Amsterdam South Birthing Center
A New Place to Give Birth in Amsterdam Opening This Summer
For those who prefer not to give birth at home, the typical choice has been a hospital-based delivery. However, securing a spot in or around Amsterdam for a hospital delivery isn’t always easy. That’s why, starting this summer, we’re introducing the Amsterdam South Birthing Center. It’s a welcoming birthing facility that feels like home but offers amenities like birthing pools and nitrous oxide. For healthy women, this is often a better option than a hospital delivery. To make this center accessible to all women, even when insurance doesn’t cover the costs, we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign. We believe that every woman should have the freedom to decide where she wants to give birth.
Giving Birth Outside the Region
The Amsterdam South Birthing Center is an initiative of EVAA, First-Line Midwives Amsterdam-Amstelland, a collaboration to which we also belong. Like many other midwives in Amsterdam, we’ve noticed that due to staff shortages in hospitals, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to find a place for women who want or need to give birth in a hospital. Consequently, some deliveries end up happening outside the region, even after extensive searching.
No Nitrous Oxide or Birthing Pools
The locations women eventually turn to often lack facilities like nitrous oxide or birthing pools, which are frequently desired. Nitrous oxide acts as a pain reliever, and a birthing pool provides relaxation during contractions. Moreover, the use of these facilities often reduces the need for medical interventions.
30% to 50% Fewer Hospital Transfers
In 2007, we established another birthing center with EVAA: the West Birthing Center. Thousands of babies were born there, and it was observed that fewer referrals to hospitals occurred—up to 30% less! There were also 50% fewer referrals for medicated pain relief. This reduction is necessary when there’s no nitrous oxide available at the birthing location, and the expectant mother desires pain relief. In such cases, the delivery must be continued in a hospital setting, and the woman is transferred to the hospital. Since nitrous oxide is available at the West Birthing Center, the number of referrals decreased significantly.
Homely Atmosphere with Nitrous Oxide and Birthing Pools
The Amsterdam South Birthing Center will be a place where women can safely give birth in a homely atmosphere, rather than a clinical hospital setting. The center will have a warm interior, aromatherapy, and all necessary and desired amenities. A woman’s own midwife will guide her through the birth, with specialized maternity assistants present to assist the midwives and act as hostesses. If additional medical assistance is required, the midwife will refer the woman to the hospital, just as in a home birth.
Crowdfunding So Every Woman Can Choose Where to Give Birth
We want every woman to have the freedom to choose where she gives birth: at home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital, provided it’s medically safe. To ensure that the Amsterdam South Birthing Center is accessible to everyone and that giving birth there won’t cost more than a hospital delivery, we are in discussions with health insurance providers. However, since we don’t know whether insurance companies will cover all healthcare costs, we’ve initiated a crowdfunding campaign. The proceeds from this campaign will be used exclusively to cover costs not reimbursed by insurance, for those who cannot afford them. The establishment of the birthing center itself is mainly financed by all midwifery practices involved.
Conveniently Located in Buitenveldert
The Amsterdam South Birthing Center is situated on Kastelenstraat in Amsterdam-Zuid. There is ample parking in Buitenveldert, and it’s easily and quickly accessible from the A10 ring road. If there’s a sudden need for hospital care, there are several hospitals nearby. This birthing center is “standalone,” meaning it’s not within a hospital like the West Birthing Center. The keys were handed over to us at the end of May, and the renovation is currently underway. If all goes well, we’ll be ready to welcome our first births from mid-July!
Will You Help?
Do you want to know where you can give birth? You can always discuss it with your midwife during a consultation at our practice in Amsterdam-Zuid. And if you’d like to support others in choosing the birthplace that’s right for them, we would greatly appreciate a contribution to our crowdfunding campaign!