Naturally (self) induce childbirth in the Netherlands

You are over 40 weeks pregnant in the Netherlands and ready for the arrival of your baby. You may already receive questions from your surroundings whether it is already there or have even had a conversation with the midwife about inducing the delivery with an introduction to the hospital. But there’s no movement in that little one yet. How do you deal with that? And what can you do yourself to invite the little one to come?

What do you share about the due date?

The due date is the date set based on the term ultrasound you had around 11-12 weeks of pregnancy. By measuring the crown-tail length of the small one, it is determined when your child is expected. Since up to 12 weeks almost all embryos grow equally fast, this is the best time to estimate when your baby wants to be born. In the Netherlands we assume that a normal pregnancy lasts between 37 and 42 weeks and we take 40 weeks as a guideline. But, like apples on a tree, not all babies conceived at the same time are “ripe” at the same time.

Therefore, it may be wise to keep a close mind when communicating the due date to your environment. If you are overdue, people around you can start asking your questions. Just during personal conversations or in apps. Although this interest is often well-intentioned, this focus on the passage of time can cause unrest. And let anxiety just invite the hormones in your body that get in the way of the natural birth process. So feel free to tell your surroundings that you have determined a new ultrasound that the due date is two weeks later. Well, that’s good. No more curious apps and questions 🙂 Now you can let go, relax and make room for the arrival of your baby.

How do you induce childbirth without an introduction?

Now that you have taken the first step and your mind is free from outside pressure, the natural birth process can do its job. Now it’s relaxing and being patient until the natural moment of birth is there. Also think of it as bonus time to do something fun with your partner and/or older children until the moment is there. A few more nights away to that nice B&B in the hills, quiet picnicking on the moor or a walk on the beach. Anything that helps you relax is now welcome. In the end, the child chooses when it is ready to be born and then often chooses a moment when the mother is also mentally ready for it. If it is the case that you want to invite your baby to come naturally, research which of the following natural methods for inducing childbirth suits you (or not, of course you can).


Laughter is the ultimate way to relax and let go. When you laugh, you’re all the way here and now and you’re not worried. One way to make you laugh is to set up a fun comedy; Inviting a funny friend or family member another option. Did you know that there are also special laughter workshops? Of course you can also invite your inner smile with meditation!

Making love

When you make love, you create hormones that are also important for giving birth. Oxytocin is also called the cuddle hormone for a reason. And it’s the ultimate birth hormone. And not only helping your own female hormones to induce childbirth, your male partner can also play a role in this. Sperm contains the hormone-like substance prostaglandin, which can help to soak the cervix.

Massaging nipples

As with making love, massaging your nipples releases the hormone oxytocin. Handy if you are alone (but together you can of course also work with it).

Warm bath with lavender

Enveloped by the warm water, in your own cocoon and a solution with essential lavender oil to calm your limbic system. Aromatherapy releases body-specific morphine-like substances such as endorphins and encephallining. These chemical messengers are substances that positively influence our well-being and help to relax.

Foot reflex massage & acupuncture

voetreflexologie verlicht zwangerschapskwaaltjes
Reflexology to stimulate surges

Complementary treatments such as foot reflex massage and acupuncture are also known. They work through the energy systems in the body, through reflex zones on the foot, meridians & acupuncture points. Many women have good experiences with this as a natural introduction method. You can contact a trained therapist for a labour induction massage.

Hypnobirthing meditation

Did you know that a special hypnobirthing meditation is available for naturally inducing childbirth? If you are interested in this, please contact us.

It should also be clear that relaxation is the key to naturally inducing childbirth. Yet this is easier said than done and is often a long-term road. Of course you can use all the above methods, but even then you may still subconsciously look up to the delivery and stop it. Letting go of fear of giving birth and building trust in your female body is something that often takes more time to build. That is why you take the time to work step by step towards a state of body and mind that is ready to give birth, often from a week or 22 to 37.

Choice of medical introduction at 41 and 42 weeks

Every intervention in the natural process can be seen as an intervention. So also natural method of introduction. So think carefully about what suits you. Of course, natural methods of inducing childbirth have no negative side effects, unlike the medical introduction. When you medically induce childbirth, your body is not quite ready and increases the chance of medical interventions, such as administering extra oxytocin or pain relief and possibly eventually an artificial delivery. If there is no medical reason to initiate childbirth, waiting is really often best, possibly in combination with natural introduction methods.

In my hypnobirthing course we also discuss the options and choices you have in birth care, and how you can deal with them. In any case, it is good to know that the protocol in the Netherlands focuses on a medical introduction from 42 weeks, but ultimately the choice is yours. Your healthcare provider will discuss this with you in the period between the due date at 40 weeks and 42 weeks, if medically applicable.

Induction resource sheets

Do you want to orientate yourself on a medical introduction? I have a KGH resource sheet available to you about this. Please contact me if you are interested in this.