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Maternity care is unique, because only in the Netherlands do we have this arrangement for brand new parent(s). During the postpartum period a maternity nurse comes to the parent(s) at home to teach them all about taking care of the baby. She also helps with various tasks in and around the household, a present from heaven we might call it! Would you like to know how to arrange maternity care and how much it costs? You can read all about it here. 

What is maternity care?

Did you know that the maternity care we know in the Netherlands is unique? Nowhere else in the world do they offer the option of supporting brand new moms (and dads) during the maternity bed. During the maternity bed a maternity nurse comes to help the parent(s) and teaches them everything about taking care of the baby. She also helps and guides in giving breastfeeding. The maternity nurse stays with the parent(s) for about eight to ten days after delivery (The Midwife, s.d.). 

What else does a maternity nurse do?

Besides being there to teach you (and your partner) all about caring for the baby, a maternity nurse does much more. She keeps track of mom's recovery every day and checks if everything is going well with the baby. Like the weight, temperature, whether he is drinking enough, stool and pee. She also takes over the basics of housekeeping, think of the laundry of you and the baby, changing the beds, cleaning the baby's room and the toilet. Do you happen to have other children? Then she takes care of those too. That gives a lot of peace of mind for everyone (The Midwife, s.d.). 

How to arrange that?

You have to arrange the maternity care yourself. Preferably do this when you are about three months pregnant. It is important that you have arranged this before the twentieth week of pregnancy. Look for maternity care organizations in the area, so the maternity nurse is always nearby. If you are religious, we can understand that you would like to work with an institution that has a large pool of maternity nurses with different backgrounds or religions. Go for the institution you feel comfortable with; they will be in your home and have a lot to do with your baby and family (Grotenhuis, 2021). 

How many hours of maternity care are you entitled to?

Legally, you are entitled to a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 80 hours of maternity care spread over eight to ten days. This depends on the situation. You can get more hours if the mother is not recovering well, there are complications, problems with breastfeeding or when she has given birth to a multiple birth. Mothers without a partner also get more hours of maternity care (The Midwife, s.d.). It is also possible that they cut back on the total hours. For example, if you and your baby stay in the hospital longer during the maternity period, such as after a C-section. For every day you are in the hospital longer, six hours per day are deducted from the total (Grotenhuis, 2021). 

The costs

A large part of maternity care is covered by the basic health insurance package. However, a personal contribution of €4.60 (in 2021) per hour is required. Do you have supplementary insurance? Then there is a good chance that the personal contribution will also be reimbursed. Check your policy to be sure (Grotenhuis, 2021).


The Midwife. (s.d.). Maternity Care. Accessed December 10, 2021, from

Grotenhuis, L. T. (2021, June 16). Maternity care: what can you expect? Consumers' Association. Accessed December 10, 2021, from