In the Netherlands, when you’ve been through a healthy, normal pregnancy and labour is progressing normally, you may choose between a home or a polyclinic birth (in a hospital or birth centre). During your labour we can either accompany you at home, at St. Francis Gasthuis, or at Sophia Birth Centre. For a home birth your property needs to fulfil a number of conditions. We can discuss the suitability of your home for a home birth beforehand so please let us know of your plans.
It is good to know that the first hours of cervix dilation can be spent at home. Depending on the speed of the labour the midwife will let you know when it is time to go to hospital. You should have your own arrangements for transport to either hospital or birth centre. If you do not have a car you can call a taxi. Should you prefer to go to a polyclinic please be aware of your contribution towards the costs. The amount of your contribution will depend on your insurance package. Should you be sent to hospital during labour because of a medical condition no personal charges will be made.
A familiar environment can be a relaxing environment. This can decrease dilation time. If you choose to give birth at home we will arrive when you are beginning to dilate to keep an eye on things and support you as you cope with the contractions. By the end of this phase we will not leave but will set things up ready for your labour. We call the maternity nurse who will assist with the labour. There are some legal requirements regarding home births. You should not be in a room higher than the first floor and you home must be easily accessible by the ambulance service. You must have a maternity package at hand, a layette, and your bed must be raised (70-80 cm). If these requirements are not met, you should give birth in a hospital! Ultimately, our goal is to support you during your labour as well as make sure it occurs in a safe environment.
birthing centre “Sophia”
Sophia Birth Centre is a collaboration between Maternity Care Rotterdam & surrounding areas, Erasmus MC, West Rotterdam Midwives and our colleagues at East Rotterdam Midwives. We are here to support you during your labour within the Sophia Birth Centre. We have a team of maternity nurses as well as a quiet, friendly atmosphere. You can go through your labour in the safety of a hospital environment with the atmosphere of home. Should you need assistance from a gynaecologist either during or after labour you are already situated in the hospital and need only cross the corridor into the delivery room. Please understand that should Erasmus MC be busy you may be sent to another hospital when you are not considered to be in an emergency situation. If you give birth in hospital, you may still spend your postnatal period at Sophia Birth Centre. More information about the Birth Centre can be found on: www.birthcentresophia.nl
from polyclinic to hospital
We also assist during polyclinic labours at the St. Francis Gasthuis where you ‘rent’ a delivery room. During the first phase of labour we check on the progression of cervix dilation. We assist you during your labour in St. Francis Gasthuis alongside a maternity nurse. If need be we can consult with the clinical midwife or doctor. If your care is to be passed on to them you can stay in the same room. It is not necessary to register in advance.
medically assisted labour
If you experience any medical problems during your pregnancy or labour, we will arrange you an appointment with the gynaecologist, and the rest of your care, if considered necessary, will be taken over by the hospital. You will give birth in the hospital under the guidance of a doctor or clinical midwife. If the labour goes well, you can usually return home very quickly.