Having a healthy, happy pregnancy is not entirely up to you. Some things simply happen. Being your doula, we’ll help you to understand what’s going on inside of your body and what’s going on with your baby. We’ll also try to explain to your family why you do what you do, if you are having trouble making it clear yourself.

Before labour

By visiting your home several times during your pregnancy we will get to know each other and you can ask me anything you like. You will also get to meet Elvira, the back up doula at least once. We’ll talk about your birthing preferences and your expectations and we’ll give you practical tips and tricks. We will work on your birthing plan together. If you wish, we can give you a relaxing neck, shoulder, and foot massage combining it with a traditional Chinese cupping massage technique. If you want to know more about these techniques, please feel free to send me an email. We’ll never leave your house without having given you some Birthlight yoga moves and Spinning Babies postures that are beneficial for you during your pregnancy and when in labour. You will be offered a post partum prep meeting and a partner meeting, so there’s also extra space for your partner to share his/her wishes and needs in these exciting times.

The frequency of our visits is up to you and varies per package. We will, however, take on this adventure together. Every birth is unique. This goes for us as well as for everybody else you’ll meet during your pregnancy and labour. It’s up to you to prepare yourself as well as possible. Find the help you think you will need on this exciting journey. We’ll get to know you and will listen to your wishes. We’ll always tell you when we feel that some of your ideas are too far-fetched.
Take part in a proper course, inform yourself about all labour options possible in the Netherlands and take care of your mind and body. We’ll support you along the way. Take a look at my new ‘Birthing Basics’ partner workshop that’s been developed to help you and your partner cope with the intensity of labour.
We can tell you all about giving birth in the Netherlands, as well as refer you to various specialists if necessary. We know a lot about having a baby, but we do not give birth to your child. we can suggest a variety of postures and remind you of everything you’ve learned in order to cope with the intensity of giving birth. However, you will have to do the work yourself. We’ll support you, cheer you on, and be there for you. We’ll encourage you to communicate even during difficult times. But if you do not want to talk, we can only try to read your mind. Only if you open up, we can truly help you.

Birthlight Yoga

Birthlight aims to enhance the wellbeing of women and their partners through the journey of pregnancy and birth, helping parents and infants relax in the shared enjoyment of their new life together. Birthlight uses body-based practices inspired from yoga and traditional modes of parenting supported by scientific research and in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology. By using traditional yoga postures that are beneficial for a pregnant woman as well as putting extra focus on the pelvic floor, together with diverse breathing techniques, you’ll learn to relax where it’s needed and build muscle at the same time. “Mothering the mother” is a corner stone in the Birthlight method to help prepare a pregnant woman to nurture her baby.

Of course, we invite you to attend the partner workshop ‘Birthing Basics’, that’s been developed with other birth professionals to give you in depth information about the labour process and giving birth in the Netherlands.
You’ll receive a discount when enrolling this workshop having already booked me as your doula and v.v.
I can also give you a private session with some basic Birthlight techniques in the privacy of your own home if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Optimal Fetal Positioning through Spinning Babies techniques

After Maartje has been trained in 2015 by Dutch spinning babies instructor and fellow doula Jennifer Walker, we’ve added the Spinning Babies techniques to the prenatal appointments and to the births I’m honored to attend as a birth doula.
Being able to teach you and your partner how to add these exercises into your daily routine really promotes your child IN ADVANCE to turn into the optimal fetal position (OFP).
If this does not work well enough before the birth, we can always continue doing so during labour and see how it works for you and your baby.
Check out the website www.spinningbabies.com including a short video that shows you some of the daily exercises and what it can mean for you personally.

During Labour

When you’re in pre-labour, we’ll keep in touch over whatsapp and Maartje will come over when necessary. Elvira will step in, if Maartje is otherwise occupied. During your active labour phase, we’ll be with you the entire time and help you remember your breathing techniques and comfortable positions. We’ll support you with massage, acupressure, aromatherapy and homeopathy, so you can focus as much on your experience as possible. We will help your partner to deal with his/her emotions and massage techniques, so he/she will be able to support you in return. We will protect the safe environment in which you need to be in order to give birth peacefully.

When an (emergency) caesarean is necessary, we’ll stay with you in the OR, if the anaesthesiologist allows us to. A caesarean is major surgery and we can be there for you during and after the operation. After your baby is born and needs to leave the cold OR with your partner, you’ll still be on the operating table. As your doula, we can comfort you, keep you informed, and assist you with your general well-being. We will strive to get you back to your room to meet your baby as soon as the operation is finished.
With a planned caesarean, we can give you extra help as well. We can urge for a ‘gentle as possible’ caesarean with the operating team. The gentle caesarean is not being offered in all hospitals yet and is relatively new in the Netherlands. It aims to make a caesarean delivery as close as possible to a vaginal delivery and allows a mother to keep her baby at her chest after it’s been born. Should you want to know more about gentle caesareans, please feel free to contact me.

Should you desire, we can certainly take pictures or short film clips, but only of the things that you want to have registered in the first place. We will respect your wishes at all times.

After labour

Within two weeks after your baby is born, we will call on you to see how you both are and your Labour Doula will visit you in person: this is the post-partum visit. We’ll go through the time line of your birth, the pictures and memories so you can truly digest what’s happened.

After you have given birth and you have lived life for some weeks as a new mother, it is possible to fall into a black hole. The “kraamhulp” nurse has left, the family has already visited and complimented you on your baby, your partner is back at work, and you’re home alone with your baby and not even half way through your pregnancy leave……You’ve got many questions with regards to the development of your baby, you’re feeling insecure about the breastfeeding, or you’ve even forgotten how to install the car seat in the back of your car….in short, you are feeling alone and insecure.In order to prevent this from happening, I offer a post partum prep session around week 37 in your pregnancy. Elvira offers AFTER the delivery of your baby post partum services, including massage and other restorative services. More info on this is to be found on http://www.elvirabroersma.nl

Contact after labour

Nearing the end of your pregnancy, you’ll be in touch about every week with your doula. During the last days, we might even talk every day. I probably do not know the names of your brothers or sisters, where you grew up or any of the other things that your friends know about you. But around the time your baby is being born, we will have created a bond that is real and close and beautiful. After your baby’s birth, our relationship will change. I will most certainly be pleased to have been your doula. Both me and Elvira will enjoy the fact that we’ve gotten to know you so well in so little time and have been able to support you during such an intense period in your life.

Thank you for sharing your home, your life, and your birth with us. Thank you for having us take care of you. Every birth or postpartum period touches our hearts.  Every birth or seeing you taking care of baby teaches us a lesson and we’re grateful for the experience you’ve given us. Thank you.

If I miss your labour….

Your due date is important for my planning purposes. Previous labours give an indication for a future birth. During your first labour your body is actually birthing 1 ½ babies and is already preparing your body for the next birth.

Per month, I can only take on a few mothers in order to be able to guarantee my presence at your labour. Should I have another birth going on when you go into labour, or if I cannot be at your birth for any other reason, there’s an excellent back-up doula, Elvira Broersma. And if even if she cannot make it to your delivery in time, we have a secundary back up doula working with us. If she is also unavailable we talk about alternative services we can offer after your labour.