Expectant mothers and parents-to-be in Germany can easily access free advice about all issues related to pregnancy and birth.
There are Advice Centres in all parts of the country where they can receive information regarding medical, social and legal matters both before and during pregnancy.
This advice can be provided anonymously if you prefer, and in a number of languages including English.
At the Advice Centres expectant mothers and parents-to-be can receive the following information:
• the financial and social support available during and after pregnancy
• employment law (with regard to maternity leave, parental leave, etc.)
• the availability of confidential treatment
• help for families and children
• child care facilities
If a woman is pregnant and is considering termination of pregnancy, she can contact special agencies which provide counselling in this field.
By visiting the advice page – www.familienplanung.de, a pregnant woman can find a state-approved advice centre for women with unwanted pregnancies in her area.
Anyone who is considering terminating pregnancy must visit the Advice Centre for women with unwanted pregnancies before the 12-week deadline. This advice can be provided confidentially if so requested, is always free of charge, and puts women under no pressure to opt for a particular outcome.
During pregnancy and after the birth, all women in Germany are entitled to receive care from a midwife or doctor. As soon as you know that you are pregnant, you should start consulting a gynaecologist every four weeks. However, from the 32nd week of pregnancy, this should increase to every two weeks. The costs of prenatal care will be met by your health insurance fund.
Maternity leave for working pregnant women in Germany
Working pregnant women in Germany are entitled to maternity leave. This begins six weeks before the birth and ends eight weeks thereafter.
Maternity leave is a statutory entitlement in Germany. Pregnant women are not allowed to work during this period. Their job must be kept open for them, and they can return to work once their maternity leave ends.
In addition, pregnant women may not work for more than 8 ½ hours per day, and may not carry out any strenuous physical work.
More information about working hours for expectant mothers and maternity leave can be obtained from the employer or any of the Advice Centres named above.
Where expectant mothers and parents-to-be in Germany can obtain information locally
• the Migration Advisory Service for Adult Immigrants and the Youth Advisory Service
• pregnancy counselling / unwanted pregnancy counselling
• the local health authority
The “Federal Foundation for Mother and Child – Protection for Unborn Lives” helps pregnant women in difficult situations promptly and without red tape by providing additional financial support in association with individual counselling. Pregnant women in distress can receive financial assistance if they have insufficient funds to meet the expenses of pregnancy and birth and later to care for and bring up their child. Click here to visit the Federal Foundation for Mother and Child – Protection for Unborn Lives’ website.
This article has been prepared using information provided by Federal Office for Migration and Refugees