The procedures during pregnancy, child birth and immediately after is different from the Indian system. It is also more prepared for only parents to be able to take care instead of needing help from relatives (in-laws/parents etc). Of course if parents or in-laws can come over for help, nothing can match that, but it is not an absolute necessity.
Child-birth and abortion are covered in your basic health insurance even if you are already pregnant when you arrive in Netherlands.
- Month 1: If you think you are pregnant, buy a ‘pregnancy tester’ from a store (apotheek, etos)
- Month 1: If the tester confirms you are pregnant, visit your GP. Your GP will refer you as follows:
- If you never had a child before or if your previous child was ‘normal delivery’, he/she will refer you to a midwife organization (called verloskundige, specialized in pregnancy till childbirth) nearest to your house. The midwife is responsible until your child birth. In between if she feels there is a complication and a gynecologist attention is needed, she will refer you to a hospital.
- If your previous child birth was a C-section, you will be referred to a gynecologist at a hospital of your choice. When you are nearing 7th month, you also need to visit the midwife organization (verloskundige) nearest to your house. They will assist you when you get labour pain till after delivery.
- If you want to abort, he/she will refer you to a abortion center
- Month 1: Register with the midwife/gynecologist. They will conduct regular check-up (pretty similar to Indian process). However if you feel you need attention at anytime in-between, it is possible to contact your midwife/hospital immediately.
- 20th week: At the 20th week scanning, you can ask if the baby is a boy or a girl.
- When everything is normal, most Dutch people prefer the child birth a home!! However Indians here prefer hospital delivery. You need to discuss this with your GP/midwife upfront. Hospital delivery is not covered by insurance unless you have taken additional coverage for it.
- 5th month or a little after:
- if you are working, arrange with your employer for maternity leave (4 weeks before + 12 weeks after).
- you need to arrange for ‘help after the child-birth’. You arrange this with ‘kraamzorg’. You need to call a kraamzorg organization in your area and arrange for the help needed. Their basic function is to help the mother and baby after child-birth.They come with immense knowledge since they would have gone thru a 2 years course. For a week, they will bathe the baby, wash clothes, iron them, tidy up the house and even cook if needed. You need to pay partially for this service and the insurance pays the rest.
- The kraamzorg will give you a list of ‘things to buy’ that you need to have in your house at least 5 weeks before the delivery date. Make sure you have done the shopping on time.
- You need to decide the name of the child latest by 3 days after the child is born!
- When the pain starts, call the midwife. She will come to your house and will carry out the delivery procedure or suggest when you should go to the hospital for delivery.
- When the child is born:
- Father is entitled for 2 days paternity leave
- Immediately call the kraamzorg.
- If it is a normal delivery at the hospital, you will be discharged in a couple of hours after birth
- If you have your own car, a baby child seat is mandatory (even for drive from hospital to home)
- Call the ‘consultation bureau’. They take care of the immunization of the child, hearing test etc. You may also consult them for any child related concerns/questions.
- Within 3 days register your child birth (with name) at the town-hall
- Within 2 weeks you will get the BSN and the Birth Certificate (Uitreksel) of the child.
- Call your insurance company and add your child’s name
- Within 6 months you need to apply for the child passport at the Indian passport agency
- You can apply for Residence Permit of the child at the IND without a passport. After you get the passport, you can collect the RP
- Normally SVB is automatically informed for child-benefit. If you do not get a letter in 4 weeks, call them.
- As a parent, you can ask for reduced working hours with your employer. This is called ‘ouderschaap’.
Disclaimer: This is my best effort and personal opinion only. No responsibility will be taken for any inaccuracy.