Having your baby in Luxembourg
In 2020 some 6,356 babies were born in Luxembourg making the average birth rate 1.5 per woman.
Most new arrivals are born in maternity hospitals and the birth process is funded by the CNS (National Health Fund) if you or your partner have paid contributions. You can also choose to have your baby in a birthing centre (in Germany, France or Belgium) or even at home (subject to current Covid restrictions).
You can buy pregnancy testing kits in pharmacies and supermarkets. If the test is positive you should visit your doctor who will be your main point of contact during pregnancy. Doctors are often linked to specific hospitals so consider changing or choosing a doctor if you have a specific maternity hospital in mind.
Your doctor will also be able to recommend a gynaecologist or you can find a list here. Births are doctor-led rather than midwife-led in Luxembourg, although you will also get the support of a midwife, and you can also enlist the support of a local doula.
Once your doctor has confirmed you are pregnant with a medical certificate, working mothers should send this by registered post to their employer as formal notification that they are pregnant and will be taking maternity leave. Self-employed mothers who pay social security contributions can also take maternity leave and benefits but must inform the CNS directly. This tool will help you to calculate your maternity leave.
Monthly visits to the obstetrician for check-ups on blood pressure, urine and your heart will also be supplemented by three ultrasound scans. Your doctor will also run a blood test for rubella, toxoplasmosis and CMV in the first trimester and you may be offered a chromosomal abnormality test in the fourth month of pregnancy if you’re baby is considered at risk.
A month before the birth your doctor will determine the position of the baby and test you for any infections for which you might need antibiotics.
You will also get two sessions with your midwife during the 5th and 7th month of pregnancy, and a chance to meet the anaesthetist before the birth to discuss you birth plan and any views you have on epidurals and emergency procedures such as caesareans and episiotomies.
Free antenatal classes are available in English, French, German and Luxembourgish but you should have your birth plan translated into French or German for the obstetrician and midwife who will be present at your baby's birth.
Maternity hospitals in Luxembourg:
Central Hospital Luxembourg City
Central Hospital Emile Mayrisch (South)
The Initativ Liewensufank runs numerous courses and consultations on birth in French, Luxembourgish and German.
Women can terminate a pregnancy up to 12 weeks after conception following two consultations with a doctor (one medical and one psychosocial) and a 3-day waiting period. Not all doctors are obliged to provide this service but if your doctor doesn’t, you can ask them to refer you to one who does.
Home births are not common but possible in Luxembourg. You should tell your gynaecologist and obstetrician as soon as possible if you plan one, and be aware that the CNS does not cover medical costs for home births.
There are birthing centres in Germany, Belgium and France, staffed by delivery nurses, midwives and obstetricians, providing a natural environment for the birth including birthing pools and family rooms. The CNS may cover this on a case by case basis, and if you have European Health Assurance (EU institution employees) you will be covered.
The most common place to give birth is the maternity units within the main hospitals of Luxembourg listed earlier. If there are no complications or you aren't having an elected caesarean, then you can expect to stay in hospital for three days (although you can get permission to leave earlier).
When to go and what to take
General advice is to go into hospital when your contractions are 4 to 5 minutes apart. However, you should go immediately if you are bleeding, if there are issues when your waters break such as discoloration, or if you are vomiting or experiencing severe abdominal pain.
Your birthing plan should state the pain medication you want to receive and you should take a copy of it together with a bag with suitable clothes, pyjamas, slippers, and clothes for your new born to last at least 3 days. Don't forget to take nappies - disposable or cloth.
You will need to take your ID, your CNS card or other insurance documents (especially if you have additional cover for a private room), your blood group card and the name of your paediatrician.
The obstetrician will check how dilated your cervix is and the baby’s position, and discuss with you if you might need a procedure like a caesarean or episiotomy.
Your baby will be checked within 48 hours of birth and you will be given a book for future check ups and vaccinations. You will have a medical check up 2 weeks after you gave birth.
Baby vaccinations begin at 2 months with diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, HIB influenza, polio and hepatitis B. They continue at 3, 4, 12 and 13 months up to the child’s 5th birthday. You can find a calendar of vaccinations here.
Hospitals also provide help and support with breastfeeding and you can contact La Leche League for further assistance.
Registering the birth
A child born in Luxembourg can take both the surnames of its parents but you must register the birth within five days at the Office de l’Etat Civil at your commune. The Midwife will give you a birth declaration in hospital which you must bring together with the ID of the person registering the birth. Married couples should bring a copy of their wedding certificate. If you are not married, both parents must sign a declaration stating the child’s chosen names.
If you are both foreign residents your child will not automatically have Luxembourgish citizenship but will be able to apply for it later. You should contact your embassy for information on registering the nationality of your child.
The commune will issue you with copies of the birth certificate which you can use to register your child with the National Fund for family benefits (CNFP) and with the CNS to receive allowances and healthcare. You can find out more about registering your new baby on the guichet website.
You can find out more about parental leave and benefits (including the birth allowance and maternity leave) in this article, about the CNS in this article, and about childcare options in this article.
Passage Parents has lots of information in English and a month by month guide for new parents in Luxembourg, giving a list of support services.
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