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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Nieuwegein, Netherlands

Submitted by Moonbeam

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Nieuwegein

How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?

6months ago

Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...

I had wonderful prenatal care at the local hospital Antonious, which I was not surprised to find out is the best natal unit in Holland. I was seen regularily and they took amazing care of me. I had two misscarriages before this pregnancy so was very nervous in the first 12 weeks. Whenever I thought something was wrong I would call the natal unit and speak to a midwife for reasurrance. They even let me come in for extra scans when I was very scared I had lost the baby again. I cannot fault the care and medical services I received through my whole pregnancy. I went into labour 11days early, I had excellent care at the hospital but due to a very fast labour and my son being breech I finally ended up having a c-section. I had made a birth plan and discussed it with my midwifes and I had requested an epi which I could have had, so there was not problem with that, however my labour just went to fast and was complicated by him being breech so there as no time for the epi in the end. The after care is amazing. I had a private room and my husband could stay the night with us. The nurses came to check on us regularily and gave great advice. When I went home, I had a wonderful Kramzorg (which is basically a nurse specializing in mums/babies)who took care of me, my son, gave breast feeding support, fed me, cared for my c-section wound, weighed my baby everyday, recorded his growth, taught my husband to bath our son and take his tempreture etc and even did the housework. It was unbelievably wonderful - it made my transistion into motherhood so much easier. I never had any feelings of fear, or worry in that first week which meant when she left I felt confident I could do it on my own. When I hear of my cousins experiences in the UK I feel so lucky I had my baby here in the Netherlands. It is such a shame this service is not available to women in the UK.

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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?

I didn't really choose one. The local hospital is Antonious and has an amazing natal unit. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I began seeing a midwife at the hospital. It was not always the same one but they were all amazing and supportive and all spoke excellent English. I had a choice to have my baby at home or the hospital, I choose the hospital. During my labour I had a great midwife but then as things got complicated I was immediatley put into the care of a gynacologist. My care was excellent from all the medical professionals.

If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?

Nothing I can think of.

If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?

Make sure you write a birth plan and discuss it with your midwife at about wk35. They don't normally do that here in the Netherlands but my midwife thought it was a great idea and was very happy that I did it. She then put the info in my records so that everyone taking care of me knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want before I was in too much pain to express my feelings. If anyone would like some advice about creating your own birth plan please feel free to email me and I will send you a copy of mine so you can use it as a reference - giving you ideas of what to think about and how you would like things to go.

Lastly, I would just say that make sure you pack your hospital bag early at least 2weeks before you are due. I am so glad I did.

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