In the Netherlands you can choose if you would like to have birth at home, the birth center, the clinic or at the hospital. Research has shown that all these places are safe. Your choice may be influenced by the way your pregnancy or the labour process is progressing.
Thinking about where you’d like to give birth
If you’ve had a healthy pregnancy then you can wait to choose where you’d like to give birth until the moment of labour. However it is wise to think about this beforehand. The choice for place of delivery depends on your own preference and situation. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable so that you can relax as best as you can. Relaxation is very important in easing the delivery process. Some women can do this better at home while others feel more at ease in the hospital. However it may be possible that we advise a hospital delivery due to medical reasons. Many hospitals frequently provide tours. This may help you get a feel for what it’s like and can help in making a decision.
However you can have thought long and hard about where you’d like to deliver, but at the critical moment things may always go differently. You may have to go to the hospital because of unforeseen medical reasons. This happens in nearly half of the first-time pregnancies. Or you may have wanted to go to the hospital, but feel equally secure about a home delivery.
• Approximately 1/5 Dutch women has a home delivery (source: Stichting Perinatale Registratie).
• Dutch women are more positive about their delivery if they are being supported by their own midwife (source: Kennispoort Verloskunde).
• 96% of women that deliver at home feel positively about this. Women who had to go to the hospital are least satisfied.
• 27% of women who delivered for the first time used an epidural to fight the pain; this figure is 17% for women who already have a child (source: Stichting Perinatale Registratie; tabel 4.4.1).
• Your delivery goes smooth when you feel relaxed.
• Home delivery is not less safe than hospital delivery.