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There are midwives in Belgium! not many! - but I'm now seriously considering my options!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have done ALOT of thinking since starting research on the internet and especially since finding this site and talking with all of you.

I really didn't like my first birth experience at the hospital and so as alot of you know I've taken the decision to labor at home then go to the hospital for birth. All your answers in that thread made me feel stronger and that it would be a good thing to do.

Well.. the more I think about it... the more a home birth does sound lovely. I've read so many of the birth stories on here and each one makes me smile. I'd love to have that experience if I can.

I live in a country where it isn't the norm by far to have a homebirth. Everyone is very much pro hospital, epidural etc...

I've found a website (probably the only one lol) listing the few midwives there are in Belgium and I've just sent off 2 emails to the 2 that live nearish to me.

Am I mad thinking of changing my plans this late in the game? (I'll be 37 weeks on Monday) - and I'm more than a little nervous telling my ob/gyn if I do decide to do this! she's a bit scary lol. But just thinking about it feels right.

Also, I live in an appartment - does that change things do you think?

Any advice/opinions would be very helpful! thank you!!
post #2 of 6
don't tell the ob until after - especially if she's "scary"

it sounds like just the right situation to have a homebirth! "scary" obs tend to push things on you....and you don't want that!
post #3 of 6
I don't know about telling the OB...if you were in the US I would just say, he doesn't need to know. Tell him/her you are changing care providers and leave it at that. EVEN if they ask or say you cannot do that...they aren't right about that. I know things are not exactly the same all over the world, so I could be wrong, but that would be my angle on it.
post #4 of 6
Can you go to Germany for the birth? There are always midwives with you in Germany and there a tons of freestanding birth centers (all covered by the government health plan). If you live close by the border, just happen to be there maybe? I'm sure Belgium has socialized healthcare too and will pay for the delivery... I remember before I came to the US that my health card was valid all over Europe...
post #5 of 6

I am planning a homebirth in Belgium

Even though I am more of a lurker than a poster I had to reply to your questions...

I live in Brussels, am 39 weeks pregnant, and planning a homebirth in our apartment. Independent midwives are more common in the Flemish (dutch-speaking) community than the Wallon (french-speaking) community and most of them do their training in Holland (where homebirths account for one third of all births). Midwife assisted births are not the norm here but are nonetheless more accepted than in North America and the system is better set up to support them. For example your mutuel (health insurance) covers check-ups and the delivery with a midwife just the same as with an obstetrician. Also if you deliver at home (or leave the hospital 24 hours after delivering), daily home visits by a midwife are covered for 7 days. The midwife is authorized to sign all your administrative forms, etc.

All the midwives that I spoke to have privileges at one or more hospitals so they can assist both hospital and home births. Also they have often have a backup gynecologist they can refer you to, with whom they have a good relationship. We are all set up to have our baby at home, but if there is the slightest concern during labour we can go with the midwife to "her" hospital. If the problem is more serious but not urgent we can make use of our gynecologist. And of course for an urgent problem we can go to the closest emergency room 5 minutes away. This is reassuring for me since I can have a plan A, plan B, plan C, etc.

My midwives are part of the Bolle Buik group, and I am very happy with their care so far. The two midwives who assist births speak English very well. I don't know about switching care/plans so late in your pregnancy but you could always contact them and ask their opinion. As they say..."If you don't ask the answer is no"

I am too rushed, but I wanted to share my experience here since I am super-pleased with the way my pregnancy has been followed and how my birthing plans are shaping up here in Belgium.

Good luck and best wishes!!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
MrsFred - how great to meet someone else living in Brussels!! Thanks so much for your post. The site I found was sage-femmes.be and I'm meeting with one of their midwives on Thursday. Thanks for the link to bolle buik, I might give them a call too.

I told the midwife on the phone that I was 37 weeks pregnant and she didn't seem fazed by that, so we'll see what she says when we meet. She did sound ever so nice on the phone, so I'm feeling quite positive.

That's good to know that the mutuelle covers midwives too - that was one of my questions for her.

Would you mind telling me what the homebirth will be costing you?

I had my first baby in a Brussels hospital and the hospital bill was around 1250 euros. From what I can tell, ihome birth costs less than a hospital birth.

I don't know anyone who's had a home birth here (everyone I know has had a hospital birth and it was either with epidural or c-section - not one natural birth) so anything you can tell me would be great!

Thanks so much and good luck with everything!!
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