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NL

Pregnancy and maternity leave

Pregnancy leave

As an employee you have the right to a total of 16 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave. Pregnancy leave starts 6 to 4 weeks before the expected date of birth. If you choose to start your pregnancy leave 6 weeks before the baby is due, you have a total of 10 weeks of maternity leave (16-6=10). If you choose to start your pregnancy leave 4 weeks before the baby is due, you have a total of 12 weeks of maternity leave (16-4=12). The choice is yours.

It is wise not to wait too long before telling your employer about your pregnancy, as this allows your employer to take measures if necessary, such as finding a temporary replacement. You are expected to inform your employer that you are pregnant when you are 16 weeks pregnant.

Medical assistance during pregnancy and birth

Most women in the Netherlands remain under the care of a midwife (verloskundige) during pregnancy and childbirth. If you want to go straight to a gynaecologist rather than a midwife, you must first get a referral from your GP. Your GP can also help you locate a midwife in your area.

In the Netherlands, home births are relatively popular. About 55% of births are planned to take place in the home. If you'd rather prefer not to have a home birth, you can always choose to have your baby at a hospital. However, some insurance companies will not cover a hospital birth unless there is a medically compelling reason to do so. Be sure to ask about the cover provided by your health insurance policy first.