Postnatal Care

Find out about postnatal care for you and your newborn baby in France…

The Health Record of the Child

A health record (carnet de naissance de l'enfant) is issued by the hospital, doctor or town hall after the birth of a baby. This notebook must be taken to every medical consultation the child has until they are 18 years of age. The medical examiner will enter the details of any procedure. This provides a record of full medical history.

Postnatal

The postnatal period (période post-natale) involves examinations for both the mother and infant. The baby is examined in the first week and then nine further times in the first year, three during second, and two during each of the next years up to the sixth birthday. Of these exams, three contribute to a "certificate of good health" - the first week, ninth month and 24th month. The gynaecologist examines both the mother and baby at eight weeks after delivery. Local health care centres for the Protection Maternelle et Infantile (PMI) provide clinic services clinic for mother and child. The services are free if "health carnets" are made available. The staff perform the basic postnatal checks, provide advice and help on issues such as nutrition and breast feeding. They are also permitted to administer the vaccinations. Mother's are also prescribed and reimbursed for postnatal physical therapy. Service Public has more on compulsory medical examinations

Vaccinations

The health record also acts as a certificate of vaccinations (carnet médical peut servir de certificat de vaccinations). The doctor or clinic signs, dates and declares the vaccinations given. A child can be expected to receive the following:
  • First month BCG for tuberculosis (not obligatory from July 2007)
  • Between 2 and 3 months Vaccin Pentavalent: First in a course of 3 injections at monthly intervals for Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Whooping cough (coqueluche) and Haemophilus b. Note: 1 further booster injection is due when the child is between 16 and 18 months of age. Vaccin Antihépatite B: the Hepatitis B vaccine. The first in a course of 3 injections with the third given 6 months after the first.
  • From 1 year of age ROR Rougeole/Oreillons/Rubéole): First inoculation against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). Booster recommended between ages 3 and 6.
  • The government health department has more information on vaccinations (in French)
  • From 1 January 2018, a further 8 vaccinations will be compulsory for children under the age of 2. These are:
    Haemophilius influenzae Type B – against the bacteria responsible for meningitis, pneumonia, and other serious infections
    Whooping cough (la coqueluche)
    Hepatitis B (l’hépatite B)
    Measles (la rougeole)
    Mumps (les oreillons)
    Rubella (la rubéole)
    Meningococcal C – against the bacteria responsible for certain meningitis (méningocoque C)
    Pneumococcal – against the bacteria responsible for meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis  (le pneumocoque)

Note: These vaccinations are compulsory and parents or legal guardians can be fined for not vaccinating their children.