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A good start
-giving birth in the Netherlands

Number of interviews: 6
Accessibility: public (in the course of 2024)
Transcripts: yes
Period of interviews: 2021
Medium: MP4




Creators: Jet Homoet en Ane C.Ose


The interviews are stored at Atria and DANS

This Oral History project (working title: The Home Birth Culture) consists of six filmed oral history interviews with birth care professionals, a documentary (70′) and a trailer. On Instagram are short street interviews with parents and healthcare professionals.


Oral History interviews with: midwives Franka Cadée, Erna Kerkhof and Djanifa de Conceicao, maternity nurses Thea Groeneveld and Pien Jasper and gynaecologist Martine Hollander.

The life stories of the six birth care professionals provide insight into who and what shaped them, how they came to choose their profession and what experiences they have had in practising it. They share their knowledge about the unique birth care of the Netherlands from their personal experience and perspectives. Together, they paint a powerful but also vulnerable picture of a birthing culture under great pressure from a zeitgeist of medicalisation, market forces and modern man’s drive for control. Pregnant women’s freedom of choice to give birth safely at home is at stake as a result.

How valuable and exceptional our birth care is, which most Dutch people take for granted, is shown by the penetrating stories of these professional women about the overwhelming and special nature of every birth, about the importance of a familiar face during parturition -at home and in the hospital, about the function of pain and the consequences of trauma, poverty and racism. As a result, the interviews and film are also a reflection on our society and core values such as trust in ourselves and our fellow man, autonomy and freedom of choice.


‘Home birth culture’ has had the status of Immaterial Heritage Netherlands since 2021.


The Oral History project Een goed begin – bevallen in Nederland was set up by Vertelburo. Filmmakers Ane C. Ose and Jet Homoet have many years of experience in recording life stories commissioned by individuals and organisations.