Giving Birth in Brazil

Know the options available to you when the time comes for the birth of your baby…

Cesareans (C-sections) are extremely common in Brazil, especially in private hospitals. They are frequently encouraged by doctors for practical and financial reasons, or requested by expectant mothers. Women who do not want an optional cesarean should inform their obstetrician early on in the pregnancy.

Water births

Water births are not common in Brazil and, as such, it may be necessary to travel further distances to find facilities that offer them. It may also be difficult to find an obstetrician who practices this procedure. The expectant mother should check if such facilities are available at the chosen hospital and with their chosen obstetrician.

In São Paulo, water births are available at the Hospital Albert Einstein and Hospital São Luis.

Home births

There are no State or Federal regulations regarding home births, although the majority of obstetricians will not be in favor of such a decision.

Choosing a Hospital or Clinic

Generally, the delivery will take place in a hospital or clinic. Parents should choose a hospital or clinic in advance and check which costs are reimbursed by their private health insurance. Parents may request that the birth is performed by their chosen obstetrician, which will affect where the birth may take place as the obstetrician may only be able to perform procedures at a limited number of hospitals.

Public hospital is free both for nationals and foreigners. Private hospital is recommended though as public hospitals often suffer from overcrowding and poor conditions.

Once the due date is established, maternity hospitals and clinics will usually be able to reserve a room and facilities for the mother with a leeway of two weeks either side. This way, if the mother goes into labor before the due date, she will be guaranteed medical services in the chosen hospital.

In many cases, it is the gynecologist or obstetrician who organizes the administrative requirements when reserving a place at a clinic or hospital.

Documents

Upon arrival at the hospital or clinic, the parents will need to supply proof of identity and their marriage certificate, if applicable, as well as details of their private health insurance. It is recommended to take all examination and scan results that were conducted during pregnancy.

Related Information

  • Amigas do Parto: Association, based in São Paulo but available to speak to women nation-wide, promoting natural childbirth and providing information about childbirth in Brazil. Foreigners living in Brazil looking for more information about childbirth in Brazil (including referrals to doctors, midwifes, doulas, childbirth educators or hospitals) can call +55 (11) 3758 9974. (Andrea - English speaker)