Breastfeeding Tips

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Breastfeeding or nursing is the process of feeding breast milk to her infant. For some breastfeeding is really easy while for others it is quite difficult and does not work well. From the moment your baby is born, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances for breastfeeding success. Every mother can use a tip every now and then.

  1. Breastfeeding is an exercise, practice it.
    Breastfeeding is natural of course but it is actually an exercise which you and baby both need to practice and master. No pressure, take your time. Take all the help you can get from others so that you can focus on being with the baby most of the time and feeding your baby. The time with your baby is the only task for you.
  2. Posture of Breastfeeding : Know the good postures.

It is important to understand the positions of feeding. You never know which one suits you or your baby. Do your homework or research and read about the different feeding positions.

3. A good feeding cushion
It is optional to have a feeding cushion but to your comfort, it is quite helpful so that you can sit comfortably in the right position.

4. Feeding in public. Just do it.
Do not be afraid of feeding your baby in the public. It is kind of uncomfortable first but soon you will get used to it. If you are too shy or baby gets distracted in the public, cover with a hydrophilic cloth or any other cloth.

5. Do not look at the clock too much.
Kraamzorg suggest to feed the baby every 3 hours but baby gets hungry faster and most of the time already giving clues when sleeping. Feed them on demand is also a good method to follow or feed them when you think they are hungry.

Do you run into problems while practicing the breastfeeding. There can be different problems which can be faced during the breastfeeding exercise. These can be :

  1. Baby is not latching properly?
    Do not give up easily. It is a hard job which requires a lot of hard work. If the baby is not latching, what can you do? Of course there is a lot to do and check.
    – You can check the baby with your pediatrician on the lip or tongue ties. Take advice from pediatrician.
    – Check if baby is opening a big mouth for taking in the nipple, if not, try to use nipple shields. Medela nipple shields is one of the brand you can try on.
    Skin to Skin is important for building the bond. Get naked with the baby and give your baby a warm feeling that helps to start breastfeeding.

2. You are not producing enough milk?
Many moms worry a lot as they have a poor milk supply. Once your breast milk has come in, your breasts start to make milk through a process of ‘supply and demand’. Each time milk is removed, either by your baby feeding or by expressing, your breasts make more. Giving bottles or formula milk to the baby leads to low supply of breastmilk. In such cases follow :
Skin-to-skin contact with your baby before and during feeds stimulate the hormone oxytocin, which gets your milk flowing. Do it regularly.
Relaxation technique. It is important that you remain relaxed in such situation. Feel stressful and nervous leads to let down on the flow of the breastmilk. Listen to your favorite calming music.
Try SNS Method. Supplement nursing system helps baby to feed the formula milk or extra milk while feeding at breast. This helps in encouraging the breastfeeding.
Express milk using pumping. The more you pump and extract the milk, the better will be the supply. Remember supply and demand method.

3. Still having issues?
Call a lactation consultant. Ask your kraamzorg to help you in being in contact with the certified lactation expert. They usually come to your home. Some of the LC fees can be reimbursed from the health provider however for some, you have to pay by yourself. Check this in advance.
Follow breastfeeding forums. La Leche League is one of the popular forum on facebook or you can call them free of cost on their website or chat with them.
Take up online breastfeeding courses. Midwives usually arranges the breastfeeding courses. You can ask for a course from them during your pregnancy journey to be well prepared for the breastfeeding. or ask the lactation expert for online courses list.
Follow Youtube videos. Follow the videos and practice a lot together with your baby.

Last but not the least: involve your partner in everything. From preparing a glass of water and eating something while you feed, to handle the baby or keep out of the door of visit. In short, surround yourself with people who have faith in you and your breasts. Because if you are relaxed and well cared for, you have the peace to do that miracle work.

Buying a Kitchen for your new home?

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“My dream kitchen suits the style of my home, and also my own personal tastes as well.”

Choosing a kitchen – be it second hand or the new one and building it from scratch as per your dream is an enormous task. You will definitely love the entire the entire process of choosing all the details for your dream kitchen but when it finally comes to the expenses, it is out of your budget.

It is very important to understand different aspects of kitchen while choosing the details. Here are some great tips from us which you can utilize while deciding your dream kitchen.

  1. Measure your kitchen space
    It is very important that you know all the dimensions of your kitchen. Measure and make a floor plan of the kitchen. Double check the measurements with your advisor too. Also make sure that once you finalize the kitchen or agreed to purchase, a professional will visit your home to take the final measurements of the space before placing the order.
    Tip : Do not sign any offer unless the final measurements are done by the professional. Once you sign any papers, you are obliged to take up the kitchen you signed even if it fits or not.
  2. Do your research
    Visit a lot of showrooms to have a look at the kitchens. Think about cabinet styles, appliances, countertops, colors, overall style such as Island or U-Shape or T-shape or L-shapes kitchen. Cabinet doors with handles or without handles. Drawers or normal cabinets etc.
    Tip 1 : Drawers are convenient but very expensive. So choose wisely. Maximum expenses are related to the drawers.
    Tip 2 : Choosing 3 or 4 appliances from same company will add a huge discount on the offer. Appliances include Gas stove or induction stove, Microwave, oven or combi Oven, Refrigerator, Coffee maker, Dishwasher, Chimney outside or inside gas stove, wine fridge etc.
  3. Choose a kitchen supplier
    This is a most difficult task of choosing a right supplier. On what basis should you make this decision? Here are some points :
    – Check the quality of the kitchen with the supplier. Some have low quality cabinets supported with plastic hinges while others have the cabinets supported with steel hinges.
    – Support/Guarantee for the kitchen : find out for how many years the supplier is providing the guarantee for the kitchen.
    – Handling of complaints : How is the supplier handling the complaints once the kitchen is installed. Is it a slow support system or fast enough to understand and fix the things.
    – Review : Do not forget to have a look at the reviews of the kitchen suppliers. Ask your friends as well as on social media for the reviews of the certain suppliers.
    Tip : Some of the suppliers which comes in quick budget but with low quality kitchens are superkeukens, keukensale, keuken kampioen, keuken concurrent etc. Here you get good kitchens which fits into your budget but you also need to adjust with the quality. Also the support on the complaints is not too good. So choose wisely.
  4. Bargain on the offer
    Yes, do not think twice on the bargaining. A very important aspect before signing the contract is the bargaining on top of the offer. All kitchen suppliers in Netherlands does accept the bargain on the offer. You can go from 20% until 40% bargain on the offer. All depends upon your negotiation skills. There is a huge margin in the kitchen offers.
  5. Read the offer thrice before signing
    Do not sign any offer with the supplier unless you are sure of it. Always go through the offer again and again together with the supplier and read through the minor details of what you have chosen. Often the suppliers forget to add what yu have asked for or try to add more or different colors of minor detailing. Therefore do not be afraid of going through the offer as many times as you want.

Preparing for a baby birth : What should you put into the hospital bag?

Whether you are planning to give birth at home or at the hospital, it is always good to be prepared with the hospital bag well in advance. Wherever you give birth, keep in mind you may have to go to the hospital. It is important to have necessary items in the bag for yourself, your baby and your partner. There is always a question, what should we pack for the hospital and that leads to the last minute confusions. Do not worry, we have made a handy checklist for you. The list will give you a good idea of what to bring to the hospital.

When do you start packing the bag?

The labor can start anytime after 37th week of pregnancy. So our advice is to start packing around 34th week so that the bag is ready with essential items before the labor starts. With this you have enough time that you do not forget those cute little clothes you bought for the baby.
No stress of rushing to find all the things together and forgetting half of the things will not happen. Preparing early gives you a peace of mind and let you focus on what is important : bringing your baby into this new world.

Finally Checklist

You probably have a lot on your mind right now on what to pack and what not. Here is our handy checklist with all the tips that will help you to pack better.

Documents

The most important to pack are the documents. Do not forget them at the last moment.

  • Hospital Card : Patient id card for hospital (If you going to this hospital for the first time, you will need to be in line to get the hospital card or you can do it in advance by visiting the hospital)
  • ID card (can be your resident permit or Dutch driving license or a passport)
  • Health Insurance Card
  • Birth plan (not necessary, only if you have one)

During the delivery

  • A comfortable long gown/night gown or Tshirt (upto the length of knee)
  • A bottle of water
  • distraction for you (a magazine, books, songs on smartphones whatever interests you)
  • an elastic band to tie your hair
  • Something to eat or drink

After the Delivery (for yourself)

  • Toiletries
  • Underwear and a bra (some people prefer a nursing bra, some do not prefer to wear a bra right away, its upto you)
  • Bath slippers and a bathrobe or a bath towel
  • Clean clothes or another pair of night gown (whatever you feel is comfortable)
  • A phone and Charger or a Camera (you can click the photos during and after delivery)
  • Coins for getting the wheelchair
  • plastic bag for your dirty clothes
  • Nipple shield if the baby is not latching properly for breastfeed
  • Food and drink
  • Warm socks or a shawl (only if you feel very cold)

After the Delivery (for the baby)

  • 2 pair of romper (very important to take it to hospital) – Size 50/56
  • 2 pair of full body suit for the baby is a quick choice instead of a separate top and bottom – Size 50/56
  • socks and hat – Size 50/56
  • A blanket to keep the baby warm
  • A baby car seat so you can take your baby home safely

For Partner

  • Toiletries
  • Loose or comfortable clothing
  • Towel or wash clothes
  • Book or laptop or tablet or smartphone to keep you busy
  • Snacks and drinks

What will you already get at the hospital ?

There are few essential items which are already there at the hospital. You do not have to keep them in the bag at all. These includes :

  • Diapers and wipes. Also available in delivery room as well as your room
  • Warm bottles to keep the baby warm in the baby bed
  • Bandages for yourself etc.
  • Hospital grade pump if needed
  • Formula milk if needed

Pregnancy is a wonderful time. Despite the many to-do’s and don’ts, you should enjoy it and not let yourself be stressed. With a good organization you can perform all important tasks and you have enough time to look forward to the arrival of your child. Good luck !

ONA Exceptions

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Yes, You heard it right ! ONA exceptions are possible. Learn what are the conditions and how you can apply for the exceptions.

ONA is known as the orientation on the Dutch Labor Market is all about working and finding work. This is one of the exam required for inburgering.

However if you have worked within the Netherlands and have a job, you may apply for exemption from ONA exam. This is called an ‘ontheffing wegens aantoonbaar voldoende ingeburgerd’ (‘exemption due to demonstrable sufficient integration’). However there are few conditions :

  • You have worked for at least 6 months in the past 12 months.
  • You have worked as a salaried employee.
  • You worked at least 48 hours a month.

How can you apply for exception?
1. Log in to Mijn Inburgering usig DigiD to apply for an exemption. If this won’t work, use the form ‘Aanvraag vrijstelling Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt’ attached here.
2. Click on “Request Exemption ONA”. There are two forms depending upon the type of employers. Choose the form which you have to fill.
3. Send the form to DUO together with supported documents.

What do you need as supportive documents?
You will need :

  • 6 months salary slip
  • HR declaration stating that you are currently working with the employer
  • Bank statements for the proof of salary being received for past 6 months

How long will it take to get the exception?
The decision on whether you get an exception, will be available within at least 6 weeks.

Good Luck to the ones applying for the exception ! If you find the post useful, do not forget to rate us !

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Postpartum Depression

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Postpartum Depression also known as postnatal depression or PPD is a type of mood disorder just after the childbirth.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) - Postpartum Depression Symptoms ...

Your body go through many changes during and after pregnancy. After the birth of the child, you and family, everyone want to spend the joyous moments together with the child. At the same time, as a mother, you may feel the mood swings, sadness, emptiness within a few days after the childbirth. These can be called ‘baby blues’.

Baby blues happens almost to every woman especially to the first time moms. If the baby blues does not go away and continues even after 2 weeks, then you may have postpartum depression. This is a very common problem after pregnancy and happens due to the extensive hormonal changes.

What are the symptoms of baby blues?

  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Crying
  • Sadness
  • Appetite problems

What are the symptoms of Postpartum Depression?

  • Severe mood swings
  • Loosing confidence in herself
  • Excessive crying without any reason
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Worrying about not feeling love towards her baby
  • Fear that you are not a good mother
  • Hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness or inadequacy
  • Severe anxiety
  • Having thoughts of hurting yourself or baby

One may or may not feel all the symptoms at the same time. Some women do not tell about their symptoms as they may feel embarrassed, or ashamed about it.

What can cause the depression?
A lot of hormonal changes are usually the cause of such feelings. But there are many other factors that can contribute to this feeling such as :

  • Tiring labor or delivery
  • Tiredness due to lack of sleep
  • Overwhelmed with the newborn
  • Doubts about your ability to be a good mother
  • An unrealistic need to be a perfect mom
  • Being less attractive
  • Lack of free time for yourself

These feelings are very common to the new mothers.

How can you help yourself?

  • Rest as much as possible. Sleep when your baby is sleeping.
  • Make time to go out, visit friends, or spend time alone with your partner. Even a 15 min free time is also luxury. 😉
  • If you cannot go out, ask your family to take out the baby for the walk etc. to get some time for yourself.
  • Talk about your feelings with your partner or your best friend. It is important to open up with someone.
  • Do not try to do too much or everything by your own. Ask for help or support from your partner or family.
  • Go for a makeover. Be beautiful and feel beautiful.
  • If you are not able to do some task, its okay. Its not realistic to be a perfect mom.

How can you partner help?

  • Listen to her. This is what she needs the most – emotional support. Encourage her to talk to you.
  • Don’t tell her to pull herself together. She would if she could. Instead, tell her that she’s doing a great job of being a new mother.
  • Don’t judge her if she is not able to do something. Instead listen to her freely.
  • Take her out at least for half an hour so as to change the environment around her.
  • Don’t make major life changes just after the childbirth.
  • Take on some of the night feeds or caring of the baby so she can rest a little bit more.
  • Offer practical support such as laundry, cooking, and shopping etc.
  • Remind her that the postpartum depression is common and she is not alone.
  • Do not forget to cuddle her.
  • If you think it is getting serious, with the approval of the new mom, talk to midwife and ask for the right help.

I hope the partners will read these suggestions and put them in action.

Finally a congratulations on having a baby!!

Rate us ! Let us know how you feel about the post.

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Car Parking Permit

Do you live in or moving the an area where parking is paid. Then you will need a parking permit.

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Check availability of parking permit in your area
Check your permit area by filling street name and house number in the permit tool.
Also check the waiting list.

Rules for getting a parking permit
– You are registered at the address where you need the permit.
– The vehicle is registered in your name.
– For diesel cars, vehicle first registration must be after 2004.
– For cars running on fuels, vehicles first registration must be after July 1992.
– You cannot already have an available parking space.
– Parking permits are never available for new build projects.

Number of permits
In some areas, you can apply for maximum of two permits per address otherwise it is max one permit per address.

Where can you park
You can part anywhere within your permit area.

What do you need to apply for a permit
– DigiD for online application
– A valid ID for city office application
– A scan or clear photo of your vehicle documentation and registration certificate
– If there is parking space available at your home but you are unable to make use of it, you need a declaration stating there are no parking places available to you, signed by the owner or manager of the building.
– If you have a lease car, copy of the agreement.
– If you have a company car, copy of agreement, a declaration from employer and salary slips of two months old.

How can you apply
You can apply online via DigiD or,
You can take an appointment at city office and apply there with all the documents.

APK test

APK is also known as periodic technical inspection. This is a mandatory inspection in Europe to promote road safety and protect the environment.

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RDW will send you a reminder by post, 6 weeks before the expiry of the current APK. As a owner of the vehicle, you are responsible for having your vehicle inspected on time.

How to go for an APK?
If your vehicle requires an APK, book an appointment with the RDW approved company. The cost of inspection vary per company. You will receive an inspection report even in case of rejection.

How often should a APK be performed?
First time inspection? If your vehicle has not gone through inspections before, you can check the schedule here on how often there should be an APK.

Not a first time? If your vehicle has undergone an APK before, you can check the expiry here. The vehicle must be inspected prior to this date.

Change of fuel? If the fuel of your vehicle changes, your vehicle may need to be inspected more or less based on that.

Inspection Report
You will receive an inspection report on approval as well as on rejection. On the inspection report, it is stated if you need any repairs, rejected reasons and points of advice.
Points of advice are the defects that do not lead to a rejection, but which will require replacement or repair soon.
Always make sure you receive the inspection report. You will need this if you wish to appeal against the result of the inspection. Sometimes you also need it when driving the vehicle abroad.

Car : Register at RDW

So you have decided which car to buy for yourself, great !! Its not officially yours until you get the car registered at RDW.

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What is RDW?
The Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW) contributes to making road transport in the Netherlands as safe, clean, economically viable and well-regulated as possible. The dutch government has assigned 4 tasks to RDW :

– Licensing : The licensing of vehicles
– Supervision & Control : Supervising companies and monitoring conditions of the vehicles.
– Registration & Information : Gathering, updating and managing data concerning vehicles.
– Issuing documents : documents which are required for vehicles such as driving license, APK forms etc.

Register at RDW
If you are selling a vehicle, you must put the registration in the new owner’s name. This must be done by the seller. Buyer must ensure this to make it official. After the registration, you will get a vehicle registration card (kentekencard) as a new owner.

What do you need as a seller for Registration transfer?
– A registration Code(in the letter) : You need this registration code when you sell (transfer), scrap, export, or demolish your vehicle.
– Kentekenbewijs card (Vehicle registration card)

How to register as a seller?
Your vehicle registration card is connected to a registration code. Half of the code is printed on the kentekenbewijs card and half of the code is printed in the separate letter. As a seller, take both to the post office. As a buyer, show ID and pay around Eur 10 to transfer the registration to the new owner. This can be done within a few minutes.

What will you as a buyer will receive after registeration?
You will receive a vehicle registration card when the vehicle is transferred.

Buying a car

Are you planning to buy a car within The Netherlands.

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There are three ways you can look for your dream car within the Netherlands.

  1. Buying a Used car
    You can search the car via Marktplaats.nl (dutch online marketplace).
    The biggest concern when buying a car is the condition of the used car. There are a few factors you need to check when buying the used card.

    – License plate check
    Check the license plate at RDW for free. This gives you a detailed information of known car details such as previous owners, APK history, if the car is stolen. These reports can be checked at ovi.rdw.nl/ or finnik.nl/. Car damage can also be checked on these site but that is a paid option.

    – APK check
    Always check the date of last APK(technical inspection). If it was long time back, you can request for a new APK. Sometimes owner pay for it or he can also request you to pay for new APK. However the cost of APK is quite cheap.

    – Bouwjaar check
    Make sure to check the year of manufacture of the car. The older the car, the less money it is !!

    – Dealer or individual
    I prefer to buy from an individual instead of a dealer. Dealers usually try to add some guarantee also to convince you to buy a car for which you have to pay a little extra. In my opinion, the cars from dealers usually asks some investments later after a period of 6 months or so.
    I usually prefer to buy from an individual owner from Maarktplaats. You can then negotiate well over the price. Go for a test drive before buying a car and ask as many questions as possible.

    – Big cities or far off places
    As per my experience, the sellers near and around big cities such as Amsterdam are not that trustworthy for the condition of the car. I usually prefer to go to far off villages usually near the Netherlands border to test drive and pick a car.

    – Young or Older owners
    I prefer to buy the cars from the owners who are of the age range between 40s to 50s. That’s specific to my preference.
  2. Buying a new car
    Considering to buy a new car, think of BPM tax. The first owner of the new car must pay the BPM tax (Bijzondere Verbruiksbelasting van Personenauto’s) to register the vehicle in their name. You can find more information of BPM tax here.
  3. Lease a Car
    Having a car on lease is also an option. The car is in your name but is owned by the leasing company. You take a subscription and pay per month. The subscription is based on the duration and number of kilometres. This option is mostly used by companies to offer car as a service to employers but you can also opt for it yourself if you want.

Buying a car : 7 things to do

Aha, you got a driving license and planning to buy a car? Here are our top 7 things to do or check while planning to buy a car in the Netherlands. Before that if you want to have a look at our post on the different ways to buy a car in the Netherlands, have a look here.

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So lets have a look on the important things to know when buying a car.

  1. A driving License
    To be able to drive within Netherlands, you need to have a correct EU/EFTA driving license. You can have a look at our blog on how to apply the driving license. How to buy the car? You can follow our blog here.
  2. Register with RDW
    Found your car, its not officially yours until you get the car registered at RDW. Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer(RDW) is the national authority for vehicles and transport. They deal with the road tax and liability insurance.Read our blog on how to register.
  3. Road Tax
    If you live in Netherlands and owns a vehicle, you will have to motor vehicle tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting, MRB). You pay the vehicle tax by direct debit for each period of 3 months.You may authorize the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration to debit the motor vehicle tax on a monthly basis. You can see the tax rate here(in dutch). Some cars such as fully electric are exempted from paying MRB.
  4. Apply for a car Insurance
    There are usually three types of car insurance – Third Party Liability, Third Party Liability + Limited cover, Third Party Liability + comprehensive cover. You can compare the insurance on independer.nl for details.
  5. APK Test
    APK is also known as periodic technical inspection. This is a mandatory inspection in Europe to promote road safety and protect the environment. RDW will send you a reminder 6 weeks before the expiry of the current APK. Read our blog for more detailed information.
  6. Parking Permit
    Do you live in or moving the an area where parking is paid. Then you will need a parking permit. Some neighborhood have a free parking area while some requires a parking permit. There can also be a waiting list for the parking permit for some areas. Read our blog on how to apply for a parking permit.
  7. ANWB Subscription
    It is not mandatory however we recommend to take an ANWB subscription just in case your car broke in the middle of the highway. ANWB provides you the best roadside assistance not only within the Netherlands but outside as well. There are different packages to choose from costs you max Eur 20 per month depending on the package you choose.