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6 minute read

International Women’s Club Eindhoven

Welcoming international ladies from all over the world to share their time, hobbies and opinions

Moving abroad to live as an expat is so exciting and refreshing! It’s fascinating to enter a completely new terrain, get to know another culture, meet interesting people or learn a new language. You realize then how important it is to appreciate the diversity of other cultures and backgrounds and to be able to function out of your comfort zone. But when the initial excitement of expat life wears off, you begin to understand emotional and social challenges you’ll need to face. You start missing your home country, your family and circle of friends. The sense of being isolated is especially strong when a spouse follows his work routine and you previously had a career too.

The good news is that struggling to settle in as an expat is not uncommon and the best way to overcome these difficulties is to connect with other people. One of the places to share your passions as well as relocation experiences with other expat ladies is the International Women’s Club in Eindhoven. We are a leading and dynamic social club for international women living in the Eindhoven area, whose participants believe in the impact of empowering women, and actively support them to thrive in the new environment. Through our daytime and evening activities IWCE promotes networking and friendship between English speaking women from many different countries.

IWCE started as the ‘How do you do’ club in the late sixties thanks to the American expat Margaret van Mourik. She started what would become the IWCE by inviting international ladies to her home for a coffee and for piano concerts. Thus, 14 ladies decided to create a group to support newcomers to the Eindhoven area. Everyone was glad to meet someone else who had the same problems and experiences and was speaking the same language. Over the years the club has developed into the group of 150 ladies it is today. It welcomes international ladies from all over the world to share their time, hobbies and opinions with each other in a casual and friendly atmosphere.

Special Interest Groups

The Club organizes meetings for all the Club members once a month, with every month offering something new and inspirational. Winter and summer luncheons, a spring outing and the Winter Market are interchanged with meetings featuring Guest Speakers.

weekly, twice weekly or monthly. They are smaller groups of like-minded ladies which promote common interests and provide lots of fun as well as stunning ideas. Our members are welcome to join SIGs ranging widely from Choir to Film Group, Book Clubs to Italian Conversation, Gourmet Club, Wellness Group, Walking Group, Mahjong, and so on.

Another unique feature of IWCE that makes members feel at home are Area Representatives living in defi ned postcoded areas of Eindhoven and its surrounding villages. An Area Representative is a contact point for ladies living in the same area, she invites members for smaller local gatherings, introduces the new ladies and is able to answer any practical questions members may have.

While the IWCE as an organisation provides activities and support to its members, it also supports endeavours enriching the wider community. Once a year, members are invited to nominate their chosen organisation to be voted the IWCE's charity of that year. Also, we invite guest speakers from various charitable organisations to present themselves and inform us about their goals and the ways members can give support.

For many years the IWCE has been organising the Winter Market, where you can fi nd that special Christmas present or something to pamper yourself with. Products are often handcrafted and made in small quantities, or have a unique cultural origin. From hand-made jewelry and home decorations to home-made treats, and Veldhoven honey; there is something for everyone.

Members are of all ages and nationalities

Whether you prefer a large or smaller meeting, to talk or to listen, the IWCE has lots to offer. It has also proven valuable for Dutch ladies who have repatriated to their home country after spending many years abroad. IWCE members are of all ages and nationalities. Some have young families, some are retired, but what they all have in common are their amazing experiences of living in different countries, their knowledge of different cultures and their ability to understand newcomers and make them feel welcome.

To join the club you must be an international lady who is resident in The Netherlands and/ or Eindhoven area or a Dutch national who has lived abroad for more than three years. Dutch applicants must have returned to the Netherlands before seeking membership.

To learn more, visit www. iwce.nl or drop us an email at iwceindhoven@gmail.

com.

Geertje Swinkels en Janneke Oudenaarden

Gezondheidscentrum SGE Meerhoven

Meerwater 27 5658 LP Eindhoven

Gezondheidscentrum SGE International

Strijp-S Videolab 4.042 - Torenallee 20 5617 BC Eindhoven

Giving birth in the Netherlands: being informed and making your own decisions

Client M. was 20 weeks pregnant when she came to the Netherlands. She was planning to return to France a month before her due date, determined to have a hospital delivery with epidural anesthesia. At our practice she participated in our Centering Pregnancy sessions. Because of all the information she received, she became convinced that the Dutch system was a better fit for her. She delivered her baby boy at home, on a birthing chair, supported by her husband, a doula and her midwife.

Client D. came from India. She was a bit skeptical about the Centering Pregnancy group sessions, but at the end the support of the other women, experiencing the same as she, turned out to be great. For her delivery she felt more comfortable at the hospital, a decision completely supported by her midwife. She thought about having an epidural, but within 8 hours her baby boy was born without any medical pain relief. The women from the group still meet, together with their babies.

Client K.’s first child was born in Brazil. She had a planned cesarean section, simply because she had reached her due date. All the information she received in the Netherlands during her second pregnancy made her think if, looking back, the c-section had been the right decision. However, she was also afraid of the pain that comes with a natural delivery. After counseling and shared decision making with her midwife and gynaecologist, she chose to go for a natural delivery with epidural anesthesia. Her baby girl was born this way and client K. felt heard and supported throughout the whole process.

3 different birth stories, 3 women making different choices, every choice being a good one. At Midwifery Practice Eindhoven we think it is very important that you are well informed about your pregnancy and delivery. You can’t choose if you don’t know your options. We offer every client the opportunity to write a birth plan in which they tell us what kind of support they expect from us during their delivery and share with us their wishes and their fears. We can’t always influence the medical process of a delivery, but when you feel safe, informed and in control, then we have reached our goal.

www.midwiferypractice-eindhoven.nl