About the village
the village owes its existence to a sudden, insomnia-induced (admittedly thanks to some Belgian chocolate) brainwave at 3am one morning in June 2013.
As the idea started to take shape, its creator Siobhan McGonigle realised just how she could help new parents navigate the path towards a satisfying birth experience in Belgium, and take advantage of the wide range of advantages and benefits the Belgian system offers.
"Until now, there has been no comprehensive website offering information in English about having a baby in Belgium. There is plenty of information out there on the internet, but it is scattered, and usually in French or Dutch."
Siobhan is originally from Northern Ireland, and moved to Brussels in 2002, where she met and married the dad of her three boys..
Her first-hand experience of having babies in Brussels, as well as her training as an NCT antenatal teacher and doula training with Michel Odent, mean that she has gained a solid understanding of what the Belgian maternity care model has to offer.
"Belgium is a great place to have a baby ... even more so if you understand what the system has to offer! Finding the kind of care that suits you can help you have a more satisfying experience, making your journey into parenthood all the more enjoyable!"
Special thanks go to ...
... Kate, Kay, Alison and Karen, who have helped me enormously in piecing together the jigsaw that is the Belgian maternity system and without whom this site would never even have been conceived; my husband, children, and friend Saron, who appear in photos on this site; Betsy King of BetsyKing Photography in Fort Wayne, Indiana (www.betsykingphoto.com) who very kindly gave permission to use several of her photos - thanks also to Erin Loechner who appears in some of those photos; Sarah Zalan and Johanne Lila Larsen, Copenhagen, Denmark for their photos; my friend Amy Burnett for her invaluable involvement in the section on stillbirth; friends and family who have proofread the site and given their two cents; ...