Ilona Tiemens-van Putten


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About me:

My name  is Ilona Tiemens-van Putten. I am a doctor currently working in psychiatry. Before I started studying medicine I spent more than 11 years working as a primary care obstetrician.  During my midwifery study, I saw how a deceased fetus of 16 weeks was stored in a cardboard basin following birth. A number of years later when I found out that our baby’s heart had stopped beating at around 15 weeks gestation I thought back to it. I wanted to look at the child properly and decided to place it in water immediately after the birth. Because the child had already died about 3 weeks earlier, it was darkened after birth and there was a lot of loose skin. Following a night in the fridge the baby was beautifully pink. After removing the skin it looked so nice that I even showed it to family and friends. Because even the gynaecologists at the hospital were so impressed by the sight of the child, I decided to write an article about it for the gynaecologists’ magazine (NTOG).  I received so many positive comments on it that I decided to create a website where both professionals and parents who are considering the watermethod can find information, and actually see examples. There has also been a lot of interest from the funeral perspective, where in the Netherlands is also known as  waterreplenishment (wateropbaring).

I sincerely hope that the watermethod will help many parents to say goodbye to their so wanted child.

The watermethod won the juryprice of the Yarden afscheidsprijs (say farewell price) in september 2017. The pricemoney is used to extend this website and do research.