Pressure on maternity care: ‘Many young families in region’

Catherina hospital maternity hotel
Photo credit: Studio040

The pressure is on at the maternity hotel (het kraamzorghotel) in Eindhoven. The hotel used to be open about one month a year, but now it is open five months a year. “Otherwise, it’s going to be difficult. Then there will be no maternity care for mothers”.

Maternity Hotel

The maternity hotel is located on the fourth floor of the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven. Mother, child and father can stay here after the birth. This means they are away from home for the first part of the maternity period. The maternity nurses come to the hotel instead of to the home.

According to VGZ’s Oldenburg, it is unsurprising that the maternity hotel in Eindhoven will soon be expanded from four to eight beds. “Eindhoven is a growth region, for example, because of ASML. A lot of young families are moving here. There will be additional pressure on maternity care. The number of staff will not increase.


The notice board is full of the names of babies who have been in the maternity hotel over the past six weeks. Many of the children belong to expats. Romana (30) Micovcakova is from Slovakia. Her father Antonio (34) is from Portugal. Their daughter Luísa was born around midday on Sunday, 9 June. “We went straight from the hospital to the maternity hotel,” Romana explained in English.

“This is our first baby. It is very nice for us to get advice here. How to bathe her. How to feed her. How to hold her. We are happy to be here first and then go home.


Maternity nurse Mariska Roobol has been coming to people’s homes for decades. Now she works in the hotel. She sees only advantages. “We are here from eight to eight. There is someone to ask for help 12 hours a day. At home, it’s only three hours. Especially with the first baby and for the success of breastfeeding, it’s nice that they can turn to us more often. That they can ask questions.

The bond she establishes is no different from when she visits people’s homes. “In three hours at home, I don’t create any different bond than I do here. You have nice conversations with people now”. Another big advantage is that she doesn’t have to do laundry anymore. “I don’t have to climb stairs. And the beds can be raised and lowered. At home, I sometimes find the bed too low”.

The hotel is open in the summer because many maternity staff are on holiday. Also, more children are born in the summer than at other times of the year.

Staff shortage

A third maternity hotel is soon to open in Brabant. A good idea, says maternity nurse Roobol. “The number of midwives is decreasing. In the first week, we lay the foundations for the rest of life. If we can do it this way and not at home, I’m sure it’s the future. Here, one maternity assistant helps four families in one day. At home, it’s two families a day.

New mum Romana is almost ready to leave but would prefer to book many more days at the hotel. “Every day, they clean and bring food. We are very well looked after. We don’t want to leave. It’s really nice here.


Translated by: Anitha Sevugan

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