Amount of hours of maternity care
The amount of hours and days of maternity care depends on your family situation, the course of the birth and your recovery after birth. For this there are national guidelines which every maternity care organisation applies in the same way. If there is nothing unusual this is 45-49 hours divided over eight days.
Organizing informal care
The care and guidance of you and your child are always the first priority for our maternity nurse. If the attention of your maternity nurse is mainly directed at you and your baby then for household chores will become of secondary importance.
The national guidelines assume in this case that you will arrange your own informal care. Informal care (in dutch it is called ‘mantelzorg’) is the name for voluntary help given to each other. It is the help we receive from: the partner, household members, grandparents or neighbours.
The maternity nurse will take care of basic household chores which directly influence the care for you and your baby. For the other household chores, which the new mother temporarily may not be able to perform, informal care may be enabled. For example for the care of other children in the family, purchasing of groceries and preparing dinner. It is important that you arrange informal care, on time, from within your own social surroundings, for the period after giving birth.
It is of course possible to discuss certain tasks with your maternity nurse, like for example tasks which aren’t a part of her official care duties.
When will you know how many hours of maternity care you will receive?
During the intake interview, after having given birth and during the maternity care, an assessment may be made on how many hours of maternity care are needed for optimal care and support.
During the intake interview the amount of maternity hours are determined by, amongst other things:
- The course of the pregnancy
- If relevant, the course of previous pregnancies and births
- What is your medical history and that of any children you may have
- Will you breastfeed or bottle feed
- What is your home situation
- What are your personal wishes and requirements
More or less hours
At the start of the maternity care an assessment will be made to see if the amount of hours allotted during the intake are still enough. In case of unforeseen complications during birth, it may occur that you heal slower. Sometimes the guidance with breastfeeding may require more attention.
When your maternity nurse identifies such a situation, she will relay this to your midwife. Your midwife may then decide to sign off on more hours of maternity care. Besides extra hours within the standard eight day period she may also sign off on prolonging the maternity care for an extra two days. Then you will receive maternity care for ten days, starting on the day you gave birth.