Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: having a baby in the Netherlands

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: having a baby in the Netherlands

With rain at home and the prospects for summer breaks abroad still open to question, why not catch up on some Dutch culture instead? Back by popular demand – the DutchNews.nl inburgering course.

Lesson 22: What you need to know about having a baby in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is notorious for its painkiller-free home births. But there are lots of other essential things you need to know to make sure you have a baby the Dutch way.

The home birth
We’ll get this out of the way first. You can have your baby in a hospital. A generation ago, 60% of the Dutch were born at home but that has now dropped to around 20%. There are all sorts of reasons for this – complicated calculations about perinatal death rates, local hospital closures, changing fashions – but we like to think having the option of pain relief might also play a role. The Dutch think pain is part of the process, which it is, but it is also a part which many of us would like to be able to avoid.

The placenta
This is one thing nobody tells you about a home birth. What happens to the placenta? If you are a bit of an earth mother you can always eat it, but if you are not, the midwife will present it to you in a plastic bag to put out with the other rubbish. Seriously.

The maternity nurse
When Dutch women have a baby, a kraamverzorgster comes to their home for a week or so to help with the new-born. This is an amazing institution (paid for by health insurance). Help with breastfeeding, nappies, bathing, pouring cups of coffee for the people who come to coo over little Daan or Sophie, she does it all. The kraamverzorgster may well be the reason new dads in the Netherlands are only allowed a couple of days unpaid leave. Not only has he been usurped by the new baby, but the nurse is doing all the other leaky stuff.

Registering your child
By law, the arrival of your offspring has to be reported to officialdom within three days. Either a parent or someone else who witnessed the event is supposed to do this. Your baby will then get a birth certificate and its very own BSN – burgerservicenummer – the key to all things official in the Netherlands. If you are not married and you are both foreign it may be complicated to get the dad’s name on the official documents. We have heard too many horror stories and suggest you ask a lawyer.

Naming your child
Do not think you are free to name your child just any old thing. Oh no. There are rules about this. According to the government’s website, it should not be a swear word, a name which can open the child to ridicule or a combination of lots of names. And the civil servant behind the counter can refuse to accept the name if they think it unsuitable.

We wonder if civil servants were sleeping when they approved the registration of little Ridley-Scott, Alpacino and Lexus, or footballer Wesley Sneijder’s son Xess Xava Sneijder. Your child may take either the mother or father’s surname but not both. Despite this discouragement of double-barrelled names, there was a Dutch government minister whose surname was the four-barrelled Schultz van Haegen-Maas Geesteranus.

Kraambezoek
Going on kraambezoek – the Dutch have a word for visiting a new mother and her baby – is an institution. Expect all sorts of people – including your boss – to drop round with a soft toy for the baby, when you would much prefer a bottle of whiskey. If you wish to discourage visitors at certain times, you can include this on the birth announcement card. ‘Charlotte and Emma are resting between 2pm and 4pm’ might not mean you are actually dozing off, but it will give you a couple of hours to catch up on the laundry.

New baby traditions
Beschuit met muisjes are traditionally handed out at work by new dads. Take a Dutch crispbake, spread it with margarine and pour on the aniseed sprinkles – blue for a boy and pink for a girl.  It is very rude to refuse beschuit met muisjes when offered by the proud parent. We know of one foreign worker who had to empty half a drawer full of pink and blue crumbs when she left her job. You can often spot households where there is a new baby by the wooden stork in the garden or the pink and blue bunting.

Papadag
Papadag is the increasingly popular term to describe the day of the week which some fathers take off from work to look after their offspring – often as part of the paternity leave allowance. According to the national statistics office, around 13% of young fathers take advantage of their legal right to spend one day a week (unpaid) looking after their children. Mothers complain that the washing, ironing and other chores never get done on papadag.

Growing up
Surveys by the United Nations and others repeatedly show that Dutch children are among the happiest in the world. So you’ve picked the right place to reproduce.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Curtain's up again on English language theatre in the Netherlands

39 Steps returns to the CC Amstel in November. Photo: QETC With theatres open again after the long hiatus, it’s a great time to be richly entertained while giving the ... Read more »

Actor Sean Penn's wife Leila George, 29, files for divorce

According to various American media outlets, Leila George filed for divorce at the Los Angeles Superior Court on Oct 15. LOS ANGELES – Hollywood actor Sean Penn and his wife, ... Read more »

Fun With Kids: Halloween fun with the Minions, book to help parents with only child

Wolfman Minion (second from right) makes his appearance for the first time at Universal Studios Singapore. SINGAPORE – Make family time all the more special with these ideas and activities. ... Read more »

South Korean Park Sae-eun becomes Paris Opera Ballet's first Asian star dancer

Park Sae-eun has become the first Asian ballerina to reach the top “etoile” – or “star” – rank in the Paris Opera Ballet’s 352-year history. SEOUL (AFP) – When Park ... Read more »

Musician Bruce Gaston dies aged 74

Bruce Gaston on the day he received the prestigious Silpathorn Award by the Culture Ministry in August 2009. (Bangkok Post file photo) US musician Bruce Gaston, who co-founded Fong Nam, ... Read more »

Bill Cosby sued in New Jersey over alleged rape

NEW YORK (AFP) – An actress has sued Bill Cosby, alleging that the disgraced comedian drugged and raped her in New Jersey 31 years ago, American court documents show. Lili ... Read more »

Hollywood's behind-the-scenes workers reach deal on new contract

LOS ANGELES (NYTIMES) – You might say that the people behind the cameras have found their voices. Late on Saturday (Oct 16), a union representing Hollywood’s version of blue-collar workers ... Read more »

Massive strike averted: Hollywood crews reach a new three-year deal with studios

General view of the Hollywood Sign on November 17, 2020 in Hollywood, California.AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images A deal has been struck between Hollywood's studios and a union ... Read more »

Marital bonds sully, daytime affair sours, daring theft

When gentle persuasion won't do Amnat Jeanrum drags his cuffed wife, Sagniam Sukor, 60 A volunteer policeman in Buri Ram handcuffed his estranged wife and dragged her into a forest ... Read more »

F&B businesses ride the Squid Game high with Dalgona candy and themed macarons

The dystopian drama is the inspiration for cute macarons sold at Annabella Patisserie. SINGAPORE – After a burnt first attempt, pastry chef Fiona Ting eventually perfected making Squid Game’s viral ... Read more »

Fantastic Miss Fish A tiny hole in the wall with big flavours

Miss Fish food. (Photos: Miss Fish) Having opened earlier this year, Miss Fish, which describes itself as “Bangkok's premium, handcrafted, artisanal fish specialist restaurant” comes from the team behind LA ... Read more »

Eateries hit harder this time with dining in restricted to two persons

Mr Indra Kantono, co-founder of the Jigger & Pony Group, says weekly revenue for his eateries has dropped further by 15 to 20 per cent. SINGAPORE – Food and beverage ... Read more »

Book Stack: 10 reads to wrap up October with

(Clockwise from top left) The Right To Sex, Velvet Was The Night, The Women Of Troy, The Sisters Mao, Lean Fall Stand and Never Saw Me Coming. SINGAPORE – In ... Read more »

Book review: The Right To Sex by Amia Srinivasan is a must-read

Amia Srinivasan trots out six essays on gender and sex of the highest quality in The Right To Sex. The Right To Sex By Amia Srinivasan Non-fiction/Bloomsbury/Paperback/268 pages/$32.95/Available here 5 ... Read more »

Golden Globes to go ahead despite TV blackout over diversity row

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been under fire due to allegations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption. LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Golden Globes will go ahead despite NBC’s ... Read more »

How 'Halloween Kills' fits in to Peacock's streaming strategy

Michael Myers returns in Universal's “Halloween Kills.”Universal The industry was caught off guard when Universal announced in early September that its hotly anticipated horror sequel “Halloween Kills” would debut in ... Read more »

San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel joins agency Excel Sports to boost off-field income

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel heads to the end zone on a touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 3, 2021 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, ... Read more »

Events and listings: Food, exhibitions, concerts

SINGAPORE – Savour your hunger for food deals, sign up for a health talk, or check out the Halloween Horror Nights Exhibition at Universal Studios Singapore. Food & drink M ... Read more »

Root Awakening: Swiss Cheese Plant, 'Mickey Mouse Taro' and more

A Swiss cheese plant (left) and Marvel Of Peru plant. Swiss cheese plant has matured This huge climbing plant has been growing in my garden for years without much care ... Read more »

Former J-idol Momoe Yamaguchi to become a grandmother next year

TOKYO – Former Japanese idol Momoe Yamaguchi, who was a big star during the 1970s, is set to be a grandmother after her son and daughter-in-law announced the latter’s pregnancy ... Read more »

Fast Lane: Polestar 2 arrives soon, longer-range MG EV to come in 2022

The Polestar 2 hits 100kmh in 7.4 seconds. Polestar readies to take on Tesla here The Polestar 2 electric performance saloon will be available in three forms. The 224hp single-motor ... Read more »

Singer Lady Gaga grabs attention with a boa made of US$100 bills

Lady Gaga was rumoured to be flying on a private jet to Las Vegas to return to her residency at MGM’s Park Theater. LOS ANGELES – Singer Lady Gaga, who ... Read more »

The Chic Home: Five-room HDB flat blends luxe elements for timeless appeal

The square layout and high floor with unobstructed views ticked all the right boxes for these homeowners. SINGAPORE – Two business consultancy owners, who want to be known only as ... Read more »

'Art transcends race': Paris Opera Ballet's first Asian etoile ballerina

Sae Eun Park is the first Asian ballerina to reach the top etoile rank in the Paris Opera Ballet’s 352-year history. SEOUL: When Sae Eun Park auditioned for the world's ... Read more »

Fit and fun Active venues to get the adrenaline going

Since the government has eased restrictions for all sports venues in Bangkok, many are eager to get back on the fitness track. Besides the obvious go-to gyms, there are alternative ... Read more »

Less is more La Scala welcomes a new chef and cooking style

Chef Eugenio Cannoni. (Photos: LA SCALA SUKHOTHAI) A few courses into chef Eugenio Cannoni's first tasting menu at La Scala and you'll notice that each dish is monochromatic. But that ... Read more »

Pandemic leads to epidemic The Covid-19 crisis has led to a rapid rise in household trash, including problematic contaminated waste. How the city addresses this may determine Bangkok's future

Bangkok, as the city that generates the highest amount of waste per day in Thailand, saw over 2.2 million tonnes of trash in 2018, according to figures from the Department ... Read more »

A new generation slasher Netflix's There Is Someone Inside Your House is meant for Gen Z audiences but it suffers from a lack of originality and is too predictable

Théodore Pellerin as Oliver ‘Ollie’ Larsson in There’s Someone Inside Your House. DAVID BUKACH/NETFLIX Recycling stories isn't new but common practice in Hollywood. However, it seems to be the main ... Read more »

Time is not on anybody's side Making its Asian premiere in Busan, Jakrawal Nilthamrong's new film is a study of old age and the unstoppable march of time

A scene from Anatomy Of Time. There's the anatomy — the bone and the flesh, supple or flaccid. Then there's time, the cruellest judge of all. In Jakrawal Nilthamrong's Anatomy ... Read more »

Sühring makes World's 50 Best Restaurants list

Sühring restaurant in Bangkok has been named No.40 on the 2021 World's 50 Best Restaurants list, the highest entry from Thailand this year. Celebrated last week in Antwerp, Belgium, the ... Read more »

Double time Chopard's Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF beats with a high-frequency heart

Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF in titanium. In 2012 Chopard played a pioneering role in commercialising the world's first chronometer-certified timepiece oscillating at a frequency of 8Hz, for achieving a higher ... Read more »

Torque Shop: Driving a car with worn engine mountings will cause other parts to deteriorate

A car engine with a faulty fuel or ignition system will not run smoothly. My car has recently begun to feel rough. It has lost its smoothness during idling and ... Read more »

Cultural Medallion batik artist Sarkasi Said, 81, dies from kidney failure

Mr Sarkasi Said used batik techniques in groundbreaking new ways to create contemporary art. SINGAPORE – Cultural Medallion recipient Sarkasi Said died on Thursday evening (Oct 14) of kidney failure. He ... Read more »

Butterball recalls more than 14,000 pounds of ground turkey for possible blue plastic bits

Turkey processor Butterball is recalling more than 14,100 pounds of ground turkey because the meat may be contaminated with pieces of blue plastic. The Mount Olive, N.C.-based company said the ... Read more »

Trans Netflix staff plan walkout over Chappelle special

Dave Chappelle, 48, has been accused of transphobia over Netflix specials including “The Closer”. LOS ANGELES: Transgender Netflix employees are planning a walkout to protest a Dave Chappelle comedy special ... Read more »

New cocoa fruit drink to make hot chocolate a has bean

Typically, 70 percent of the cacao fruit including the peel, pulp and juice are discarded, with just the beans used to make chocolate. THE HAGUE: Forget hot chocolate: a cold ... Read more »

Snack on the fiery flavours of Thailand Let your culinary imagination run wild with Ging Grai's gourmet popcorn

Popcorn has over the years evolved from a run-of-the-mill snack to gourmet delicacy. It is now offered with imaginative flavours — savoury and sweet. Fine restaurants in big cities wordwide ... Read more »

Jonah Hill asks fans, followers to 'not comment on my body': It 'doesn't feel good'

Jonah Hill this week asked fans, followers and others to “not comment on my body,” explaining that it’s “not helpful and doesn’t feel good.” “I know you mean well but ... Read more »

Banksy's shredded artwork 'Love is in the Bin' sells for a record $25.4 million at auction

LONDON— A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally self-shredded just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched 18.5 million pounds ($25.4 million) on Thursday, a record ... Read more »

What's the deal with WitchTok? We spoke to creators bringing magic to TikTok.

Kiley Mann was 10 when she was gifted her first set of runes, a Nordic divination tool, which sparked a lifelong journey into witchcraft. “I’ve been studying spirituality and religion ... Read more »