- Verloskundige (Midwife). Once you had a positive result on your pregnancy testpack, call the nearest midwife. As you might be familiar with Netherland’s healthcare, you cannot simply choose where you want to go. You must find the nearest one possible as it would benefit yourself and the midwife and lots of other people including your dear husband. How to find one? Go to this website of KNOV (Koninklijke Nederlandse Organisatie van Verloskundigen or Royal Midwives Organization) and fill in your postcode or name of city and click “Zoek” the search results are ordered in distance. Make an appointment with them and do not fret as you cannot speak dutch, explain your personal details in english and make sure you have your BSN number and Insurance card ready. Check also for opening hours and phone numbers.
- Echo (USG). Echo is what I usually known as USG or Ultrasound.This is what you will have to arrange with the midwife. This time around I have the echo and midwife practice in the same clinic so it is not a difficult arrangement. With my first pregnancy, I have to go to a different location to get an echo. I also only received a regular two echo session, 12 and 20 weeks. Here in the Netherlands the standard is only two echos but we can get more but we have to arrange it ourselves with the midwife and our insurance. However, my current midwife (we change midwife because we moved into a new place) has a standard of 3 echos: 12, 20, and 32 weeks and it is covered by the insurance.
- Kraamzorg (Maternity Care). This is what I think one of the distinct feature of Netherlands healthcare, the maternity care with standard hours of 24 hours and 4 hour each day. Kraamzorg is basically a health service provided to the mother and the newborn within 6 days to 1 week, and can be extended depends on conditions. It consists of one or two nurses who come to the house daily and check the health condition of the mother (blood pressure, stitches, etc.) and also the baby (temperature, weight, height, etc) also bath and feeding. If you are living far away from your mother or unsure of your references in how to handle a baby, the kraamzorg is the best direct reference. They also communicate with your midwife and health centres. Besides health related, they will also help mothers to do household stuff such as grocery shopping and cleaning the house. This service is also covered by the insurance.
- Verzekering (Insurance). Because so many thing is coverable by insurance, it is also best to notify your insurance as soon as the first appointment with the midwife is done. Some insurances provide online request or notification form in which you will tell them what is your due date and if you already have a midwife and kraamzorg in mind. The insurance will also provide you with a kraampakket (Maternity Package) but this depends on the type of insurance you have. Basic package usually would not cover a free kraampakket, but they will cover for the others such as midwife and kraamzorg.
- Babydoos (Newborn Package). This is not a necessary step but if you are first time mother or it has been a very long while after your last pregnancy and birth, you might want to do this step. What is it exactly? Well, basically this is just another marketing campaign in a softest manner. Several drugstores and baby clothes shop provided expectant mothers with special boxes containing free samples (milk, creams, oils, etc.) and several clothing items. With that you could have at least something in mind of what to buy, what to prepare and where to buy it, also how to use it. How to get it? You have to register yourself into the list and wait for until around 8 weeks before due date to get a notification, can be in form of email or direct mail, that you can pick up the packages. I myself found these packages highly referential and useful. Of course, beware of the marketing campaign that trailed after such as call or mailing lists. But these you can easily say no to or unsubscribe.
- Zwangerschapscursus (Maternity Course). What is this exactly? Some hospitals or birth centers provide the maternity course. It is basically to prepare new mothers in the event of the birth and afterwards. How to breathe and handle all the pain during pregnancy and labour, and also how to handle little babies. This is optional and it is also coverable by health insurance.
- Zwangerschapsgym / Zwangerschapsyoga. I took the yoga class during my first pregnancy. It helped me to control my breathing during contractions before labour. It also helped me maintain my posture during pregnancy. Because once your belly swelled and getting bigger each week, you will find that you cannot sit or stand the way you want anymore. Some positions will make you feel pain or tired. I am planning to take the gym class, so I can tell the difference. Because in gym class there will be more physical and strength activity than yoga class.
- Geboorteplan (Birth Plan). By default, the birth process in The Netherlands is natural home birth. Of course, by the time you enter 20-30 week, the midwife will ask how would you like the birthing process be. C-section will also be determined by the midwife and gynecologist. Whether you would require an epidural or not. And also where would you like to give birth, at home, hospital, or birth houses.
- Baby Uitzetlijst (To Buy List). If you browse online you would find many stores offer the baby set list. Especially handy for first time parents or it has been a while since your last baby was born. One of the set list is from hema, it has many items on it but choose the ones you actually needs.
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