The birth: where do you want to give birth?

Labor or birth is, unsurprisingly, called the highlight of pregnancy. You have been looking forward to this moment for 9 months now. There are various options regarding your birth, such as a home birth or a hospital birth. Which option you choose is a completely personal choice.

The home birth

Some women prefer a home birth. Giving birth to your child in your own familiar place so that the child is immediately in the homely atmosphere. No hassle with getting to the hospital on time and all kinds of tubes around you.

When are you not allowed to have a home birth?

No matter how much you want it, in some cases you are not allowed to give birth at home and you have to have a hospital birth. This is the case, among others, in the following situations:

  • In case of complications from previous deliveries
  • When the baby is in the breech position
  • When your pelvis is too narrow for the baby’s head
  • multiple pregnancy
  • When the baby is born prematurely
  • When you are overdue


Preparations for the home birth

Because your house is (probably) not equipped as a birthing room , you will have to make a number of preparations for a home birth. Consider arranging the space where you want to give birth as conveniently as possible. Ensure there is sufficient space around the bed and sufficient walking space.
The midwife often likes to have a table nearby on which she can place her instruments and other supplies. A side table is very suitable for this. A flashlight can be useful in case of an unexpected power outage. Make sure you have enough towels and washcloths. It is also useful to stock up on food and drinks a few days before the birth, which is very pleasant for both you and your partner.

The birth begins

When you notice that you are in labor, it is important to inform the midwife so that she can come to you. You should do this as soon as the contractions start every 15 minutes or so and last for a minute. During the first birth, the midwife may not come immediately because the first birth is generally slower.
Check whether all supplies are ready, prepare a clean shirt for yourself and clothes for the baby and prepare the crib for the baby.
When the midwife has arrived she will want to display her equipment . This includes a blood pressure monitor, a stethoscope, an oxygen cylinder, urine strips, needles and anesthetic, scissors, suture material, resuscitation equipment and an infusion set. If you want medication for pain, you must request a prescription in advance.

Still to the hospital

In some cases it is necessary to go to the hospital, despite the intended home birth. With the help of an experienced midwife, a home birth is just as safe for you and the baby as a hospital birth. However, complications can arise that require you to go to the hospital. This may be a big disappointment for you, but it is in the best interest of you and the baby.

The hospital birth

You may also prefer a hospital birth. This can give you a greater sense of security or be the best solution for practical reasons .

What are you taking with you?

Just like with a home birth, it is useful to prepare in advance for the birth. The items you need to take with you can be divided into two groups: for yourself and for the baby.
For yourself

  • Two maternity bras
  • Nursing pads for the bra
  • A dressing gown
  • Underwear
  • Extra thick sanitary towels or special maternity towels (usually also available in the hospital)
  • Toiletry bag

For the baby

  • Diapers (usually also available in the hospital)
  • Baby clothes
  • A diaper suit
  • A maxi cosi to transport the baby home
  • A hat for the trip home


When are you going to the hospital?

In the first phase of labor, your body releases a mucus plug that comes out through the vagina. This is called ‘drawing’ . Then your waters break due to the pressure caused by the baby’s head or the contractions. This causes the amniotic fluid to come out little by little or suddenly. Finally, you will have regularly recurring contractions . These are severe cramps that return regularly and become increasingly severe.
You should call the hospital if you have contractions every 15 minutes for an hour that last about 1 minute and do not stop when you walk around. The predictive contractions transition more slowly into dilation contractions . You still have enough time to get to the hospital. This phase lasts about 8 hours, especially with the first child.

Transport to the hospital

A few weeks before you have to go to the hospital for the birth, study the route planning in detail and map out alternative routes from places you regularly visit so that you can also reach the hospital from these places if necessary.

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