Labor & Delivery
When giving birth in a public maternity hospital, it is not possible to bring your own gynecologist. If all goes well, the midwives will accompany you during labor and help you deliver your baby. The gynecologist on call will only intervene in the event of complications (use of instruments, etc.) or an emergency cesarean section. In a private maternity hospital, the process is different. Find out more here.
Today, most public maternity hospitals offer so-called "natural" rooms if you want a physiological birth. You'll enjoy a relaxing bathtub, ropes/cloths for support, a ball and other accessories. Whether private or public, you can dim the lights and listen to your favorite playlist.
Medical team & Infrastructure
The main advantage of giving birth in a public maternity hospital or university hospital is safety. This is ensured by specific infrastructures (intensive care unit, neonatal unit for very premature babies, etc.), cutting-edge technology (pregnancy and maternal pathologies, fetal medicine, abortion, etc.) and a multidisciplinary team of doctors, midwives, anesthetists and pediatricians available 24/7. If you have a high-risk pregnancy (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, multiple pregnancy, infectious disease, prematurity...), you must give birth in hospital.
Supplementary health insurance is not compulsory; the LAMAL (basic health insurance) will cover the costs of childbirth, treatment and your stay, usually in a double room. Check with your insurer as soon as possible to see what conditions apply and what you are entitled to.
Don't forget to prepare a birth plan to give to the midwifery team, in which you'll indicate all your wishes for the big day. Examples: I'd like a physiological birth, without an epidural and using the self-hypnosis techniques I've learned in birth preparation classes; I'd like as much skin-to-skin contact with my baby as possible; I don't want to breastfeed; I'd like the cord to be cut as late as possible; ideally, I'd like to give birth in water etc.