Corona – Communities

The measurements taken by the Dutch government after spreading of the corona virus also impacts heavily on normal obstetrical care for pregnant woman and women in their maternity period. However, not only medical care has been minimized, also social distancing has great consequences for this group of women.
Contact with other pregnant women just happens online, prenatal classes are given remotely and a babyshower can only take place with Zoom or Houseparty.

When you are pregnant or just had a baby you probably have a lot of questions about the corona virus and the possible consequences for you and your baby. You might feel worried or anxious in these uncertain times, which is totally understandable.

In order to answer all your questions and offer support if you are feeling insecure or tense, the collaborating partners in obstetrical care in Amsterdam offer a range of supporting products:

  • For women who are very worried, suffer from anxiety or cannot stop thinking about the consequences of the pandemic special online communities have been set up. Select the tab communities for more information about this initiative and to register yourself.
  • Pregnant women in their first trimester can register for ‘Gezond en fit zwanger’. This program offers two (now online) meetings in Dutch, at two separate moments in your pregnancy. It also offers the opportunity to follow an online antenatal course in Dutch. During the meetings a wide range of pregnancy-related subjects will be discussed and there will be time to answer your questions about the corona virus.

About the Online communities

The communities are a temporary program during the corona pandemic for pregnant women and women with new babies who are now extra worried or suffer from anxiety.
The initiative was launched on March 23 and is being developed continuously. The purpose of the communities is to reduce complaints of tension and increase resilience.

For whom

The communities are intended for pregnant women and women in their maternity period who, since the corona pandemic, have complaints like:

  • worries
  • lack of sleep
  • concerns
  • anxiety
  • do not dare to go outside anymore
  • tension
  • following the news all the time
  • concerns about contamination
  • fear of giving birth in the hospital
  • feeling of isolation
  • worries about the tension that affects the (unborn) baby
  • disagreements with their partner about interpretation of the rules

What does a community look like

A community is a group of maximum 15 women who come together for a 90-minute online meeting for three weeks. The community is supervised by both a midwife and a psychologist / IMH specialist who have experience in treating psychological complaints in pregnant women and women with new babies.

Each meeting starts off with a short introduction, during which you can immediately ask a question. The midwife is being advised by a doctor from the GGD and provides information that is based on the official advice from the RIVM. The psychologists / IMH specialists have knowledge of stress and its influence on pregnancy and are familiar with various techniques for coping with stress and anxiety.

In the community there is plenty opportunity to ask questions and share experiences. Each meeting is closed off with a mindfulness exercise.

Kind of groups

  • Women up to 32 weeks pregnancy
  • Women who are more than 32 weeks pregnant and women in their maternity period
  • An English-speaking group


In July 2020 the Online Communities have been ended.


Send an email to
Please indicate how many weeks pregnant you are or when you have given birth. You will then receive a confirmation email as well as information about the group you are assigned to and when the meetings will start. An invitation to Zoom will be sent one day before. You can also unsubscribe via this email address.

When you participate in one of the communities, you agree to the Conditions Online Community.


For questions about the content of the communities please send an email to

Scientific research into Online Communities

To investigate whether these Online Communities actually decrease the perceived tension in mothers, a small study is being conducted by the University of Amsterdam (Dr. Eva Potharst) and the Utrecht University (Dr. Sasja Duijff). To determine the effectiveness of the online communities in the short and longer term, we ask mothers to fill out a small online questionnaire. It contains questions about the perceived tension and contact with their (unborn) baby before the start of the first meeting, after the third meeting and 6 months after the last meeting.

Completing each questionnaire will take you no more than 10 minutes. We would also like to ask you to fill out a short questionnaire about your background.

Information about the research including the link to the questionnaires will be sent to you when registering for the Online Communities.

This project was initiated by

Merith Cohen de Lara, mental health psychologist Psyche en Zwangerschap B.V.
Myrna Goudsmit, midwife
Elaa Amsterdam
Kansrijke start Amsterdam
GGD Amsterdam
Ouder Kind Lijn
EVAA, association of midwives Amsterdam
Kraamzorg Amsterdam

Project Plan

Myrna Goudsmit, midwife
Zillah Holtkamp, ​​IMH specialist / GZ psychologist & founder IMH Netherlands
Merith Cohen de Lara, mental health psychologist, owner of Psyche Zwangerschap B.V.
Anke Witteveen, senior researcher, lecturer, GZ psychologist (n.p.) – epidemiologist Amsterdam Public Health – Midwifery Science department