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Pregnancy and Giving Birth

A pregnant woman and a mother with a baby on her arm and a baby stroller

How can I prepare myself for the birth of my child?

To prepare yourself as best as possible for the challenges of giving birth and the time afterwards, Berlin has different meeting places and advice services.
There will be a midwife by your side to support you during your pregnancy. Many midwife practices also offer chances to meet people and find out information. You can find midwives in Berlin here.

In addition, midwives and other organizations provide courses on birth preparation that prepare you for the day of the birth, the birth itself and post-natal care.

Furthermore, pregnant or expectant parents (normally at the birth of the first child) in difficult circumstances can take advantage of the so-called “visiting parenting assistance” (AEH). A difficult circumstance can be, if parents suffer from a lack of social integration, lack of support by social networks, a difficult economic situation, unemployment, adverse living conditions, domestic violence or trauma. Social workers support you along with midwives at the beginning of family life and offer you competent help and advice.
More information on visiting parenting assistance and points of contact or contact addresses can be found on the Homepage of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family Affairs.
In addition, there are various counselling and support services for expectant parents and families with children from the ages of 0-3 years about help at an early stage. Especially in severe circumstances, family midwives, voluntary parenthood projects and course offers in the districts for example can help cope with everyday life. Here, you can receive further information on help at an early stage in Berlin.

Where do I obtain a birth certificate?

You can obtain a birth certificate for your new-born child from the relevant register office in the district your child was born. If you child was born in a hospital, the hospital will provide notice of the birth directly to the register office. If you child should be born at home, midwives and doctors will issue a birth certificate. This must then be brought to the relevant register office within a week.

A name declaration tells the authorities what you would like to call your child. You can find a pre-printed document in the hospital or register office. To issue the birth certificate, the register office requires the following original documents: a personal identity card or passport of the parents, the name declaration if this has not been obtained from the notice of birth from the hospital, and the birth certificate of the mother. You can check which documents are also required in the service portal of the city of Berlin.

When will I receive a copy from the register of births?

If the necessary documents cannot be proven for the issuance of a birth certificate, you will only receive a copy from the register of births, particularly if the identity of the parents, or at least one of the parents, cannot be determined without doubt because no passports could be supplied, for example. This copy from the register of births is an official document that you can also use for benefit applications.

What is maternity leave?

Maternity leave is the legal regulation in Germany that protects mothers (to be) and breastfeeding mothers and their children from dangers, excessive demands and health impairment at the workplace as well financial losses and the loss of the work position during pregnancy and for the 4 months after the birth of the child. All men and women are equally protected from losing their employment if they take parental leave. Mothers-to-be may not work in the last six weeks before childbirth unless they have expressly declared they are prepared to work. After the birth, mothers may not work until eight weeks have elapsed; in the event of early or multiple births, this time is extended to twelve weeks. In total, maternity leave (before and after the birth) lasts at least 14 weeks.

What is parental leave?

Parental leave is the time mothers and father are able to take to look after and parent their child. During this time, your work contract is suspended, yet it must not be terminated by your employer. Both parents can take up to three years’ parental leave between the birth of the child and the child’s 8th birthday. More detailed information can be found on the website of the the Federal Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Parents can also receive financial support through the parental allowance.

Where can I find help if I have problems during my pregnancy?

If you need help with problems during pregnancy, pregnancy advice is available to you at all times. General pregnancy advice can inform you of your rights as parents-to-be and there are many tips for combating existing challenges.
Here you can search for advice centers for general pregnancy advice local to you in Berlin.

Unwanted pregnancy advice has been specially prepared for pregnant women in emergency and conflicting situations. It offers advice on topics such as help and support services and the approval for care or adoption. In addition, you can find out information on the risks and methods involved in terminating pregnancy.
Unwanted pregnancy advice is anonymous and free and is provided by approved doctors and advice centers. Those closest to you can be found via a search mask.