Giving birth in a Public Maternity Ward, what are the advantages?

Petits pieds d'un nouveau-né


You can’t choose your own gynaecologist when giving birth in a public maternity ward. If everything goes as it should, the midwives will accompany you during labour and help you deliver your baby. The gynaecologist on duty will only get involved in the event of complications (use of instruments, etc.) or an emergency c-section. In a private maternity hospital, the process is different, learn more here.

Today, most public maternity wards have so-called « natural » rooms if you want a natural birth. You will have a bath to relax in, ropes/cloths to support you, a ball and other accessories. Whether private or public, you can dim the lights in the room and listen to your favourite playlist.

Medical team & Infrastructure

The main advantage of giving birth in a public maternity ward or university hospital is security. This is ensured by specific infrastructures (intensive care unit, neonatal unit for premature babies, etc.), high technology (pregnancy and maternal pathologies, foetal care, termination of pregnancy, etc.) and a multidisciplinary team of doctors, midwives, anaesthetists and paediatricians available 24/7. If your pregnancy is said to be at risk (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, multiple pregnancy, infectious disease, prematurity…), you will be required to give birth in a hospital.

Insurance coverage

Complementary health insurance is not required, it is the LAMAL (basic insurance) that will take care of the costs related to the birth, the care and your stay in a double room in a public maternity ward. Remember to check with your insurer as soon as possible to determine what conditions apply and what you are entitled to.

Birth plan

Don’t forget to prepare a birth plan to give to the midwifery team where you will indicate all your wishes for the D-day. Examples: I would like a natural birth, without an epidural and with the help of self-hypnosis techniques learnt during the birth preparation classes; I would like to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby for as long as possible; I do not wish to breastfeed; I would like the cord to be cut as late as possible; I would ideally like to have a water birth etc.