Having a baby in Belgium, as in any other country in the world, requires some organisation and involves a number of choices:
- Where to have your baby?
- Which costs does your social security and/or private health insurance cover?
- Which type of medical care do you need?
- Hospital or home birth?
- How to prepare for labour and which kind of pain-relief options do you have?
- How long will your maternity leave be?
- How to stay fit during and after pregnancy?
Discussing these questions with friends and with your doctor is probably the best way to find out, and make choices that best fit your own needs and personality, as well as those of your partner.
Some very useful publications and brochures are available in bookshops, social security offices, or simply from the Internet.
Each year for 25 years, Famidoo has been publishing a practical guide on family life in Belgium, including a comprehensive section on pregnancy and childcare, with detailed information on therapeutic support for pregnant women, well-being, baby’s birth and care, as well as a medical glossary. Some of the information contained in the guide is available online www.famidoo.be (FR/NL). The guide itself is available mainly at “Club” bookshops.
Getting ready and choosing where to have your baby
Most women in Belgium give birth to their babies in the maternity ward where their gynecologist is located. Please keep this in mind when you choose your gynecologist, even if you are not yet pregnant!
The most popular maternity wards in Brussels can be found in the following institutions (for websites and contact details, please refer to Chapter 6):
Although medical follow-up with a gynecologist/obstetrician is essential, additional prenatal care and alternative birth solutions are widely proposed.
Association francophone des doulas de Belgique (AFDB)
The doulas offer strictly non-medical support during the pregnancy, the birth and the postnatal period. The contact details of all the doula members of the AFDB are put on the site of the association.
The Village helps expats find their way through the services offered to expecting parents in Belgium. Not only will they help you navigate the Belgian system but they will also point you in the direction of English-language groups, associations and support networks. Their website is very comprehensive and a precious resource in itself.
In the course of the birth
This group of thirty midwives offer you a medical follow-up and also a caring service during pregnancy, birth and the first weeks which follow, in different places of consultation in Brussels. They perform the births at home, at the hospital Erasme and at Clinique St-Elisabeth. The contact details of each midwife are available via the “contact” page on the website. A number is nevertheless reachable 7/7 for urgent care.
T 0478/32 68 38
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