It’s been 9 weeks since I gave birth and overall I had a great experience- I am talking about the process and not labor. When I found out I was pregnant I was nervous. I am living in the Netherlands where I knew nothing about how things work here. I quickly tried to find articles and had to speak to family, friends and colleagues to help me navigate. I call this part one cause this is all you need to know before giving birth in the Netherlands.
My biggest shock- You go to a midwife and not a Gynecologist.
Unless it is a medical emergency a midwife is the one who follows you on your journey and not a gynecologist. All I knew a was gynecologist, however in the Netherlands childbearing is considered natural and not necessarily a medical procedure. Matter of fact many women give birth at home in the Netherlands. You only see a gynecologist if it is a high risk pregnancy and medically necessary.
Opinion: I enjoyed the midwives. this is my first pregnancy so I have nothing to compare it to, but my midwives were super helpful. I do not feel like I missed out on anything and the Dutch mindset of pregnancy is natural and normal thing has really been one I have taken on.
Signed up for a Daycare Immediately
Daycare in big cities such as Amsterdam are in high demand. Daycares easily have a waiting list of a year in most big cities. Daycare is not the first thing you think of when you find out you are pregnant but here it needs to be. I started visiting daycare’s at 3-4 months and I was considered late. I simply googled daycare in my neighborhood and called to schedules a viewing. I viewed 3 schools and landed on one. Thankfully there was a new daycare opening up near me and we were able to secure placement.
Next signed up for the kraamzorg these are baby nurses that are literally at your house the day after you have given birth. They help you care for the baby, care for you and help around the house. Again depending on your city try to do this early. Just secure a spot but they don’t come visit till about the 32-38 weeks for an intake interview. I simply googled Kraamzorg and read the reviews. I went with the one which had an English version website- the little things.
Thankfully when I found out it I was pregnant it was December the time when you can change you policy in the Netherlands. I decided to change my policy to another company ( Menzis) which I was not so happy about. I found the website very difficult to navigate. But most important I upgraded my policy to include Pregnancy and dental policy. Shout out to my cousin Tisha who helped me with this one cause I had no idea. But you really want to ensure you have more maternity coverage in case anything goes wrong and it covers hospital stay, also the additional insurance gives you a maternity box that gives you supplies that help you with after birth such as pads, and disinfectants. Dental I am so thankful that I can give birth and not have to worry about how I will pay for it.
For the most part you can travel up the last day of 36 weeks and that’s exactly what I did. I won the 30 under 30 in the exhibition industry and went to London for the ceremony. I literally traveled on my last possible day to travel. If you plan to travel it is good to keep this in mind and book all final travel before then.
If you are anything like me you want to plan your baby-shower. I immediately knew the date and started planning. My friends were not having it and with every week I grew I eventually gave up and let them plan the day. I suggest giving it up to your loved ones, your head is filled as it is. You just want to enjoy the day. You can make suggestions on themes dates and venues but do not take that on.
Maternity Photo shoot:
So of course I wanted a bomb maternity photo shoot but I read from many blogs wait till later in your pregnancy when you have a more rounder stomach. I planned mine at 37 weeks and ended up cancelling. To be honest I was in no mood to dress up and smile, I felt big and just wanted to lay there. I would definitely recommend doing your shoot earlier- do not do your shoot later, get it done early.