Finally your due date is coming closer and closer! From 37 weeks until 42 weeks of pregnancy your labour and delivery will be guided by us.
Hospital or home birth
If the pregnancy progresses well, you can make your own decision about where you want the delivery to take place. We guide deliveries both at home and in the hospital. Whatever choice you make, the most important thing is that you and your partner feel safe and comfortable at the place where you will give birth. You can still make/change your decision on where to give birth during the delivery. Home births are definitely safe. We have all the equipment required to respond to any unexpected situation.
If you choose a relocated home birth (an outpatient birth in hospital), then we will go to the hospital during the dilation phase, where the delivery will take place. A few hours after the delivery you will, if everything is going well, go back home. If you would like to give birth in the hospital, you can choose between Elisabeth hospital in Tilburg and the Jeroen Bosch hospital in Den Bosch.
In some pregnancies, complications occur. This means that you will have to deliver in the hospital with the care of the gynecologist.
Regardless of where the birth will take place, it is mandatory to raise the bed to 60-70cm (measured from the top of the mattress to the ground). You can do this using bed chocks or crates. From week 37 you can hire the bed chocks together with a bedpan at medipoint.
In addition, everyone who is going to give birth needs to have a maternity package at home. The health insurer usually provides these. If not, you can also get one at the pharmacy.
How to prepare for the delivery
Search for information in books and on the internet to prepare yourself together with your partner. You are always welcome to ask questions at your midwife.
Get sufficient rest
Ensure that you are sufficiently rested before labour starts. Being fit makes it easier to give birth. Take your pregnancy leave in time and try to have all the things you need for the arrival of your baby in the house when you are around 36 weeks pregnant. Do everything gently in the last couple of weeks. Go and lie down for a while every afternoon.
Arrange who you want present for the birth of your child
Who supports you during childbirth? It is your decision so consider it carefully. Only your partner or also your sister, a friend, your mother: it is all possible. You can decide what you want most. Choose someone you do not have to keep up appearances for. Someone you feel comfortable with. And tell the person who will support you in advance about your wishes. Discuss this with your midwife who supports you during delivery as well.
If you already have children then make appropriate arrangements for them during childbirth.
Arrange your maternity care
Ask the midwife when you have to arrange your maternity care and which options there are. If you give birth to your baby at home, the maternity assistant will come for your birth after your contractions start. She will assist the midwife and will clean up after the birth. Sometimes you can arrange for the maternity assistant to come early to support you and your partner once the contractions have started. After the birth, she will stay in your house for several days to assist you with the care.
We may guide your delivery when you are between 37 and 42 weeks pregnant. Between week 41 and 42 some extra checks will be carried out in hospital. If all the checks are good, you may wait for a spontaneous birth.
If you think the delivery has started you may call us at any time of the day, even in the middle of the night. Together we can discuss what kind of support you need at that time and if a visit is necessary. After that we will plan the next steps. If this isn’t your first child, the last phase of the pregnancy can progress very quickly. We advise you to inform us as soon as you think the delivery has started.
You should always call us after week 37 in the following situations:
- When you clearly feel less liveliness than before.
It is normal if you notice that the movement of your baby is a little less strong towards the end of the pregnancy, because there is less space to move around. In case of doubt or an obvious difference compared to the previous days it is important that you call us.
- Contraction activity
If you have had contractions for an hour at 4-5 minute intervals lasting 60 seconds, you need to call us.
- Loss of amniotic fluid
Your water may break without you having contractions, this happens in approximately 10% of all pregnancies. It is important that you have a good look at the colour of the amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is supposed to be a watery white/pink. Sometimes the amniotic water is green/brown in colour. If that is the case, or if the baby’s head had not descended into the pelvis sufficiently during the last check up, then you should give us a call: day or night.
- Blood loss
A bit of slimy blood loss is normal towards the end of the pregnancy or during labour. However, if the blood loss is bright red and comparable with a normal period, let us know immediately. Safe the blood you lost.
If you are anxious you may always call us!