Childbirth is not child’s play. In my home country, people usually go to the hospital to deliver their baby with the help of doctors, nurses and all kinds of equipment. But my perspective on giving birth has changed in the Netherlands.
illustration Henk van Ruitenbeek
My friend’s wife was expecting a baby at the end of last year. He delivered a message to my WhatsaApp group that his wife would give birth at their home in Wageningen. At first I was shocked. I always thought a delivery must take place in a hospital, because it’s a matter of life and death. But my friend told me that during a pregnancy in the Netherlands, a midwife or doctor assesses whether giving birth in the home is safe. Since his wife and the unborn baby were in excellent health, they decided to go through labour at home in their bedroom, with the help of a midwife.
I checked on the internet and the Netherlands has the highest percentage of home births in the Western world. Many Dutch doctors and midwifes believe it is best to deliver your baby in a familiar environment so the mother can be relaxed. Besides, there are special nurses who go to people’s homes and help mothers in the first few days after the baby is born.
Another nice thing about having a baby is that mothers-to-be receive many gifts in several Dutch stores. All in all, pregnancy and childbirth in the Netherlands sound like fun!
Atrasina Adlina, an MSc student of Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management, from Indonesia
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NL: Bevallen? Leuk!
Een geboorte is een serieuze, medische aangelegenheid in Indonesië, vertelt Atrasina Adlina. Er komen dokters, verpleegkundigen, doemscenario’s en een hoop apparatuur aan te pas. Ze was dan ook verbijsterd toen ze hoorde dat de vrouw van een Nederlandse vriend niet in een ziekenhuis, maar thuis zou bevallen. Dat was toch gevaarlijk? Nadat ze zich had verdiept in het Nederlandse systeem van geboortezorg – met zijn verloskundigen, kraamverzorgsters en thuisbevallingen – veranderde Atrasina van gedachten. ‘Ik krijg de indruk dat het in Nederland léuk is om zwanger te zijn en te bevallen!’