't speak English though.
Thanks all! I've decided I want a water birth so badly I'm going for a home birth now. The midwives at the practise I'm registered with are happy with this and have done it before, and they make a point of rotating appointments so you get to meet all three of them so whichever one delivers the baby, you'll have met her before. I live 10 mins tops from the hospital and I'm low risk so I'm gonna go for it. All three of the midwives speak good English too, and we've requested an English-speaking kraamzorg helper so language shouldn't be a problem anywhere (unless I get rushed to hospital for whatever reason, but my OH is Dutch so he can handle the communication!)
My new question is, does anyone know of any pregnancy exercise/yoga classes in English? Or do you think I'd be able to follow one in Dutch? My Dutch isn't that bad...