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During your pregnancy you will meet our whole team. After all, you will never know who will be on duty when your labor begins. Below we introduce ourselves shortly.

Marja Brakman

Marja Brakman, midwife since 1979, working at the Bolwerk in Haarlem for over 40 years. “Meanwhile i have seen a second generation starting to age.” Many “muggen” as we call Haarlemmers, keep living in our beautiful city. It is a special experience: working with (soon to be) mothers and fathers from which i have witnessed their own births. The midwifery system in The Netherlands is unique. Parents have the freedom of choice, if the pregnancy goes well, to choose where the baby will be born. Either way, i find the strength that women show during pregnancy and giving birth the most fascinating aspect of my work. Every birth is unique and it remains very special to be part of that. Besides my work at Bolwerk i am also an ultrasound a specialist in trying to turn the unborn baby into the optimal position for birth. I have two grown daughters and my first grandchild was bron in 2017.

Big-number: 49020245303

“Still a beautiful line of work after 40 years”


Joyce Headley-Janse, midwife since 2009. “I was born in 1983 in this practice with the helping hand of my current colleague Marja. I graduated in Amsterdam in 2009. From that moment on i started stepping in for the Bolwerk and never left. When i became part of the regular team of midwives in 2011 it felt like coming home. Guiding pregnant women, soon to be fathers, brothers and sisters doesn’t feel like work to me, but an honour to be allowed into this special event. It remains fascinating how the body has thought of everything and how strong women are. In 2012 i successfully completed the training for lactation consultant. In practice i also use this knowledge and expertise for questions and problems related to breastfeeding. In 2013 and 2016 i became a mother myself of two lovely sons James and George.

Big-number: 19911561103

I was born on my work”

Nienke Anker

Every time at work i encounter the amazement, how special it is to be able to experience this. How often are you pregnant, how often do you carry and deliver your own child? That requires attention, medical examination but a listening ear as well to know what the soo to be parents are going through and what they need.
Midwifery is a craft to me. I keep learning through the variety of people and the progress of their pregnancy, labor and birth of a new human. Besides the academy for midwifery i also graduated for my master’s degree in midwifery. I am an active board member in various organisations that focus on the organisation of health care around pregnancy and birth. I children’s consulting hour and planned pregnancy consulting hour in the practive and i use the Coaching and Midwifery course that i have followed at
Amethist. I have two beautiful children, 7 and 11 years old.

Big-number: 89048786003 

I have been working as a midwife since 1998.”

Sophie Bouwes

To keep our practice running 24/7, we have midwife Sophie Bouwes as a permanent backup for Bolwerk. Sophie works in our practice on days when we have training, a team meeting and when we are on vacation or sick ourselves.
Sophie was trained as a midwife in Amsterdam and has gained a lot of experience in Haarlem midwifery practices.
She lives in the heart of Haarlem centre and she is a really good singer, we have seen her perform with her beautiful voice.

Big-nummer: 49924577503 

Every time I find it moving that I can contribute to one of the most special, vulnerable and most beautiful moments in someone’s life.

Assistants Inge & Tessa

We (almost) can’t work without our lovely assistants Inge and Tessa. Inge is a physician assistant but has been working at the Bolwerk since 2009 and works on Monday-Wednesday-Thursday mornings. Tessa started working here in the beginning of 2019 and works on the Friday mornings. During the holidays these ladies fill in for each other so you can also spot them at a different day. Got a question and are you calling our practice? Chances are that you’ll be talking to one of these ladies.