The many benefits we have in Switzerland during pregnancy or after giving birth never cease to amaze me. The latest one came up over lunch this past December when a girlfriend who was about to give birth asked me if I had booked my hebamme (German for midwife). Did I have to book a midwife? The answer was yes and there was more.
In Switzerland once the new mom leaves the comfort of the hospital there is no “what-do-I-do-with-the-baby” moment. Once she gets home, she knows a midwife will come and visit for up to 10 days (called Wochenbettbetreuung in German), all covered by the health insurance. This ensures new moms get that much-needed help with anything from how to bathe the baby to breastfeeding, and any other questions that can come up once she is home with her newborn.
There is just one catch which luckily my friend explained. You have to book this midwife independently and as my friend mentioned, they are hard to book (at times as hard as finding the nursery!) so you have to book months in advance. After a few days looking online and trying to figure out for myself what I wanted in a midwife, I found one. Below are the links I used when doing my research:
The process that followed was easy. I emailed her and in a matter of days it was all booked and I was experiencing the satisfaction of crossing one more item off my list – months before my due date. I know at some point I will do a pregnancy checklist – one that for example will include the fact that one should find a pediatrician and sign up for health insurance for the baby before he arrives, but in the meantime, HERE is a helpful checklist I found in English on all things during and post pregnancy.