Switzerland has a considerable amount of effective postnatal care available to new mothers. Postnatal care is controlled by hospitals and combines education and support to help couples adjust to their new lives after the birth of a child. Switzerland uses regular midwife visits and educational classes in order to educate mothers on how to best care for their new child. More recently, a minimum number of visits by a midwife has been made mandatory by the government.
Postnatal care and Swiss insurance
Postnatal care is covered completely by health insurance in Switzerland. This includes subsequent visits by a midwife up to 56 days after the birth. This applies to all mothers, including those covered by basic health insurance. Illnesses that the baby contracts in the 12 days after pregnancy are also covered by the health insurance of the mother, after which the baby must have their own health insurance. All procedures and consultations will be charged entirely to the health insurance provider, with deductions only payable for additional visits prescribed by a doctor.
Midwife visits in Switzerland
The main benefit of postnatal care in Switzerland is regular visits from a midwife. If you have supplemental health insurance, this can be whoever you choose, but it is traditional to keep the midwife who was present while you were giving birth. These visits are to ensure the good health of your child and to provide advice on how to care for them.
What will the midwife check?
Some of the things that will be checked are:
- Postpartum check-ups between the sixth and tenth week after your child is born
- Full health checks of the baby
- Mental health consultation for the mother or father
How many visits am I allowed from a Swiss midwife?
In most cases, the midwife will visit you and your child up to 10 times in the 56 days after birth. This can be extended to two visits a day if the midwife deems it necessary. The amount of time that the midwife will spend with you is solely dependent on your wishes and the needs of your child. If you gave birth to multiple children, had a Caesarean section, or are a first-time mother, the midwife may visit you up to 16 times during the first 56 days. In order to receive more visits, a medical prescription is required.
In addition to midwife visits, mothers in Switzerland are recommended to attend multiple consultations on breastfeeding a child. This is especially important for new mothers. Health insurance will pay for three classes on breastfeeding.
These are classes that help mothers with breastfeeding for the first time, as well as help identify alternatives to breastfeeding if required. The courses are typically run by a midwife and can last for several hours. If you do not want to attend a consultation, it is recommended to seek a private lesson from a doctor or private company.
What to arrange for your child after birth
Once you have given birth to your child and gone through your birth plan, it is now time to register your child so that they can become an official resident of Switzerland. Some of the things recommended to do are:
- Making sure your baby is registered in Switzerland.
- Getting a birth certificate.
- Registering your child for health insurance.
- Claiming your family allowance.
- Going on maternity leave and claiming maternity insurance.
- Looking into childcare.