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When you become pregnant, you must contact your general practitioner. He or she will offer to enrol you in the public pregnancy program in Denmark. The program includes examinations at your GP, midwife consultations and antenatal courses. If you are expecting your first child together, you will be enrolled in a special program.
In Denmark, most people give birth in a hospital maternity ward. You decide where and how you want to give birth. You can bring your husband or another person along to the birth. It is also possible to give birth at home.
A health visitor will offer visits at your home and other consultations if you have special needs. When you're expecting your first child, the first visit will be during pregnancy, in other cases you will have your first visit at home 8-10 days after you have given birth.
As parents you have the right to a total of 52 weeks leave with maternity leave subsistence allowance in connection with pregnancy and birth.
What is a health visitor?
The job of the health visitor is to advise you as a family, so that you and the child get off to the best possible start.
If you're expecting your first child, you have the right to have the first visit during pregnancy. Otherwise, you can have the first visit a week after the mother and child have come back from the hospital. After that, you agree on future visits together with the healt visitor.
How do I get in contact with other new mothers or fathers?
If you are expecting your first child together, the pregnancy program consists of a series of family preparation courses from midways of your pregnancy and until your child has reached 15 months. During this time you will learn all about nutrition, baby equipment, economical priorities, everyday family issues and your child's development. And you will get a strong network to exchange experiences both during pregnancy and when the child is born.
If you are pregnant and already have one or more children, the health visitor can organise women who have given birth around the same time into mother’s groups. The mothers meet at each other’s houses or in a place organised by the health visitor to talk and exchange experiences. Many Danes make use of mother’s groups. Father's groups are also organized.
To participate in family preparation or mother's or father's groups, please contact your health visitor.
What are the rules of parental leave?
The mother is entitled to 4 weeks leave prior to giving birth and 14 weeks after. The father is entitled to two weeks in connection with the birth. The remaining 32 weeks can be divided between the parents according to their wishes and needs. The public authorities and certain private companies have accords or agreements that ensure employees receive salaried maternity leave. Parents who do not receive a salaried maternity leave can receive maternity maintenance from their municipal authority.
How do I name my child?
Every child in Denmark must be named before reaching six months. If you don't wish to christen your child, you can do the naming by sending a form to the Registrar of the State Church. They will then issue a birth certificate and a Danish health card. You can send the form online, except if you need to enclose other documents. In this case you must send it by post.
In these cases you must enclose other documents:
- If the mother is born in another country than Denmark, you must enclose the mother's birth and name certificate
- If you are married or live in cohabitate and both born in another country than Denmark, you must enclose birth and name certificates for both mother and father
The form is only in Danish. Please contact Citizen Service if you need help
The child can also be named during a christening ceremony in the Danish National Church or another recognised religious community. The child’s birth certificate will be presented at the ceremony. In this case you must contact the priest in the parish where you want your child to be christened.