Preparing for childbirth

Childbirth is not nothing. In fact, giving birth is very exciting. Especially if it is your first child. But of course you never know how it will go with a second or next child. When will it start? How will you react to the contractions? Every birth is different and every woman experiences it in her own way. What can you do:

– Read leafletsHow do you prepare?and books

– Take a pregnancy course

– Drawing up a delivery

– Visit information evening


How to deal with the pain?

Now that you're pregnant, you may be wondering a few things. For example, about pain during childbirth. How bad will it be? What if you can't stand it? Can you get something for the pain? Read the leaflet:How do you deal with pain?

In addition, our professional association, the KNOV, has had an information film made about labor pain. It is a film with clear animations. These clarify the pros and cons of the most common methods of coping with labor pain.Movie: How do you deal with pain?

A few facts about contractions and pain

During childbirth, your body produces painkillers (endorphins) on its own. The pain is caused by contractions and they come in waves. The contractions become more powerful and painful as labor progresses. It differs per woman where she has pain (abdomen, back or legs) and women also experience labor pain differently.

You can do this yourself before giving birth

If you have someone to support you during labor (besides the midwife), you will experience less pain. Think about who you want to have at your birth. By following a pregnancy course you can already practice breathing techniques and birthing positions.

Different birthing positions

Pain usually indicates that labor has begun. If the contractions start to hurt more, you can try different positions. Adopting different positions during labor has many benefits. For example, you have less pain and the delivery often lasts shorter than when you only give birth on your back. In the folder'Your birth: Which position suits you?'there are many pictures of birth positions

What can you get in the hospital for the pain?

For pain relief with medication you always have to go to the hospital. In the Netherlands, the epidural (epidural analgesia), injection with pethidine and the pump with remifentanil are most commonly used as pain relief. There are pros and cons to these three pain treatments. Nowadays, laughing gas is used in more places in the Netherlands during childbirth. Ask your midwife about this.

What can the midwife do for you?

Your midwife will prepare you as best as possible for your birth. You can ask her all your questions, concerns and wishes. During your pregnancy, your midwife will discuss your expectations about the delivery. The midwife will guide you safely through your delivery, ensure a good handover when you need more medical attention, and she will arrange pain relief if you want.

Hospital case

If you want to give birth in hospital, it is wise to have a suitcase ready so that everything is ready to go to the hospital when the delivery starts. If the intention is to give birth at home, it is also advisable to have a suitcase ready. It may happen that it turns out to be necessary to go to the hospital after all. It is advisable to have the suitcase ready before the 37th week of pregnancy at the latest. The briefcase should include:

  • Insurance papers, passport/ ID card;
  • Toiletries;
  • T-shirt or nightgown to give birth in;
  • Thick socks;
  • Underwear;
  • Slippers/slippers;
  • Clean clothes for after childbirth;
  • Clothes for the baby in different sizes, including rompers, sweaters, pants, hats, possibly socks and a jacket or cardigan;
  • Blanket for the return trip;
  • Phone with camera or camera with batteries;