One of the most important choices to make when it comes to childbirth is whether to give birth at home or in the hospital. It is not always easy to make this choice. In the Netherlands you can choose whether you want to give birth at home, in a birth centre, or in a hospital (outpatient). Research has proven that all these places are safe.
If you have had a healthy pregnancy, you don’t have to decide where you want to give birth until the day of the delivery, and you can, for instance, give birth at home. The most important thing is that you feel at ease and that you can relax as much as possible. Relaxation is important to make sure your delivery goes smoothly. Some women can do this best at home while others feel more comfortable in the hospital.
It is also possible that you will give birth in the hospital for medical reasons. In many hospitals there are regular tours or information evenings. This way you can get a taste of the atmosphere. Perhaps this will help you to make a choice. You may have thought about where you want to give birth in advance, but at the moment suprême things can turn out differently. Sometimes you will have to go to the hospital for medical reasons. During a first delivery this happens to almost half of the women giving birth. It is also possible that you actually wanted to go to the hospital but find it more comfortable at home. If you want to give birth in the hospital, think about a second or even third choice hospital in case your preferred hospital does not have a room available at the time of delivery.
Advantages of giving birth at home:
- You are largely in control
- Greater chance of a spontaneous birth and thus less chance of medical interventions, such as hormones to induce contractions or a vacuum pump
- The baby and yourself do not come into contact with hospital bacteria
- You do not have to go out with contractions and after delivery you do not have to move: we come to you. You can shower in your own bathroom and then lie in your own clean bed.
- The experiences of women who give birth at home are better. 96% of the women who give birth at home are satisfied with their experience.
- The maternity nurse who also attended the birth will stay with you for the first few hours after giving birth to support you.
- Home birth is fully reimbursed by the basic package of all insurers.
Disadvantages of giving birth at home:
- If complications arise, you will still have to go to the hospital. Usually, transfer to the hospital is not an emergency. Just like an outpatient delivery, you can go to the hospital with your own car. If there is an emergency, or you can no longer travel by your own car, then you go by ambulance. Real urgency occurs in less than 5% of deliveries.
- If you want medical pain relief like an epidural or a pump with remifentanil, you will have to go to the hospital.
Advantages of giving birth on an outpatient basis:
- You know in advance that you will be going to the hospital so you can prepare for it
- Medical analgesia can be arranged
- You do not have to travel to the hospital if complications do arise
- After delivery you usually go home quickly.
Disadvantages of giving birth on an outpatient basis:
- You have more chance of medical interventions than with a home birth
- The atmosphere in the hospital is usually not homely
- You have to pay an outpatient contribution of around 350 euros. Check this with your insurance company.
- If you want medical pain relief, the midwife or doctor at the hospital will take over.
- In most cases, you will go home quickly after the birth. If this is in the evening or at night, you will only receive maternity care the next day.