If you are expecting a child, help is available from pregnancy counselling centres, which can answer any questions you might have about pregnancy and birth. The advice service is free, and you can remain anonymous if you prefer.
If you are in a conflict situation and are considering a termination of your pregnancy, please seek advice from the pregnancy counselling centre. If you are pregnant and in need of help, you can also call the confidential, multilingual helpline ‘Schwangere in Not’. This free service is available by phoning 0800/ 4040 020.
During your pregnancy and usually for up to three months after the birth you are entitled to receive care from a midwife. Midwives look after pregnant women before and after the birth of their child. The costs of this service are borne by the health insurance provider. As soon as you realise you are pregnant, you should start visiting a gynaecologist every four weeks, and every two weeks after the 32nd week of pregnancy. The costs of this are borne by the health insurance provider.
For working women, maternity leave lasts from 6 weeks before until 8 weeks after the birth. Pregnant women are not allowed to work during this period. It is your right to return to the workplace once your maternity leave ends. In addition, pregnant women may not be employed for more than 8.5 hours per day or perform any heavy physical work.
The child’s birth must be registered with the Standesamt (registry office) within one week. If the child is born in a hospital or other maternity clinic, the institution will register the birth. The birth certificate should be issued within four weeks of the birth. In the case of a new-born child, the certificate will be issued at Magdeburg Registry Office; the child’s parents should both be in attendance. Parents should make an appointment by email (email@example.com) or by phoning 0391/540-4215.
The registry office will send an electronic notification to the Aliens’ Authority. Once the parents have received a certificate of registration from the registry office, they must present it to the Foreigners’ Authority.
Elterngeld (maternity/ paternity pay) can be applied for after the birth of a child in Germany; it is intended to give parents time to attend to their responsibilities, and helps make up for the loss of income after the birth of a child. It is paid to mothers and fathers for a maximum of 14 months. They can split this period of time between them as they prefer. Contact details
You can find a summary of the steps to be taken before and after the birth of your child here (available soon), in addition to many useful contact details.