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Whether you are planning to have a baby in the Netherlands or just have friends and family here who will, having babies in the Netherlands comes with its own customs and traditions. Below is a list of the most useful things to know about having babies in the Netherlands:
Thuisbevalling or a home birth is something unique to the Netherlands (compared to most western countries). Many couples choose to have their babies at home in a safe and known environment. While this may sound very bizarre to some of us, the practice is very natural and safe. Many friends and acquaintances who have had babies have shared with me that giving birth in the Netherlands, whether at home or in a hospital, is focused on the natural experience. This is probably why giving birth in the most familiar place would seem natural.
When you are ready to deliver, the verloskundige or the midwife will be the one to help you during birth. These people are highly trained and have hundreds of babies of experience in birth giving. If there is a complication, a doctor will, of course, step in.
Once mommy and baby are ready to go home (or are already home after a home birth), you will get a visit from a kraamverzorgster who will help you learn how to take care of the baby. This person will help the parents with feedings and bathing and anything else the mom and baby might need help with. The following video explains in detail what the kraamzorg entails.
Having a baby is a wonderful moment and, of course, you want to share the joy with everyone. It is common to see houses decorated with ooievaren or storks, flags and other baby-related decorations.
So mom and baby are at home and ready to see visitors. It is important to check the geboortekaartje to see which days and at what time you can visit. When visiting, you will be offered a beschuit met muisjes either in pink (for a girl) or blue (for a boy). I have seen more modern options like cupcakes or cookies, but the beschuit is certainly the traditional treat. After the visit, the parents might extend a gift of suikerbonen which are just colorful candies.
If a friend or colleague had a baby and you are looking for a present, a luiertaart or a diaper cake is the way to go! This is a very creative way to give the new parents a good number of diapers (which all parents will appreciate) with some socks, rompers, and a speen or a pacifier.
What is unique about having babies in your country?
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