Giving Birth

Find out what your options are when the time comes for the birth of the baby…

There are three main options in Germany: a hospital birth, a birthing clinic or a home birth.

Hospitals

Many hospitals in Germany hold regular information sessions for pregnant women where doctors, nurses and anaesthetists explain their services and facilities (including water births). This is followed by a question and answer session and a visit to the maternity suite. Contact the hospitals for details.

  • See the KIDSgo! website for information on these sessions (in German)

A mother may choose to stay in hospital for a few days following the birth (stationaere Geburt). The usual length of stay is three to five days but it may be longer at the mother's request. Alternatively she can opt for an "out-patient" birth (ambulante Geburt). An out-patient birth may take place in a hospital, birthing clinic or at a midwife or doctor's surgery. After the birth the health of the mother and baby are monitored and if no complications arise may go home between 2 to 6 hours after the birth.

As the number of maternity beds is limited in each hospital, pre-registration with the preferred hospital is recommended between the 33rd and 36th week of pregnancy.

Birthing houses (Birth Centers)

A birthing house (Geburtshaus) is a non-clinical establishment for out-patient births and antenatal care. Most are operated by midwives and occupational therapists, but some have links to a doctor. There are approximately 100 of them in Germany and most are located within easy reach of a hospital for emergency care. They offer an alternative to hospital and home births for those who prefer a more holistic approach. Many birthing houses also offer pre- and postnatal classes.

Home births

Home births (Hausgeburt) are are possible depending upon the qualification of the midwife to carry out the procedure and the risk of potential complications during and after the birth. When choosing a midwife check to see if she offers home births. It’s important to be well prepared for a home birth and the suitability of a home is assessed by a doctor or midwife.

  • The Family Planning Center offers detailed information and advice about homebirth in Germany (in German).