Giving Birth While Living In Germany

Giving Birth While Living In Germany

Having a baby is the easy part, dealing with the medical system and the paperwork after the birth are what make the process of having a baby in Germany a little bit on the difficult side.

To start, it would be beneficial to learn at least a little bit of German, as most medical staff will not know any English.

Choosing a hospital, Ob/Gyn, and Midwife

One thing to keep in mind is that Ob/Gyns at private practices are not permitted to deliver babies in hospitals in Germany—only the Ob/Gyns on staff at the hospitals are permitted to deliver. So, if an individual chooses a private practice doctor, she will see that doctor for all visits leading up to the delivery, and then will have another doctor deliver the baby. If an individual chooses a doctor at a hospital, that doctor will be with her every step of the way.

The midwife, or Hebamme, is responsible for delivering the baby. Midwives are licensed or certified medical professionals, and they are on call 24 hours a day. With their experience and expertise, midwives are a very useful part of the birthing process. They are available to answer any and every question an expectant mother or new mother may have.Patients have the option of hiring a midwife from outside the hospital to help with birth preparation, the birth itself, and help with after the delivery. Patients also have the option of choosing a midwife from the hospital to help with the birth and everything that comes after. Keep in mind, some hospitals only allow their authorized midwives to deliver, so make sure to ask.

When choosing a hospital, be sure to tour the facilities to see if they have all expected or desired amenities. Also, ask a lot of questions; because of the language barrier, some important information may not be readily disclosed. Another thing to keep in mind is that if a child is born premature or needs special care, he or she will have to be seen at a pediatric hospital. Some hospitals only have pediatric care facilities, so mother and child could be separated if the child needs to be taken to the nearest pediatric hospital.

Pre-registering at the delivery room at the hospital is also beneficial, as it will help things to run smoothly upon delivery.

Birthing classes are available through the hospital or through the Red Cross. Classes through the Red Cross are less expensive. The most popular birthing method in Germany is the Read method, which focuses on relaxation rather than breathing. Another option is to hire a registered or licensed midwife for private birthing classes.

Doctor Visits

Before giving birth, the expectant mother will have at least 2 doctor visits. One every month until the 32nd week, then one every two weeks. A routine exam includes blood work, checking blood pressure, checking urine, and monitoring weight. At the first appointment, when pregnancy is confirmed, the mother will be given a mother’s pass, or Mutterpass. The Mutterpass is a booklet to help the expectant mother keep track of her pregnancy. All exam and test results should be recorded into the Mutterpass so that the information is easily available when the mother delivers—this is important because the doctor delivering is usually not the mother’s usual Ob/Gyn.

Delivery

 

 

When it is time to deliver, call or report to the Frauenklinik at the hospital, and then go to the Kreissaal, or delivery room area. If unsure about whether or not it is time to go to the hospital, contact the doctor or midwife. After the birth, the mother will be taken to her room where if she had a vaginal delivery, she will stay up to 7 days, and if she had a cesarean section she will stay for 7-4 days. After this point, the nursing staff will take care of mother and baby.

Care for Baby

After the delivery, baby and mother will stay in the hospital together, as long as there were no complications with baby. Many routine tests will be performed on the baby to ensure he or she is healthy— if there are any issues, the baby will need to be taken to the pediatric hospital, or Kinderklinik. While at the hospital, do not be afraid to ask questions. Procedures for taking care of the mother and baby are different at every hospital and it is best to stay informed of what is going on and what needs to be taken care of.

When leaving the hospital, the staff should give some paperwork items to the mother. They will return the Mutterpass, with all of the delivery and birth information filled out for the mother. They will give the mother a Kinder-Untersuchungsheft, which is a booklet that is used to record information on the birth and for the child’s doctor visits. This booklet should accompany the parent and child to every doctor visit. Lastly, the hospital will give the mother a record of birth, which is necessary to get the birth certificate.

Paperwork:

Birth Certificate

In order to apply for a birth certificate for the child, the parents will need to take a few paperwork items to the city offices, or Standesamt, of the city in which the mother gave birth. Be sure to bring the original documents, as well as copies:

·         The completed and signed record of birth document from the hospital

·         The parents' passports

·         The parents' birth certificates

·         An official German translation of the parents’ marriage license and/or divorce papers

·         Diplomas for any parent who holds a Master's Degree or higher

After providing the necessary documents and covering the cost in cash, the office will give copies of the German Birth Certificate and the International Birth Certificate to the parents. In order to file the additional necessary paperwork, it is recommended to have two copies of the German Birth Certificate and four copies of the International Birth Certificate.

Consular Report of Birth

The next step will be to apply for a Consular Report of Birth, U.S. Passport, and Social Security Number. In order to obtain these items, take the following paperwork to the Consular office—the consular office will be able to assist in obtaining all of the items needed.

·         The German or International Birth Certificate

·         The parents' passports

·         The parents' birth certificates

·         At least two identical passport photos of the baby’s face in color or in black and white

·         The parents’ marriage license and/or divorce papers

The child’s United States birth certificate will be issued that day. The child’s passport will be sent to the parents in the mail within the following two business days. The child’s Social Security Number will be sent to the parents within several weeks.

Standesamt

After obtaining a passport for the baby, he or she needs to be registered at the local city office, or Standesamt,where the family resides, so that the parents are able to file their new tax card. The following items will be necessary in order to file the new tax card. It is best to bring the originals and extra copies, as well as some cash:

·         The German or International Birth Certificate

·         The parents' passports

·         The baby's passport

·         The parents’ new tax card

At the office they will file the new tax card and they will put a sticker in the child's new passport to document his or her registration.

 

After all of that is finally complete, the parents can relax and enjoy spending time with their new baby.


 2178,    27  Oct  2014 ,   Living-family and environment in Germany

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