Kraamzorg

"Kraamzorg" is the support service you can get as a mother with newborn during first 2 months at home. I heard about it for the first time during our information sessions at the hospital.  Apparently a lot of people are unfamiliar with the service, so I figured it was worth a short post.

Kraamzorg provides general support in the family with a new-born:  non-medical care of the baby (bathing the baby, help with feeding, ...) + household tasks (cooking, grocery shopping, ironing, some cleaning, care of older children, care of pets, ...). Unlike the midwive/health service nurses/lactation experts that can visit you 10 times (refunded),  kraamzorg cannot give you any medical advice or breastfeeding advice. The midwive visits are shorter, focussed on the baby's health (weight, responses, ...) and the mother's health (feeding, postpartum healing, ...).  The people that give the support are not trained as cleaners or so but as care-givers and they only go to families with newborns. As a result they are quite experienced and can give excellent support e.g. when the baby has cramps for the first time and the new parent feels uncertain how to comfort the little one.

The price of kraamzorg is dependend on your income, ...yet as a double income family you will definately pay the maximum amount of 7,5€ per hour. Yet the Belgian healthcare pays back 4€ for 60 hours of support and medical insurances refund an additional amount.

There are multiple organisations that provide kraamzorg...some focus more on many hours in the first 2 weeks, while others spread it out more across 2 months.

I have chosen the latter option, getting help twice a week for 3-4 hours each time.  They took care of Kabouter if he was fussy while I was enjoying breakfast or took the opportunity to enjoy a long relaxing shower.  They bathed him while I was having that much needed nap and gave him a bottle once when I had to go out for an urgent errand.   Besides that they ensured I never had an ironing pile, there was each time a new stew or oven dish + soup ready and our main rooms were cleaned.  Wow, efficient wonder ladies. I miss them.    In my opinion they were very much worth the money!!  So if you are pregnant in Belgium, I recommend to book your kraamzorg already ;)

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