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Post-natal help: Kraamverzorgster

Hospital

Post-natal practices vary between hospitals. Breast feeding is encouraged and you are given a lot of assistance if required. However, some maternity departments give supplementary feeds the first few days until the breast feeding has become established. If you do not want this, you must make it very clear.

Home

Part of the care during and after birth is the provision for a Kraamverzorgster. These are women who have received two years training to provide a combined post-natal care and home help. They also assist the midwife at a home delivery. There is no legal requirement to have professional care at home after the birth of the baby, but it is normal to do so and thoroughly recommended. From the women who have experienced having a kraamverzorgster, all say it is well worth it.

There are two types of Kraamverzorging:

Intern Kraamverzorgster: Works in your home an average of eight hours per day. They are usually very flexible. You can plan, with the kraamverzorgster, what hours she is most needed at the time. She will help care for other children in the family, do routine household cleaning and laundering, grocery shopping, preparing meals as well as caring for mother and baby, and receiving visitors.

Wijkkraamverzorging: The nurse comes into the home once or twice a day to give essential care and check the health of mother and baby. This is acceptable if it is your first child, although it is ideal to have someone around to help and advise with breast-feeding etc.

Both types usually terminate around the eighth post-natal day or earlier if it suits the family better. As of January 1st this year, the rules and services offered from medical insurance providers changed. Check with your provider what your cover will include.

If you really don't want to head home with your wee one quite so soon, and the hospital aren't having it, you have one other option. Het Kraamzorghotel, roughly translated is a hotel which offers rest, privacy and professional care 24 hours a day for mother and baby. Whether your insurer will pay for this service, will depend on your insurance policy and the length of your stay in the country and length of stay at the facility.

For more information: Het Kraamzorghotel, Vliegveldweg 59-61, 3043NT, Rotterdam, Tel (010) 282 6270