Where to give birth

Usually labour starts between week 37 and 42 of the pregnancy.  Within this period, assuming your pregnancy has not encountered any problems, you have the choice between giving birth in hospital or at home. Our Utrecht | Oost midwife will provide support and guidance at either location.  It is important that your chosen location is where you and your partner feel most comfortable; this will help you in having a trouble free birth. You can choose your preferred location once labour has started but we recommend you try to plan ahead.

Give birth at home


During a home birth you are in your own trusted and comfortable environment where you are usually more relaxed and this can help with a speedy birth. Please call us when labour begins and we will visit you first (maybe several times) until labour has progressed to a point where the baby is due in a few hours and we will stay with you until after the birth. If neccesary we will stay from the first visit. During a home birth, the midwife will be assisted by one of our maternity nurses. During the final phase of dilation we call the maternity nurse and get all equipment ready. It is important you arrange all supplies yourself, needed during the birth (see home birth supplies check list) and essentials for the baby (clothes, hot water bottle etc.)  Once the birth is over and has gone well, we plan to leave after 2-3 hours after your baby is born. After the birth the maternity nurse will help you to freshen up and care for your newborn. Additionally she will tidy all equipment so that you and your partner can recuperate from the birth.  The maternity nurse will also assist you with feeding the baby and general care so that you are well prepared to enter your first night as a new family. Should complications arise during the birth, we will refer you to the care of a gynaecologist, preferably at the hospital.  The majority of referrals occur quickly and without issues, so we will usually travel to the hospital by our own transport. Home births in the Utrecht region are safe, partly because hospitals are in close range and transport by ambulance can be arranged quickly if problems arise.

Give birth at the hospital


Having a polyclinic birth at the hospital can be seen as a relocated home birth. The midwives at Utrecht | Oost will guide you through the birth at the hospital.

You can ring us at the same point as with a home birth.  When labour is progressing well and you are ready, we will travel to the hospital at the same time as you. This means that the midwife will visit you at least once before you are ready for the hospital birth. So you will experience the initial contractions at home while you are still mobile enough to travel to the hospital by your own transport. At the hospital one of our midwives will look after you, accompanied by a hospital maternity nurse.

Unless there were problems during the birth, you will usually be allowed to go home with your baby after 2 to 3 hours. Depending on the time of day/night, the midwife will visit you at home the same day or the following morning.

You may choose yourself which local hospital you want to give birth at. Midwifery Practice Utrecht | Oost works together with three hospitals in the Utrecht region. Unfortunately there is the chance that your preferred hospital will not be available. In this case we would work with your secondary choice.

The Geboortehuis Utrecht (GHU) was founded in 2012: you can have a polyclinic birth at the Diakonessenhuis. At the GHU you are welcome during the early stages of labour and can be escorted home after the birth by a maternity nurse. She will also provide guidance when you first arrive home with your baby.

Please note: A polyclinic birth will incur a cost. Please speak to your health insurer about your excess amount.

Giving birth at the hospital with a medical indication


Should complications arise during your pregnancy or labour, we will consult with a gynaecologist from your preferred hospital. It may then be the case you will give birth at the hospital with a medical indication. In most cases the birth will be under the care of a gynaecologist but sometimes a compromise is possible.  In this case we shall guide you through the birth while having clear agreements on what may need to happen next.

Of course we will provide detailed information should this situation become likely.

First and secondary choice of hospital


If your choice is to give birth at the hospital or there is a medical indication for doing so, it is recommended to choose your preferred hospital during your pregnancy.

Decide on your first choice, which hospital is your preferred location? During labour it may be so that your first choice of hospital cannot accommodate you for the birth, so it’s a good idea to have a secondary choice in place.

  • Preferred hospital for giving birth
  • Secondary choice hospital: where you will give birth in case of first choice hospital not being available.

If you would you like to discuss options regarding your preferred hospital, please talk to us.

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