Birthing Places in Germany
Where you can give birth in Germany - an overview over your options.
The birth - where is the best place to have my baby in Germany?
There are many different places where you can have your baby here in Germany.
The best-known and most frequently used place is certainly the hospital with an attached maternity clinic. (Krankenhaus mit angeschlossener Geburtsklinik)
It is not necessary to register in advance at the hospital, but it can be helpful in some cases, especially with high-risk pregnancies. The referral for this prenatal presentation is issued by the gynaecologist between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy. In a normal hospital, midwives and doctors work in shifts. So you can't choose the person who looks after you.
Hospitals with a so called Belegsystem
In addition, there is an occupancy system (Belegsystem) in Germany. On the one hand, there are hospitals that work with midwives (Beleghebammen). Here, a pregnant woman chooses a midwife early in her pregnancy (around 12 weeks of gestation) and gets to know her during preliminary talks and sometimes also during check-ups. This midwife also comes to the birth.
A private fee is usually charged for the on-call service. On the other hand, there are hospitals with affiliated doctors (Belegärzte). In these hospitals, the pregnant woman is cared for by one doctor for the entire pregnancy and this doctor also attends the birth. Inpatient clinics are usually smaller hospitals with fewer births per year and no affiliated paediatric clinic. They are not in every town. If you are interested in this concept, you should find out about such a clinic early and choose the appropriate midwife or gynaecologist.
MIDWIFE Delivery Room
Some maternity clinics also offer the possibility of giving birth in a midwife delivery room (Hebammenkreißsaal). This is a normal delivery room in a hospital, but it is staffed exclusively by midwives (who work in shifts, so you can't choose them). A doctor only comes in in an emergency. This service is covered by the statutory health insurance. Special registration is usually not necessary.
General information on giving birth in a hospital enviroment
You spend between 3 and 5 days in all clinics after giving birth. Of course, you may also leave earlier. Of course, this always depends on the mode of birth (caesarean or vaginal) and the well-being of mother and child. If the new mother leaves the hospital before the U2 (after 72 hours), then it should be ensured in any case that the second examination of the child with special tests can be carried out at the local paediatrician. Of course, it is also possible to leave the hospital after a few hours if the delivery is uncomplicated - outpatient delivery. (ambulante Geburt).
We have a blog about outpatient birth and what this means.
In addition to hospitals, there are also birth centers (Geburtshäuser). You can find these in almost all larger towns.
Here, midwives work together. You need to register in advance, even in early pregnancy, because there are only a few places available. Here, the midwife delivers the pregnant woman without medical assistance in a home-like and secure setting.
This place of delivery is not suitable for high-risk pregnancies. In case of complications, the mother usually has to be transferred to the nearest hospital. A doctor is not nearby. Self-payment is also necessary for this type of delivery.
The last option for the place of birth is the home birth (Hausgeburt). This type of delivery is becoming more and more popular in Germany. Already in early pregnancy, the woman should look for a midwife who performs home births. The two get to know each other during pregnancy and plan the birth together. It is this personal care and home-like security that give many women the peace of mind they need to let go. Here, too, high-risk pregnant women should go to the clinic. A certain amount of money must be paid by the pregnant woman herself.
Of course, a home birth, just like a birth in a birth centre, can be aborted at any time if a risk arises and transferred to a hospital. According to the Society for Quality in Out-of-Hospital Obstetrics (QUAG), this happens to almost 17 percent of women who wanted to give birth at home or in a birth centre - for example, because of a birth arrest or bad heart tones in the baby.
So what kind of place should I choose? Where do I want to give birth?
I think it is always a matter of weighing up whether there is a high-risk pregnancy or any possible complication.
Factors such as the weight of the child, the constitution of the mother and also the mental state of the pregnant woman are also important. If you don't feel safe in a certain clinic, in a certain place, if you can't let yourself go, then you should reconsider this decision. You always have to weigh up all the pros and cons and inform yourself. And then you should definitely listen to your own feelings. Because only when all this is in agreement, then you have found the right place for the birth of your child.
No one can recommend or dictate anything to women (unless it is a medically necessary reason), because we have to feel inside ourselves where the place is where we want to have our child, where we can let go and open the way for the birth.
Please always consult your gynaecologist when choosing the place of birth. Medical reasons must always be given priority!
July 2021 - Gravidamiga
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“ This is not a medical post and it does NOT substitute a visit to a doctor.
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