General midwife services
Midwife services are regulated in Section 134 a of Book Five of the German Social Code (SGB V). The services provided are confirmed by the woman receiving the services and the midwife is paid directly by the respective health insurance company. Privately-insured patients receive an invoice that they submit to their insurance company. Please check with your private health insurance company to find out the extent of the services that they will cover.
If the midwife offers additional services that are not covered by your public health insurance company, your midwife will inform you of the resulting costs.
If you are not able to find a midwife to assist you, find out more about what is behind the shortage of midwives on the website of the German Association of Midwives (DHV). You can support this professional association in its efforts to ensure the availability of midwife assistance by spreading the word about the midwife shortage. On the website www.hebammenverband.de, you will find a map of shortage areas where you can enter your location.
What midwife services are available:
Midwives are professional women for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum and newborn phases. Their work is governed by the guidelines of the midwifery laws and, in Bavaria, by the Bavarian Professional Code for Midwives.
Before giving birth, a midwife assists in all questions surrounding pregnancy. She can perform prenatal care, provide relief for pregnancy-related discomfort and offer courses on labor preparation and on being a parent. During labor, the midwife accompanies the mother with professional birthing assistance and compassion. After the birth, she monitors the adaptation of the newborn to its new environment as well as the postnatal regeneration and healing process of the mother. Nutritional issues, especially regarding breastfeeding, are a significant part of midwifery.
In addition, midwives provide support throughout the process of becoming a parent, with the goal of optimally promoting the growing relationship between the parents and the newborn.
Establish contact with a midwife as early as possible, so that she can assist you during your pregnancy in a competent and comprehensive manner. In Germany, women have the right to midwife assistance during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum and newborn phases (cf. midwife services).
You can find further information on the profession of a midwife and her activities on the website of the Bavarian Association of Midwives.