The Birth

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

Unless she makes alternative arrangements, an expectant mother will give birth at the clinic or hospital where her overseeing obstetrician has admitting privileges. Verify the expected due date with the doctor well in advance, and make the necessary arrangements for admission.

Midwives are available for births, though standard of care varies widely.

Home births and natural childbirth are generally discouraged in Greece, and Caesarean sections and episiotomies are quite common. It is suggested the expectant mother clearly outlines her birthing preferences with the obstetrician and with her birthing partner in advance of the onset of labour. Birthing partners are not always allowed in the labour room, so it is suggested to verify this well in advance so that alternative arrangements can be made if necessary.

Breast feeding is generally not actively encouraged, therefore expectant mothers who plan to do so may wish to seek out guidance and information ahead of the delivery.

When checking in for the delivery, the following items are recommended:

  • Pyjamas, robe and personal toiletry for four days
  • Baby clothes for collection and departure
  • Identification card of both parents
  • Marriage certificate
  • Health book (vivliario)

The delivery

After pre-birth examinations, the mother is transferred to the labour room to give birth. After the delivery, it is usual for her to remain in the recovery area for at least two hours before returning to her room. The newborn will remain for at least two hours in the stabilisation room. After the baby's medical examination by the paediatrician, the baby is transferred to the nursery on the same floor. It is not standard practice for babies to be kept in the same room with the mother.

Hospitals issue parents with a proto-certificate to use for birth registration. Private hospitals send a document, signed by the doctor who performed the delivery, directly to the local municipality. This states the child's gender, weight and date of birth. Public hospitals give this document to the parents.

Registering the Birth

All births in Greece must be registered at the local town hall (dimarchio). The parents or any person present at the birth may complete the registration and must submit a birth declaration from the attending midwife or obstetrician. If the birth occurred at a hospital or clinic, the facility is responsible for the registration. The declaration must be made within 10 days of the birth.

Greek nationality is acquired automatically when a person is born of at least one Greek parent. Babies born to foreigners in Greece can acquire Greek nationality at the age of 18 under certain conditions and provided they do not simultaneously hold a foreign nationality.

Non-Greek citizens should check with their consulate or embassy concerning registration of the births abroad.