Maternity care: what's there to know?

Maternity care: what's there to know?

All you need to know

Yes, you are expecting a little miracle! Your pregnancy is a very special period, perhaps the most special period of your life. But also, a period with a lot of arranging, which might make your head spin (and every now and then you might panic that you forgot something important). This includes arranging for maternity care. Have you reached the twelve-week mark of your pregnancy? Then it is time to cross maternity care off your to-do list. But what does maternity care exactly entail, and how do you arrange this? No worries, below you'll find everything you need to know about maternity care. Calm down and take a breath!

What does maternity care entail?

Maternity care means that new mothers receive support during their maternity bed (the first 8 to 10 days after giving birth) from a maternity nurse, who teaches both the mother and the partner how to take care of the baby. It can thus be seen as a kind of "help: how to take care of my baby" course, which takes place at home. A maternity nurse can also help the mother with breastfeeding, which can sometimes still be a challenge. In addition, the maternity nurse will check the baby daily for several things, such as weight, temperature, stool, and urination. After all, it's important to check if the baby can get used to his new living environment, since the womb was obviously very pleasant and cozy ;) When the maternity nurse gets the idea that something is not right, she will immediately call for help.

Besides the health of the baby, your recovery is also very important, as childbirth has a big impact on your body. Monitoring your recovery is therefore another task of the maternity nurse: she checks your temperature, determines how much blood you have lost, and checks your stitches. She also takes care of certain household tasks, such as doing the laundry and changing your bed. Are you the mother of several children? Then the maternity nurse can also offer support in taking care of your other children.

Fun fact: the Netherlands is the only country in the world that offers maternity care. So our little country is not doing so badly after all, because this help is very valuable, especially when you become a parent for the very first time!

How many hours do you get in maternity care?

Now that you know exactly what maternity care entails, you're probably wondering how many hours of maternity care you are entitled to. Legally speaking, you are entitled to a minimum of 24 hours of maternity care over 8 days. The maximum number of hours of maternity care is 80 hours. The standard is 49 hours of maternity care if you choose to breastfeed your baby, and 45 hours of maternity care if you choose to use artificial nutrition. The number of hours of maternity care will be determined during the intake interview with the maternity care provider, which will take place in the seventh or eighth month of your pregnancy. If one of the following circumstances applies to you, you may be entitled to more hours of maternity care:

  • Your postpartum recovery is not going well;
  • There have been complications during childbirth;
  • You have given birth to multiple births;
  • You are a single mother;
  • Breastfeeding is not going well.

The opposite, fewer hours of maternity care, is also possible. Did you spend a few days of your maternity period in the hospital? Then the number of hours of maternity care you receive at home is reduced. For every day you spend in the hospital after the birth, you lose 6 hours of maternity care. Of course, it can also be your own choice to reduce the number of hours of maternity care.

How do you arrange for maternity care?

Many things in life are difficult enough, but fortunately, this does not apply to arranging maternity care. In most cases, you can easily register for maternity care via the provider's website or by phone. It is important to do this in time: between the 12th and 16th week of your pregnancy. Be an early bird and save yourself the stress, because some providers have a so-called 'application stop'.

It's also good to know that you can choose your own maternity care provider. Golden tip: do you have your eye on several providers? Then check whether your health insurance company will reimburse you for maternity care from all these providers (apart from your own contribution).

What are the costs of maternity care?

Now I hear you thinking: all well and good, this maternity care, but what will it cost me? Maternity care is considered necessary care, which means it will be covered by your basic health insurance. However, you will have to pay a personal contribution of €4.70 per hour (when the maternity care takes place at home). Do you have supplementary health insurance? Then there is a good chance that you will also be reimbursed for this personal contribution.


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