Shortly after birth
The first hour, your baby lies next to you and can drink from your breasts. After an hour, your baby is checked and weighed.
- The midwife checks the baby’s respiration, skin colour, muscle tension, heartbeat and reaction to stimuli. She also administers vitamin K to the baby.
- The baby is dressed or wrapped in a blanket.
- You or your partner can then hold the baby again. After a caesarean section (surgical delivery) the baby stays with your partner.
- You have something to eat and drink. If the checks are all right, you can have a shower. If you have delivered in hospital and there are no medical reasons, you can go home a few hours after delivery.
If you have had a caesarean section, you remain in hospital for three days, where they will care for you and your baby. In many hospitals, your partner can also stay there at night.
1. The following weeks
If you are at home, the maternity assistant visits your home every day during the first week. She helps you care for the baby and checks the mother’s health. The midwife visits every other day to see how you are doing.
- For up to 5 days after birth, your baby may lose weight. This is normal.
- In the first week the baby's hearing is tested and the baby is tested for rare metabolic diseases. The paediatric nurse carries out the hearing test and takes some blood.
Care for the mother
- After 8-10 days the maternity assistant and midwife will no longer visit your home.
- During the first 6 weeks, the midwife is responsible for the mother. During these 6 weeks, the midwife supports you.
- About 6 weeks after delivery you see your midwife or gynaecologist for a final check-up.
- After the first 6 weeks your general practitioner takes over the care. Contact your general practitioner if you have questions or need help.
Care for the
The care for you baby is handed over to the municipal health centre. The paediatric nurse visits you at home to introduce herself when the child is around 2 weeks old.
- When your child is around 1 month old you visit the child health centre yourselves for the first time.
- After about 8 weeks, the baby will get its first vaccinations.
More health professionals
More information or help needed?
The first days after delivery you receive support at home from the maternity assistant. She helps you care for your newborn child. Maternity assistance is reimbursed by the standard package of health insurance (basisverzekering).
As soon as you know you are pregnant, you make an appointment with a midwife in your area. A midwife supports and advises you during your pregnancy, delivery and the period immediately after delivery.
If you are pregnant and have been given a referral, you go to a gynaecologist. The midwife or general practitioner gives you a referral.
You can talk to a general practitioner about every intimate topic. If necessary, a general practitioner can refer you to a specialised health professional. Refugees who have been granted (temporary) asylum choose a general practitioner in their municipality. Asylum seekers in an asylum seekers’ centre can consult a general practitioner at the centre.