The Dutch system of maternity care is occasionally held up as an example to be emulated by health care providers in the United Kingdom There are, however, certain differences between maternity care in the two countries which prevent the direct transfer of a system of maternity care from the Netherlands to the UK The countries are different in terms of their geography and social class distribution The organizational frameworks within which maternity care is provided demonstrate important differences The midwives are from a different background, undergo a different preparation and face crucially different working arrangements There are also certain, largely cultural, differences between mothers in the two countries Despite these discrepancies, much may be learned by those involved in maternity care in the UK from their Dutch counterparts and the Dutch system of care