In Switzerland, all medical check-ups and costs related to pregnancy and birth are fully covered by your health insurance. Neither deductibles nor retention fees apply.
You will probably see an OB/GYN shortly after you hold a positive pregnancy test in your hands with the first ultrasound usually taking place between weeks 9 and 12. You can then decide to see a doctor or a midwife for further checkups or combine both. The second ultrasound takes place between weeks 19 and 22.
For those moving to Switzerland whilst pregnant, please rest assured that your care will resume where you left off in your home country at no additional cost. You can register for an appointment with an OB/GYN of your choice who will make sure that they have all information they require and carry out any further tests or ultrasounds as necessary. From medical check-ups through to acupuncture or preparatory courses, the Maternity Clinic at the Zuger Kantonsspital offers a range prenatal services and is a great place to start.
Good to know. Babies born in Switzerland must be insured within 3 months if you want their coverage to date retrospectively to their date of birth. For extra peace of mind, it is recommended that you take out an insurance policy for your child prior to their birth, which will only be payable from their date of birth. If you decide to take out insurance after 3 months, coverage will start from the date of your policy, which can mean that fees relating to the birth won’t be covered.
Deciding where to give birth
In Switzerland, you can choose to give birth in a hospital, a birth centre (Geburtshaus in German) or at home. Alongside birth preparation courses, most hospitals and birth centres offer monthly information evenings to share their birthing philosophy, guide you around their facilities and answer any questions you may have. The Zuger Kantonsspital also offers admission meetings for prospective parents who have opted for the hospital, during which your individual wishes and needs in relation to the birth are recorded by a midwife.
While doctors will be available throughout labour as medically required to ensure a safe delivery for mum and baby, it is good to be aware that in Switzerland doctors are usually only present during the very last stage. That means that during labour, you will be supported by a midwife or midwives across multiple shifts depending on how your labour progresses. It is for this reason that some women opt for the familiar face of a doula before, during and after birth (for more information, visit deinedoula.ch).
Postpartum in hospital
After giving birth in hospital in Switzerland, it is common to stay in hospital for up to a week, although the duration will vary depending on whether you gave birth naturally or had a C-section. During your stay midwives will be on hand to support you during your first days of parenthood. Your newborn is checked over thoroughly by a pediatrician and there are many other services such as breastfeeding consultations, baby photography and postpartum exercise classes that you can make use of. You can also opt for various room upgrades, which might come at an additional cost depending on your insurance coverage.
Postpartum at home
In Switzerland, most insurance companies cover up to 16 home midwife visits (until the 56th day postpartum) after your baby is born. Midwives are responsible for making sure that you and your baby are doing well medically, carrying out checkups and answering any questions you may have. It is recommended that you find a postpartum midwife as early into your pregnancy or arrival to Switzerland as possible. This ensures that you find a midwife that meets your personal requirements in terms of language, breastfeeding philosophy and any further specialisations such as lactation consultant qualifications, for example. For certified and insurance-approved midwives, visit hebammen.ch.
Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to be accompanied by the Mütter- und Väterberatung of your municipality for which all relevant information will be provided to you after birth by your midwife.