If you have a normal pregnancy you may choose where you want to give birth. Dilatation progresses best when you feel relaxed. You decide where that might be, whether at home or in hospital. It’s good to think about this beforehand, but we only need your definitive answer once your labour has started. It’s a good idea to remain open to both options as labour and delivery don’t always go as planned. Delivering at home and in hospital are both safe. In the event that a medical indication arises, the gynaecologist will take over your care and you will deliver in hospital.
At home you’re in your own familiar environment, where you decide the setting and conditions of your labour. This can help you to relax. Partners also often appreciate being home/seeing their partner be able to do her own thing. Recent research shows that home births and hospital births are equally safe. With its unique maternity care system, the Netherlands is one of the few Western countries where you can have a home birth. The necessary medical care is available 24/7 and good regional medical services means that hospitals can be reached quickly. The fact that we, from the very beginning of your pregnancy, are continuously determining any medical risks and providing necessary care means that with a healthy pregnancy it is safe to deliver under our care at the location you choose. We bring the same medical instruments, oxygen and medication to a home birth as in a hospital. The maternity care assistant is also there to help us at a home birth.
Outpatient hospital birth
If you would like an outpatient hospital birth (poliklinisch), we are there to guide you assisted by a nurse or maternity care assistant from the hospital. You may choose to deliver in hospital because you feel more comfortable there or there may be reasons why a home birth is less appropriate. An advantage to a hospital birth is that in the event you need medical assistance during the delivery, you don’t then need to be transported to the hospital.
A hospital birth also starts at home. We will discuss with you when it’s the best time to go to hospital, usually when your contractions are advanced and you’re dilated to about 5cm. We will first call your preferred hospital to confirm that there is space available and then go there together. A hospital may sometimes be full, in which case we will go to a different hospital. Hospitals in the region hold information sessions which you can attend during your pregnancy.
An outpatient hospital birth incurs a personal contribution, the amount of which varies per health insurance provider. In our region you can choose to deliver at Amstelland Hospital in Amstelveen or the VU university medical centre in Amsterdam.