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Croatian, Za vise informacija na hrvatskom jeziku, molimo kontaktirajte Tamaru,

German, Wenn Du weitere Informationen auf Deutsch brauchst, wende Dich bitte an Dorothea,

Danish, For mere information paa Dansk kan De kontakte Heidi.



Czech, Pro více informací v ceském jazyce kontaktujte prosím


French, Pour plus d'informations en français, vous pouvez contacter Claire Caron sur

Polish, Po dodatkowe informacje w jezyku polskim kontakt or

Spanish, Si quieres más información en castellano, no dudes en ponerte en contacto conmigo, Laura

Indian, Please contact Rippy at if you'd like help in Hindi or Punjabi.

Diana Jekina,


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  1. Intro
  2. Midwife practices in Leiden
  3. Homebirth or Hospital birth?
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Homebirth
  6. Hospital birth
    Preparing for a hospital birth
    Having a hospital birth
  7. The 'Kraamperiode'
picture hospital birth


Hospital birth

Preparing for a hospital birth

If you decide to (or are required to) have a hospital birth ( poliklinische bevalling ), you should choose your hospital and then ring them to arrange a time to go and look round the delivery room. It is a good idea to call the hospital on the weekend when they are not as busy. Check out if the hospital has night and day entrances.

The midwives recommend that you prepare a hospital bag by around 36 weeks, with the following:

For you:

  • A camera plus extra batteries
  • Your pregnancy card
  • Your insurance card
  • Sometimes need to register at the hospital before hand
  • Two sets of nightwear - best to wear old tee shirts.
  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • Lots of underwear (take cheap pants or disposable pants) and don't forget a feeding bra)
  • Clothes to go home (nice and loose and comfortable. you will NOT fit into your favourite jeans.)
  • Toilet articles (hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, make up if you want for photo opportunites)
  • Gymnic ball and/or TENS machine if required
  • List of important phone numbers
  • Change for parking machine

Change for a wheelchair when you arrive (so you don't arrive at the delivery room on all fours, like Noeleen.!)

For your baby:

  • 2 vests
  • 2 tops
  • A set of outerwear
  • Socks
  • 2 hats, one for after the birth and a clean one for going home
  • A jacket or cape
  • A blanket
  • Baby car seat

It's also sensible to have a list of numbers to hand in the last weeks with the midwife, taxi firm, friends or relatives who are prepared to help etc. I had one on each floor of our house!

Having a hospital birth

Going to hospital

When you deliver in hospital, what you are essentially doing is 'hiring' a room in the hospital. Your midwife will then assist your birth with the help of a nurse. You go to the hospital at a particular moment during your labour - the midwife will first come to your house a couple of times to see how you are progressing. When she judges it is the right time to leave, she will ring the hospital. They will let her know if there is a space at that moment, and will register you - if there isn't a place, you will need to go to another hospital. You are expected to provide your own transport to the hospital: if you don't have a car you can ring a taxi. Hopefully you will have visited the hospital, and will therefore know the way to the maternity ward - don't forget change for the wheelchair you need to hire (like a shopping trolley, very dignified)at the entrance.

During a hospital birth the midwife uses exactly the same equipment etc as she would for a homebirth (no pain relief as standard!), and if there are no complications you will be sent home as soon as possible. This may even be within a couple of hours. If complications occur during or after the birth an obstetrician/gynaecologist will be consulted. Be aware that there mayl not be a specialist in the hospital 24 hours a day, but most of them live nearby.

If you definitely want an epidural you need to say this in advance, but it may well be possible - but in most hospitals an anaesthetist is only available during office hours, and out of these hours such things are only available in certain hospitals. Recently the government issued a directive that all hospitals had to provide 24 hour epidural cover. In some areas there are other types of pain relief available - for instance a portable morphine drip. For more information on pain relief during birth in the Netherlands for people who don't want to have a natural birth go to

You will give birth in the delivery room, and then usually be moved to a ward afterwards with your baby in a plastic cot, where you will be helped to start breastfeeding etc by a nurse.



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