Pregnant and living in the Netherlands

Moving overseas and settling in a different country is a huge step. Let alone that you are expecting a baby! Everything is new and different than to what you are used to in your home country. In the Netherlands we have a unique system when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks after.

The health care system is divided into two categories: low risk pregnancies and med/high risk pregnancies.

The midwives guide the pregnancy if you are healthy and there are no abnormalities (low risk pregnancy). Her job is to signal abnormalities and in such a case refer you to a gynecologist. Much like the Dutch General Practitioner (Huisarts) system. The Gynecologist and medical team in the hospital are specialized to treat medium and high-risk pregnancies. Both the midwives and the medical team have a strong collaboration.

This system allows parents to choose where they want to give birth. If the pregnancy is low risk, it is possible to give birth in the hospital (with your own midwife) or at home. Medium and high-risk deliveries are always in the hospital.

Giving birth in the Netherlands is sometimes associated with the fear that pain treatment is not available during birth. Thankfully that is not true. When pain treatment is necessary there are many options available. For example, Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) or an epidural. During pregnancy your midwife will discuss all the options. It is always available during labor if you need it.

There are many different clinics because the midwife needs to be able to reach your house within 20 minutes in case of an emergency. That is why it is easiest to search a midwife that has a clinic close to your house.

So what do you do when you are pregnant and in need of a midwife or gynecologist? You don’t need any referral from your GP (huisarts). Once your pregnancy test is positive you can call a clinic and register. Our lovely assistants will explain to you everything you need to know until your first appointment which is usually around the 9th week of the pregnancy. She will also give you all the information you need to schedule a first ultrasound.

Verloskundigenpraktijk Liva is a clinic that has lots of experience working with the expat community. We know what is like to live in a different country therefor always take as much time as needed to answer all your questions and make you feel comfortable with the health care system. Just like Big Ben daycare does for al our babies and toddlers in daycare!

Liva is a midwifery clinic in the area of Voorschoten/Wassenaar/Rijnsburg/Leiden and Zoeterwoude. They offer prenatal, natal and postnatal care as well as ultrasounds. Their care also includes preconception consults and contraception consult. At Liva your own strength is their starting point, which they like to supplement with their professionalism, reliability and passion for obstetrics, so that together – as a team – they can ensure a safe start for new life.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via (even if you are not pregnant yet!)

Fun fact: all Liva midwives speak English and two of our midwives have lived overseas.

Hope to meet you soon!

Liva Verloskundigenpraktijk

Liva is a midwifery clinic in the area of Voorschoten/Wassenaar/Rijnsburg/Leiden and Zoeterwoude.

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