About us

Our practice consists of a team of three midwives and one assistant. In case of illness, leave or holidays we also work with replacement midwives. These are midwives who work with us on a freelance base. Also, you can sometimes encounter midwives in training at our practice.

One of the advantages of working in a team is that we can complete and support each other. Also, we regularly have meetings, colleague feedback sessions and supplementary training in order to mountain a high level of quality of care. Another advantage is having enough time for our private lives, so we can easily stay fresh and motivated.

There is always a midwife on active duty, so you can reach us 24 hours a day. This midwife on active duty is available for all urgent matters. During active duty, the midwife on call will visit the babies born that week. We have consultation hours at the practice, and for the first appointment we plan over an hour for all your questions and give you all the required information. The first half of the pregnancy you will have the appointments with one of us, so you will not see a new face every appointment. Most pregnant women like to meet and get to know the other midwives as well after this period so a familiar midwife will be at your delivery, but if you prefer having the appointment with just one or two midwives just let us know and we will arrange this for you.

We also work together with:
-Myrte van Lonkhuijsen, lactation consultant (breastfeeding specialist)
-Vidhi van Manen, dietician  
-Annet Coumou, coach

Karin, Froukje, Samie, Sophie

Our team

From left to right:   Samie Zijlstra - Sophie Buitenkant - Froukje Jorissen


Froukje Jorissen, midwife

In 2009 I graduated from the Verloskundige Academie Rotterdam. Since 2011 I'm enjoying working at this midwife practice. I started as a replacement midwife and in 2012 I joined the team. In September 2013 I became a mother for the first time when my beautiful son Pelle was born. The pregnancy and birth taught me a lot about the strength but also the vulnerability of being pregnant and being a mother.  In July 2015 our daughter Juno was born. I also co-organize our monthly Baby Café. Together with our lactation consultant we make a broader package of care available.

BIG registration:  59912171703

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Sophie Buitenkant, midwife

My name is Sophie and I graduated in 2001 in Amsterdam as midwife. I have been involved with this practice since 1996; working for a year as assistant while waiting to be accepted at the Vroedvrouwen Academie Amsterdam, and after graduating in July of 2001 I came straight back here as a replacement midwife for a couple of months. I then worked as a replacement midwife at other practices in Amsterdam for two years before returning to the practice van der Hoopstraat, not to leave again.

The interactions with people, being a part of a very special happening in the life of people and working in a close team make me feel that I have the best job in the world. I am married and have three children, two daughters and a son. 

BIG registration: 99055118403
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Samie Zijlstra, midwife 

Dear pregnant women and partners, my name is Samie Zijlstra. I have been working since 2009 as a midwife in Amsterdam. I was born at home at the Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam. In April 2013 my son Felix was born and in October 2016 my daughter Frida was born. Both were born at home in a birthing bath. I was really well coached by my midwife, friend, and college at our practice, Froukje Jorissen. I view motherhood as a great experience for my work. 

For me it's important that you feel trusted and understood by your midwife and I hope my colleges and I can offer you just that. Every time it is beautiful to witness the birth of a human being! It is my honor to guide you at such an important phase in your life.

I wish you a good pregnancy, a beautiful delivery and a healthy baby! 

BIG registration: 39911221503
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Samira Alvarez Sardella, replacement midwife

My name is Samira. I'm a midwife from Brazil. I graduated as a midwife in São Paulo, Brazil in 2013 and moved to Amsterdam in 2018. I have now learned the language and started to work as a midwife in the Netherlands. In Brazil I worked as a midwife in a hospital and now I'm trained in the Dutch midwifery system.
In my opinion, pregnancy, delivery and childbirth are natural and physiological processes that should be treated that way. Every woman is unique and has different needs and wishes. I listen carefully to these wishes to provide safe and customized care. We work together so that you have a positive experience during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.
I look forward to meeting you!

BIG registration: 99925738703
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Helmi Pauwels, replacement midwife

I have enjoyed working as a midwife since 1992. The amazement remains. In almost 30 years I have guided many women and watched their beautiful children be born. I have worked at various locations in the Netherlands. In 2005 I started working with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) in Sierra Leone and Yemen. In this way I was introduced to a completely different dimension of my profession. It was a special experience. After this I lived and worked at a meditation center. A refreshing time that gave new inspiration to continue in my profession. Over the years I have learned a lot and discovered what is important to me. Safe care for the woman and her child, in balance with her wishes and needs. I still think that is a great challenge.

Rodante van der Waal, replacement midwife (Rodante is absent from May to November)

I was born in 1992 in an appartement in Amsterdam West and four years later my brother was born in the same house. While my mother was concentrating on her contractions, I went for walks around the neighborhood with her best friend. I was nervous, not so much because of the birth, I had a lot of confidence in my mother, but because my important role in the birth of my brother would soon be revealed. I had worked for weeks on his birth announcement (the Dutch 'geboortekaartje') and now there was nothing left to do untill it would be mailed to friends and family, but to wait and run around in the streets.

Going on maternity visits and assisting home births in the same streets as where we grew up feels very special and very familiar - precisely that unique mix that also characterizes the period of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Being a witness to this and to the cofidence, love and strength with which you give birth and become parents, makes the work as a midwife incredibly inspiring.

I find the same familiarity and inspiration with Sophie, Froukje and Samie, from whom I learned so much during my last internship and with whom I have stayed since then. Next to my job at the Van der Hoopstraat, I'm currently also working on a PhD at the University for Humanistic Studies in Utrecht on the philosophy of pregnancy and childbirth.

BIG registration: 29927242603
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Karin, assistant

My name is Karin. I have worked in a bookstore in Amsterdam since 1976, but lost my job in 2013 due to reorganisation. One of my daughters had her baby in 2014 with the midwives of the van der Hoopstraat. She attented me on the vacancy for an assistant at the midwive practice. This gave me the opportunity to combine my skills as a management assistant with my personal interest in midwivery and childbirth. In the 80's I was an active member of 'Beter Bevallen', an organisation of midwives and clients, trying to promote and maintain homebirth in the Netherlands. I am mother of 3 daughters and a son and I have 3 beautiful grandchildren (2 girls and 1 boy)! I started to work at the midwife practice in July 2015, and will be there every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday till 15.00 and on Wednesday till 12.30.
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Annet Coumou, coach

Annet Coumou

In 1995 I graduated at the Vroedvrouwenschool in Amsterdam and I worked at the practice van der Hoopstraat up to July 2015.

Being a midwife was wonderful. After the births of my own children the realization grew on me how important is is to have good supervision during the pregnancy and delivery. This is partly why I chose to do a training for being a certified coach. Now I am a coach for pregnant women who want coaching.
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Myrte van Lonkhuijsen, lactation consultant

Since 2000 I work full-time as a lactation consultant. Together with the parents I look for solutions for problems regarding breastfeeding when normal guidance is not enough. I really enjoy working and participating in a team: parents, midwives, kraamverzorgsters (maternity nurses) and the lactation consultant.

If you want to register for the breastfeeding evening, click here.
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Vidhi van Manen, dietician

Your body is going through big changes as your child grows in your womb the coming nine months. You would like to ensure the best possible environment for the both of you. Nutrition plays a vital role. I would be pleased to discuss which choices you can make in this regard; so that your pregnancy and the development of your child may progress optimally.

For example, as well as support relating to your weight, I can give specific advice about pregnancy ailments, such as nausea, constipation, fatigue or anaemia. I can provide guidance for gestational diabetes, in close collaboration with the midwives and diabetes specialist nurses. Also if you are trying to conceive or when your child is born, I am able to offer nutritional advice. For children up to the age of 18, dietetic care – such as for healthy nutrition, selective eating, food intolerances, irritable bowels, low or high weight – is covered by health insurance.

I am Vidhi and I work as a dietitian for De Zoete Appel. You can come to me on Mondays for dietetic advice at the location Van der Hoopstraat. It is my pleasure to work together with the team here, who also supported me through my own pregnancies. I am British and have lived in the Staatsliedenbuurt since 2011. During my degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in The Hague, I provided advice to children and their parents at the Juliana Children's Hospital. Important to me is building a good relationship with my clients; I am committed to my clients and seek relevant and individual advice with them. As a dietitian, I value being able to use insights from my earlier Masters study in Cognitive Science (psychology, philosophy, language development) and my work in the UK as a care professional. I am happy to hold the consultations in English if you prefer, and also have knowledge of Hindi and Spanish.

If you would like to know more, or to make an appointment, feel free to contact De Zoete Appel, tel: 020 737 1688 or via info@dezoeteappel.nl. For more information, please visit: www.dezoeteappel.nl.
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