Pregnancy & Giving birth in Switzerland

Pregnancy & Giving birth in Switzerland

Life in Switzerland is especially rewarding for your and your family, with high standards of living and excellent childcare. Prospective mothers in Switzerland are given great security and receive high-quality care and education to prepare them for motherhood. If you are planning on starting a family or already have a baby on the way, it is important to know what you are covered for and what is available to you.

What part of pregnancy is covered by Swiss health insurance?

The majority of care costs for having a baby in Switzerland are covered by basic health insurance. Unlike other health matters, pre and postnatal care are covered with no insurance deduction after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The level of insurance that you have chosen only affects your choice of doctor and you still have a lot of choice with even a basic package of healthcare.

Can I choose my own hospital and midwife for pregnancy in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, expectant mothers can choose where they wish to give birth. Health insurance of any kind allows you to choose where to give birth, whether at a hospital, at home or in a birth house.

The extent to which you can choose your own midwife or gynaecologist is dependent on your type of insurance coverage. If you have basic health insurance, you can express a preference, but it will depend on the availability of your chosen doctor or physician. Your regular doctor can also directly refer you in order to secure your choice of physician. If you have supplemental health insurance, you can choose all healthcare professionals freely.

Prenatal care in Switzerland

If you think you are pregnant, it is necessary to book to see a registered gynaecologist as soon as possible. Depending on your type of health insurance, this may mean calling a helpline or seeing your general practitioner first. Learn what is covered by prenatal care, from screenings to education, in our guide to prenatal care in Switzerland.

Swiss childbirth preparation courses

In addition to medical procedures, many health insurance providers in Switzerland offer childbirth preparation courses as part of their coverage for expectant mothers. These courses prepare you for giving birth with advice and education and are highly recommended, especially for mothers giving birth for the first time. They can also provide reassuring advice for expectant mothers and fathers.

What to do on the day you give birth

If you think you are going into labour, it’s time to follow your birth plan. Contact the hospital, midwife or other location where you have chosen to give birth. Follow the instructions they give and arrange transport. In certain cases, you may need to contact the emergency services to ensure a speedy transfer. From there, you will be afforded the highest standard of care available and will be offered medical assistance as shown in our guide to having a baby in Switzerland.

Postnatal care in Switzerland

In Switzerland, care and assistance does not end once the baby is born. After the birth, there are several different optional and mandatory services that new mothers can use. The majority of these are available for free and can greatly assist in caring for your newborn. Postnatal care in Switzerland can range from advice for caring for your child to education around breastfeeding.

Maternity leave and allowance

In Switzerland, maternity leave begins with the birth of the child. Once your child is born, you have a minimum of 14 weeks of paid leave to care for your newborn. To claim your maternity leave and allowance, you must declare your pregnancy to your employer. During this time, you are entitled to 80 percent of your regular salary.

Some international companies offer extended maternity leave in their work contracts. As of 2021, fathers can also receive paternity leave while still receiving salary.

Registering the birth in Switzerland

Once your child is born, it is important to make sure that they are registered with the Swiss authorities. Registering a birth in Switzerland will allow your child to be covered by social security and may allow them to qualify for Swiss citizenship. It is also important, as many of the mandatory social programmes in Switzerland require a birth certificate.

Swiss family allowance

Once you have given birth and have registered your child, you can apply for the family allowance. This is a monthly payment meant to support the development of your child. The scheme is open to all parents and can bring significant financial benefits.

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