Giving Birth in Denmark

Once you discover the happy news you can make an appointment with your doctor who will inform you about the pregnancy program. Your doctor will enroll you in the public pregnancy program in Denmark. You will be meeting with your doctor and a midwife during regular checkups. The first checkup is with your own GP when you are between 6 and 10 weeks pregnant. It is up to you to make this appointment. The next appointment you need to make is a blood test (doubletest) at the hospital. This will be between week 8 and 13. Afterwards, you need to book a scanning (nakkefoldscanning) at the hospital between week 11 and 13. The blood test, together with the examination, will show whether there is any risk of the child having chromosomal abnormalities, such as an increased fetal nuchal translucency (back of the neck) to enable detection of Down’s syndrome or certain hereditary diseases. Your GP or midwife will talk to you about the examination. Around week 18 and 20 you need to book a second scanning (misdannelsesscanning). The scanning will show whether your child is developing normally.
Pregnancy in Denmark – Timeframe
 
Scanning
If it’s your first baby
If you already have babies
Treatment
 
Week
6-10
Doctor’s appointment
Doctor’s appointment
General check up/ Blood test/Urine test
8-13
Make an appointment at the hospital to get a blood test
Make an appointment at the hospital to get a blood test
Blood test called
Doubletest
Together with the scanning is used to determine whether your child has chromosomal abnormalities.
11-13
NTS = Nuchal Translucency Screening (nakkefoldsscanning)
Scanning for chromosal abnormalities
13-15
Meeting with Midwife
Meeting with Midwife
15-22
If needed Tripletest (depends on the results of NTS)
18
Anomaly Screening, (misdannelses-scanning)
You will find out if the baby is developing normally and where the placenta is lying in your uterus
21
Meeting with Midwife
Meeting with Midwife
25
Doctor’s appointment
Doctor’s appointment
29
Meeting with Midwife
Meeting with Midwife
32
Doctor’s appointment
Doctor’s appointment
35
Meeting with Midwife
36
Meeting with Midwife
37
Meeting with Midwife
39
Meeting with Midwife
Meeting with Midwife
41
Meeting with Midwife
Meeting with Midwife
Approximately 3-7 weeks before your due date you should go for Antenatal / Birth preparation classes. They will be offered to you by your hospital. It is also advised to book additional private classes. Jordemoderhuset offers classes in English. For more information look here.
Antenatal Classes /Birth Preparations:
Antenatal Classes offered by your hospital: You can go to antenatal courses and learn all about what happens to your body during pregnancy and the development of the baby. You will also learn how to do breathing and physical exercises for a healthy pregnancy and as preparation for the birth. Ask your midwife about available courses. You can bring your partner or another person with you to the courses. You can read more here.
Private Consultation, Pregnancy Yoga, Birth Preparation Classes in English: Some doctors will suggest you also sign up for additional private birth preparation classes. There is a wide selection of classes offered in Denmark, many of them are combined with pregnancy yoga. Some are a combined class with a midwife, a yoga teacher and a dietician. In Copenhagen Jordemoderhuset (Midwife house) offers birth preparation classes in English as well as pregnancy yoga and scanning. You can read more here. You can also find pregnancy yoga and birth preparation at Yoga Midwife, you can read more here. You can also try Helt Yoga , which is very nice since they also offer pregnancy drop in yoga classes so you don’t need to follow a schedule, you can find out more here.
The Health Visitor:
You have the right to be visited by a health visitor (sundhedsplejeske). You can have the first visit a week after the mother and child return from the hospital. After that, you can arrange future visits. The role of the health visitor is to advise you so that you and your child get the best possible start. The health visitor examines the child and follows his/her development. The health visitor focuses on the welfare of the whole family and can offer advice on many matters. Read more about pregnancy and childbirth here.
Mother Groups:
The health visitor can organize a mother group with several women who have given birth at around the same time. The mothers meet at each other’s houses or in a place organized by the health visitor to talk and exchange experiences. Ask your health visitor if there are any mother groups you could join.
International Mother’s Groups and Playgroups:
The expat community in Denmark is very active. There are many active Meetup Groups for International Parents and Moms. You can find out more on the meetup.com website. To read more about meetup click here.  There is also LINK (The Ladies International Network København). An English-speaking network for all international women in the Copenhagen area. You can read more on their website here.
Birth Certificate, Naming and Christening:
Once the baby is born, the parents must fill in a form which is to be sent to the Registrar of the State Church, who then issues a birth certificate. It is the Danish National Church that registers all new births, irrespective of religion, on behalf of the state. Therefore, you must inform the Registrar of the State Church of the baby’s name. This must be done before the child is six months old. You can find a naming form at http://www.personregistrering.dk. The child will then receive a birth certificate. The child can also be named during a christening ceremony in the Danish National Church or another recognized religious community. The child’s birth certificate will be presented at the ceremony. The First Name Must Be Approved. A child can have one or two first names. You can choose from a list of approved names by logging onto the Department of Family Affairs’ website here. If you want a name that is not on the list, you can apply to have it approved. An application form is available from the Registrar of the State Church.
Parental Leave:
All pregnant women have the right to a period of maternity leave both before and after birth. The child’s father can also take paternity leave for a fixed period. The public authorities and certain private companies have agreements to ensure that employees are paid during their parental leave. Parents who do not receive a salaried parental leave can receive parental maintenance from their municipal authority. This also applies to self-employed people if they have had their business for a minimum of six months. Parents of small children are also entitled to parental leave. Ask your municipal authority for the specific conditions. You can read more about parental leave here.
Facts about Parental Leave in Denmark
Pregnant women can take leave for four weeks before the birth and they are obliged to be on leave for the first two weeks right after the birth.
After the birth, the mother is entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave.
The father is entitled to 2 weeks of paternity leave within the first 14 weeks after the birth of the child.
Altogether, parents are entitled to 64 weeks’ parental leave.
Child and Youth Allowance:
Children under the age of 18 are automatically registered and families receive an allowance every three months. In order to receive child allowance, you need a NemKonto. The allowance is paid automatically into the mother’s NemKonto (that is a bank account registered within the state, you can read more about NemKonto here.
However, the amount you receive depends on how long you have lived in Denmark. You need to live in Denmark for 2 years to receive the full allowance. Read more about the rules here. The requirements are that you are registered and pay tax in Denmark. If you already receive child allowance from another country, this will be deducted in the benefit you receive from your municipality.
Shopping for your baby:
Awaiting a child means also a lot of shopping, you need to prepare the house for the baby, prepare the bag for the hospital and so on. Below you can find a list of all the shops specializing in equipment and toys for babies and children.
http://www.babysam.dk/
https://www.kaereboern.dk/
http://www.mammashop.dk/
https://onlinekids.dk/
http://www.babyhome.dk/
http://www.babysverden.dk/shop/frontpage.html
In Denmark you can also sign up for a welcome “baby package” from most of the supermarkets, where you get all the necessities for free. Below you can find a list of the shops that offer the “baby package”. Most of them are for free and all you need to do is sign up and collect it at the shop. Few of them require from you to be a member and sign up for the newsletter. You can find out more on the websites below.
http://babypakker.com/babypakker/
http://startpakke.com/
There is also an app where you can sell and buy things for babies called Reshopper. You can read more about Reshopper here.
by Anna Wolthers and Anette Pilmark
 

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