Longer maternity care for Eindhoven families if needed

Mother Jolanda (39) and father Miklas (42) from Eindhoven receive not ten days, but a year’s worth of maternity care. Jolanda can hardly do anything due to five broken vertebrae. “I can barely look after our daughter, who is now seven months old. That is emotionally very hard.” Eindhoven started giving longer care to families with a baby this year.

Jolanda’s bed is in the living room. At night and during the day she can be found here. If her baby cries in the bedroom, her husband Miklas has to go and see it. “I have five sagging vertebrae,” Jolanda says as she lies in bed. “This is due to osteoporosis caused by pregnancies, hormonal fluctuations and breastfeeding. I lost ten centimetres in height. In daily life, I suffer a lot of back pain. I cannot bend down. I am not allowed to lift anything.”

Jolanda and Miklas had their first daughter Aurora six years ago. In March, daughter Jessica was born. She was found to have brittle bone disease. “A baby without this condition is more flexible when the parents are changing its clothes. Now her bones could break. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened yet.”

Bottle feeding

Mother Jolanda watches from her bed as maternity nurse Linda plays with her daughter Jessica on a mat. The little baby is squawking with pleasure. “It is difficult to accept that I can hardly contribute to her care. I can bottle -feed her when she is laid in my arms. I can take a short walk when someone else puts her in the pram. I can lend a hand to the person who helps me care for my child.”

Since this year, Eindhoven has been offering help to families for whom regular maternity care is not enough. This extra help can continue for up to a year. Since the summer, Jolanda and Miklas have had maternity nurse Linda or a colleague coming to their home three mornings a week. They help, for instance, with preparing the bath or warming up a bottle.

Before this help came, things were going badly. “We did what we could, but I couldn’t contribute anything. I couldn’t even get up and down a chair. Without this help, my husband and my 75-year-old mother would have to take full time care of me. That’s not possible. All our friends are in jobs. You can ask them for help, but that also stops after a few weeks. With this help, I can contribute to the care again and that is really nice for me. It really is a godsend.”

Living a little again

Last year, 39 families in Brabant were helped for a longer period with BabythuisZorg. This year, there are 30 so far. “The demand is increasing, which is why the help in the region has been expanded,” says maternity nurse Linda van Vegchel. In Eindhoven, too, this help is now provided by maternity nurses with additional training. “We saw that there was often a need for extra care after regular maternity care. BabythuisZorg is only there when it’s very necessary, not because it’s convenient.

The difference with a normal period of eight to ten days is huge. “Coming to this family for a year is special. A year is more intensive. I also lighten the father’s load, so he can go to work. Then his vigilance mode can be off for a while.”

“The parents have gone through a tough period. When we are here, they can breathe again. First it was survival. Now they are starting to live a little again. There is more peace and structure now. I find it very valuable to do. We really can make a difference with Baby Home Care.”

Source: Studio040.nl

Translated by: Anitha Sevugan

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