Midwives and doulas
Many women chose to have a midwife for their prenatal care, labour and delivery of their baby. Depending upon the certification and the types of care offered by individual midwives, the service they provide can include: prenatal education, counselling, and prenatal care, assistance during labour and birth, as well as postnatal support. Midwifery care generally involves fewer technological interventions.
There are several midwifery centres in Brussels, including the following:
The Maison de la Naissance (www.maisondelanaissance.be) offers midwifery services for: pregnancy massage, hypnobirthing, birth classes, home births, hospital births (at Erasme and St Elisabeth hospitals), and support for after the birth.
Vlaamse Organisatie van Vroedvrouwen is the Flemish Organisation of Midwives (www.vlov.be).
There is another group of Brussels-based midwives, called Amala. The website is in English and can be found at http://naissance-amala.be/uk
Another source of support for pregnant women is a doula. There are two types of doulas – those that are trained to support a woman (physically, emotionally and with information) during labour and immediately after the birth, and those who are trained to care for the family after the birth of the baby (household help, breastfeeding advice, newborn care and emotional support).
The French speaking association of doulas in Belgium (Association Francophone des Doulas de Belgique) can be found at www.doulas.be
There is also a Dutch speaking doula website, which serves the Netherlands plus Belgium. The address is www.doula.nl