Pregnancy and giving birth in the Netherlands

Are you pregnant while temporarily living and working in the Netherlands? Here, we will explain the care surrounding pregnancy and birth in the Netherlands - what you'll need to arrange and what is reimbursed under your HollandZorg insurance policy. This will allow you to enjoy your pregnancy to the full.

As an international worker in the Netherlands, it can be difficult to know where to start when you’re pregnant. Things that are obvious at home, soon seem more complicated in another country. Where do you go when you’re pregnant? How often do you need to see a care provider, which tests are reimbursed and what about giving birth? Fortunately, the Netherlands is a safe place to have a child. The care surrounding pregnancy and childbirth is also well organised.


Pregnancy in brief

In the Netherlands, you will be cared for by an obstetrician during your pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after giving birth. The obstetrician will perform all the checks, ultrasounds and prenatal screenings. She will advise and support you during this important phase of your life. She will also help you when you’re in labour.

If medically necessary, you will receive help from a gynaecologist (a doctor who knows a lot about pregnancy and childbirth) or obstetrician in the hospital. For example, if you have a multiple birth or suffer from diabetes. We sometimes call this a high-risk pregnancy.

In the first eight days after giving birth, a maternity carer will help you care for your baby. Maternity care is unique in the Netherlands.

Want to get pregnant? Take extra folic acid and vitamin D

In the Netherlands, the advice is to take 400 micrograms of folic acid per day from the moment you are trying to conceive. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), premature birth and a low birth weight, among other things. Keep taking it until you are 10 weeks pregnant.

The Health Council of the Netherlands also recommends taking an extra 10 micrograms of vitamin D every day throughout your pregnancy. Folic acid and vitamin D are conveniently sold together in a single pill at chemists and pharmacies. You will find more nutritional advice for pregnant women from the Health Council of the Netherlands in this document.

Your pregnancy in the Netherlands

in 6 steps

Step 1 Do you think you’re pregnant? Take a home pregnancy test

If you think you’re pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. Reliable tests are available at chemists and pharmacies. There’s no need to visit your GP. Most GPs use the same type of test and, as we do in this document, will advise you to take a test at home.

Also start taking folic acid and vitamin D right away, if you didn’t already (see box above).

Step 2 Pregnant? Find an obstetrician

The test is positive, you’re pregnant. Congratulations! Now is the time to find an obstetrician and schedule a first appointment. We recommend doing this before your 9th week of pregnancy. It is customary in the Netherlands to have your first appointment with the obstetrician around the 9th week. By registering immediately following a positive pregnancy test, your obstetrician has enough time to schedule you in or to refer you if there is no place available. 

How to find an obstetrician

Of course, you can use Google to find obstetrician in your area, but our Care Finder makes it even easier to find one nearby. How? Go to the Care Finder and type the word verloskundige in the left field, followed by your postcode and the maximum distance. You will be shown a list of care providers - complete with address, distance from your front door and website. The green tick in front of the year 2023 shows that the care provided by this obstetrician is currently reimbursed by us. You do not pay any excess for obstetric care

Choose a practice and register. This can often be done online, by filling in a registration form. Of course, you can also call them.

Step 3 See your obstetrician for check-ups

During your pregnancy, you will have 10 to 12 check-ups with the obstetrician. You will receive information, you can ask questions and your health and that of your unborn baby will be checked. Several ultrasounds are also done, including one to determine the due date, and ultrasounds in weeks 13 and 20. Furthermore, you will draw up a birth plan with your obstetrician, in which you record your wishes regarding the delivery.

Step 4 Register for maternity care

In the Netherlands, you are entitled to maternity care after giving birth. The maternity carer will help you settle in your baby at home. The maternity carer will monitor the health of mother and child, will teach you and your partner how to care for the baby and will also help with breastfeeding. The maternity carer usually visit you until 8 days after the birth.

If you want maternity care, you can register for this up to the 20th week of your pregnancy at the latest. However, we recommend signing up sooner. Your obstetrician can help you complete the Maternity Care Registration Form.

Please note: To be ensured of maternity care, you will need to receive a confirmation. Please read any emails you receive from your chosen provider carefully and follow any additional instructions to register in full. Your obstetrician can help you.

You will always receive the statutory minimum of maternity care: 24 hours over 8 days. If you need more and there is availability, this can be extended. Maternity care is largely reimbursed by HollandZorg. You do have to pay a small part of the costs per hour yourself in the form of a statutory personal contribution. You can read more about the reimbursement of maternity care here.

Watch an informative video about maternity care here.


Step 5 Order a maternity package

The maternity package contains items that you need during and after childbirth, even if you plan to give birth in a hospital. You will be fully reimbursed for the maternity package if you have a HollandZorg Supplementary Insurance Plus or Top. If you do not have such insurance, you will not be reimbursed for the maternity package. You can, however, order the package at a discount via HollandZorg by completing the order form

Step 6 Childbirth

The Dutch view childbirth as a natural event. If there are no known risks, such as a multiple pregnancy or diabetes, you can choose where you give birth: at home, in a birth centre or in hospital. About 16% of Dutch births take place at home, under the supervision of an obstetrician. Don’t worry, giving birth at home in the Netherlands is safe for you and your baby. If complications arise during childbirth, you will still be seen to in a hospital nearby.

There may be costs associated with giving birth in a birth centre or hospital. You can read more about this on the following reimbursement pages: Obstetric care without medical grounds and Obstetric care on medical grounds.

What's covered?







Obstetric care





Personal contribution for giving birth at a birth centre/hospital/maternity hotel without medical grounds






Maternity care





Personal contribution maternity care






Maternity package




NIPT on medical grounds**





Prenatal screening





Laboratory testing on medical grounds





TENS pain relief





Pregnancy course




max €100 / pregnancy

max €100 / pregnancy

Pregnancy coach/doula




max €100 / pregnancy

max €100 / pregnancy

Breastfeeding assistance




max €100 / pregnancy

max €150 / pregnancy

* The supplementary packages Start, Extra, Plus and Top are only available to those who have taken out a HollandZorg plan themselves. If you are insured through your employer, these supplementary packages are not available to you.

** As of April 1st, 2023, the government fully reimburses the NIPT as part of the prenatal screening for pregnant women without medical grounds.

Use of an interpreter

Since January 1st, 2023, pregnant women who do not have a good command of the Dutch language may be eligible for the use of an interpreter. It’s important for mother-to-be to understand the information provided by the obstetrician or maternity carer, and she should have the opportunity to ask questions. An interpreter may be able to help her. The obstetrician or maternity carer will assess whether the language barrier is so great that an interpreter is needed. In that case, the costs of the interpreter will be reimbursed to the obstetrician or maternity carer, on the condition that the interpreter is a professional interpreter.

Good to know

  • You do not have to inform us that you are pregnant
  • The obstetrician or gynaecologist will inform your GP of your pregnancy
  • Obstetricians, GPs and gynaecologists work with you and each other to provide the best care for you and your baby
  • After the birth, you must register your child with us within 4 months. Your baby’s healthcare insurance is free. Your baby will be added to your or your partner’s policy

Useful websites (in English)

Information about pregnancy by the RIVM – National Institute for Public Health and the Environment