Giving birth in Belgium V.S. in the Netherlands

There are definitely quite a number of differences between the Netherlands and Belgium. But what are the differences in terms of giving birth and the days after? I will share my personal experience specifically between Antwerp and Amersfoort.

Belgium is the country in the EU with the highest taxes. It is often criticised by their Dutch neighbours because of the bad quality of their roads… but I know where all the money is going… healthcare!!! 🙂

Both countries work with the “home doctor” system. Meaning you have a first stop being a general doctor, and only are assigned to a specialist if it is needed. It took me awhile to get used to this system. In Mexico, I was used to ask friends for recommendations of the best private doctors and being able to choose when you go and with who. In Mexico the health system is so broken that it made room for a private heath care sector, with private hospitals (where you are not admitted if you do not give your credit card first) where private doctors work, and it all get paid with private health insurance.

Here under you can follow my experience in both countries. First in Belgium and almost 2 years after that in the Netherlands.

 

In Belgium

 

In the Netherlands

 

 So you pee on the stick, it is positive, now what?

First Pregnancy

I went to the “home doctor”.

Dr: Who is your Gynecologist?

me: I dont have one yet.

Dr: OK.,In which hospital do you want to give birth?

me: mmm no idea, to be honest I have no clue. I am relatively new in Antwerp and luckily never put a foot in any hospital yet.

Dr: OK, maybe lets start by you telling me what type of delivery do you want to have?

me: (thinking) I duuno.

Dr: (probably thinking: poor thing!) Ehm, in Antwerp we have mainly 2 hospitals, one brings more attention to the babies, and one more attention to the mothers. You don’t need to decide now, check the websites and next time you come we discuss further.

I remember being very overwhelmed with choice. What did it mean more attention to the baby, or the mother… It all came don to one being less for epidural and more for breastfeeding than the other. To put it in short.

Since i had no idea what i had ahead of me, and I was already being a bit scared, i chose for me. So I chose the no questions asked epidural and no push for breastfeeding. And with that choice I chose for the doctor too.

I was treated by 2 great gynecologists. Since the very beginning. They have a practice together and so they ensure that either one of the other will be there for delivery.

Our First pregnancy lasted 13 weeks.

Second Pregnancy

Gyne: Come by at week 6 so we can already see how everything it looking.

I went there, heard the heart beat. It all looked ok. It was just a bean, a heart, beating. More than that we could not see. But it made me feel very good, confident.

 So you pee on the stick, it is positive, now what?

Third Pregnancy

I went to the “home doctor”.

me: I want to see a Gynecologist.

Dr: It is not necessarry, here we work with mid-wifes.

me: OK. (feeling a bit disappointed)

Since my first kid was a C-section, it was considered a risk to give birth at home. (Not that I even wanted that!) So luck was on my side. I had a Go-pass for hospital delivery!

Given that I had lost my first pregnancy ever. Before my oldest son, I was already very nervous, just as i was when i was pregnant my second time. This third was no exception.

 

 

 

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