Having a Baby in Austria



The quality of maternity health care in Austria is high, but expat moms may need to educate themselves and gather more details about giving birth in this country.

Pregnant expats who are expecting to give birth overseas will find that in Austria, the process begins with choosing a doctor, and this also depends on the choice of birthing facility - whether to give birth in a hospital, a birthing center or in the woman's home. Home births are not very common in Austria, especially for first-time moms. A number of women give birth in midwife-operated birthing centers while most of them deliver in hospitals. The choice of hospital will now dictate the choice of care provider an expectant mom can make.  

Women who are on public health insurance usually deliver their babies in a public hospital where basic maternity services are free. However, the woman cannot choose the doctor who delivers her baby and will be put in a ward where visits are restricted. For a woman with private health insurance, a private hospital is, of course, more preferable and becomes affordable. She can stay in a semi-private or private room and choose the doctor she wants as long as this doctor honors her insurance company. You will need to check directly with your insurance company to get a list of healthcare facilities that are covered or with direct billings. However, unless the mother is also covered by state insurance, an upfront down payment may be required. Once a choice of a hospital has been decided upon, the woman is expected to register her delivery at least five months before her due date. 

Preparations for having a baby in Austria also involve deciding whether to go for an ambulant birth wherein the mother will be sent home only a few hours after her baby is delivered, assuming there are no complications, or she can stay in the hospital for a few days.  

When all these are carefully thought about and the right decisions, including taking out international health insurance in Austria, are made, giving birth in this country will be a healthy and pleasant experience for any expat mother.

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