The first weeks after the birth is exciting, but a challenging period for many new parents. The love, affection, and joy that they feel for their newborn are also mixed with feelings of uncertainty, lack of confidence and lack of sleep. It is common to experience these roller coaster feelings. Those feedings every three hours are brutal, and when the baby does not fall asleep quickly after the feed, it chips away the energy levels of parents.  It is no surprise that parents are easily overwhelmed by all the changes that come with having a new baby.

How can parents survive those challenging weeks? This is where self-care comes in. Just because you are a parent, you do not need to sacrifice everything to care for your child. Self- care allows you to take care of yourself, reduces stress, prevent burn-outs and helps refocus the mind.  In return, it gives parents the energy they need to take care of others. 

Prioritize self-care into your busy schedule by doing the following:

-learn to ask for help from family and friends in your network

-sleep when the baby sleeps

-turn off your phone or mobile for an hour or two

-eat well-balanced meals

-spend time doing what you love to do

-exercise or take walks

  February 2018


In the Netherlands, V.I.P. stands for Vervroegde Inzet Partusassistentie or Early Partus Assistance.  A trained maternity nurse can be called earlier in your labor to help you through the stages of labor. Many maternity care organizations (kraamzorg organisatie’s) are offering this service already to their clients who wish to have this. 

If you wish to have support during labor, consider having a doula, a kraamverzorgende(maternity nurse), or a maternity nurse that is also a doula.

So what are the differences between a doula and a VIP maternity nurse?


VIP Kraamverzorgende/Maternity Nurse

Support during pregnancy, labor, postpartum

Support starts during labor and ends 1 week postpartum

Non-medical assistance for the couple

Medical assistance for the couple and midwife

Services are not yet covered by insurances

Services are covered by insurances

Accompany couples to any birthing facility

Accompany couples to the birthing center, polyclinic

Unlimited contact before the labor

Contact after the midwife calls

Leaves 2 hours after birth

Will accompany you home after birth for start-up care 

    November 2017

Doula-ing After the Birth

I enjoy preparing couples for the birth of their child. We get to know each other pretty well in the two months before the birth. So when the baby is born, it is a bitter sweet moment. Like the parents, I finally get to meet the baby for the very first time, but it is also a reminder that my job with this new family is almost complete. 

When the couple of the baby in the picture hired me for a long weekend after the kraamverzorgende left, I was happy to take the job. A week of kraamzorg is sometimes not enough for new parents to adjust to their new role, especially those who do not have any family living in the Netherlands. I continued where the kraamzorg left off, by helping with breastfeeding and caring for the baby. I showed the mother how to latch the baby on in a rugby position, a position that was briefly touched on in the first week. I also did some daily cleaning and some light grocery shopping.  This was an opportunity for the mother to rest more and learn more skills, and for me to get to know the newborn. 

  October 2017

Packing for the Big Day

Are you planing to give birth in a hospital? Even if you are not, it is advisable to pack a hospital bag before your 37 weeks of pregnancy.

Baby Essentials: Do pack two sets of clothes(size 50 or smaller), two caps, and a blanket for the trip back home. Diapers are available in the hospital. Also, bring an infant car seat if you plan to go home directly after the delivery.

Essentials for Mother: You want to be comfortable during labor by wearing a big t-shirt or nightgown. One with a front opening will make breastfeeding a lot easier for after the delivery. Pack plastic slippers or flip-flops for walking around the halls or room, socks to keep your feet warm during labor, feeding bra and underwear and clothes for going home, and toiletries to freshen you up, such as toothpaste, toothbrush, lipbalm, shower wash and make-up. You do not have to bring sanitary napkins. These are available in the hospital. Also, lately, many hospitals provide mesh underwears, so you can easily dispose of them when they get dirty. 

Electronics: Bring a camera and/or phone/iPad. Do not forget the charger(s). Mobile phones are great for taking pictures, listening to music and timing the contractions. There are a few apps available for free to help you time and keep track of your contractions, so do download one on your phone.

Paperwork: Pack your birth plan, health insurance paper/card, and list of important telephone numbers. Do not forget to call and update your kraamzorg agency, so they can send your kraamzorg helper to your house when you are ready to go home.

Snacks: The hospital will provide food for you and your partner. However, many ladies do not have an appetite to eat a full meal, so do bring light snacks, such as rice crackers, biscuits, cereal bars, clear juice and dextro energy candy. These are all essential to help keep your energy up.

  August 2017