Maternity package

This story is about the ‘small’ differences. 

Ilkka and I recently finished an English-speakers’ Birth preparation course. It served as a good introduction into the Dutch midwifery, pregnancy and birthing system, as well as giving tips and practical examples. I won’t go into more (gory?) details here ;) 

Today I would like to write about the concept of a Maternity  package. Finland has long been proud of their system of providing a set of clothing and caretaking items for the baby and mother for the first months after birth. Here is the new 2009 package in pictures: [Note, the Finnish authorities have not yet decided whether or not we, as living abroad, are entitled to this benefit.] I also know that friends in Vienna who had a baby in the course of the last couple of years, also got some token of appreciation from the city of Vienna delivered to their home.

To our great surprise, also many of the Dutch health insurance companies provide their clients with a kind of maternity package. This could be renamed the birthing care package or simply the blood and gore package. Here’s some things included:

Large inlay pads for childbed; two disposable, loose underpants; bottle of denat. alcohol (daddy’s cognac and mommy’s champagne are extra); sterile gauze; tape; cellulose mattresses; clamp for umbilical cord; plastic to protect mattress; latex gloves. 

Home delivery, anyone? Our ‘kiddies in a sweet store’ enthusiasm soon evaporated as i got past the one gift that was in the packet, a small diaper bag with foldable changing mattress. Today we are on our way to visit the birthing clinic (wrong word.. as it of course has nothing to do with medical care, after all, Dutch birth-giving women are by no means patients!) in a hospital near by. Perhaps the best thing about the center is, that it is inside the hospital.. as Ilkka puts it: just say when, and I’ll wheel you to the other side of the isle to get doped!

One Response to “Maternity package”
  1. Matti says:

    There was no alcohol in my (better half’s) maternity package. Not even cigarettes. What a disappointment.

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