Maternity care

Maternity care

Before you leave home
During your stay at hospital 
Going home

If you have any additional questions about maternity care in Germany, please do not hesitate to contact the community midwife through your local medical centre


This information is for patients who are attending appointments in the Gütersloh or Paderborn areas. If your appointment is in another area of Germany, Belgium or Holland, please read our information for EJSU patients.

Before you leave home

Registration and pre-admission

Your community midwife will arrange an antenatal appointment for you to be seen by the hospital consultant before the birth. At this appointment you will be asked to complete the hospital registration process. This enables you to go straight to the maternity unit when the time comes. The registration process takes around 45 minutes. If you would like any further information about registration, please contact your midwife through your medical centre

Tour of the maternity unit

You may find it helpful to take a tour of the maternity unit at your local hospital. During this tour you will have the opportunity to visit the delivery suite and meet with members of the medical team who will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Please contact your midwife through your medical centre to find out more

What to bring to hospital

You must bring:

  • - your Mutterpass so that the midwife and doctor can review your pregnancy
  • - your child health record, known as the Red Book. Following the birth the baby's measurements, examinations and tests taken can be recorded. You are advised to ask the hospital staff to do this as sometimes it is overlooked. The Red Book is a UK initiative and not normally used in Germany. 

You will also need to bring:

  • - your own night clothes 
  • - a dressing gown and slippers
  • - personal toiletries
  • - towels (these will not be provided by the hospital)
  • - anything that might make your stay more comfortable and help you feel relaxed during labour, such as magazines, books or music. 

For baby you will need:

  • - clothes to take the baby home in
  • - a car seat. You are not allowed by German law to leave the hospital without one. 

The hospital will provide everything else you may need for the baby during your stay. If you would like to bring any other clothing for the baby, you can, but this is at your own risk as they can become mixed up with the hospital laundry. 

Please don’t bring any valuables into hospital with you.

Please make sure that you do not leave your belongings on display,  while you are out of the room, as the hospital cannot take responsibility for these items.

Getting to hospital

It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the route to your local maternity unit in advance of the birth. You can find directions to your main local hospital on our hospital pages

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During your stay

When to go to hospital

If you are in any doubt over whether you should go to hospital, please contact your medical centre and ask to speak to the community midwife on call. You do not need to telephone the delivery suite (known in Germany as the Kreissaal) before you go to hospital, but you may like to so that they know to expect you. 

Arrival at hospital

When you arrive at the delivery suite you should give the hospital midwife your Mutterpass. It helps if your preferences for the birth have been recorded in the birth plan page of your Mutterpass. 

Admission assessment

On admission the hospital midwife will do an assessment. They will want to take a tracing of the baby's heart rate and monitor any contractions. Your blood pressure and pulse will be taken and you will be asked to give a urine sample. A vaginal examination will confirm the position of the baby and the stage of labour. Depending on what the assessment finds and what stage of labour you are in, you may stay in the delivery suite or be given a room on the ward. 

The delivery

Obstetric care in designated provider hospitals in BFG is broadly in line with NHS care, but you may notice some differences. Your midwife will be able to give you more information on what to expect. 

Patient support officers

Many of the staff will speak English, but you may want additional assistance to help with translation and are welcome to request the help of a patient support officer.

Patient support officers work closely with hospital staff and are able to: 

  • - interpret when you see medical staff
  • - help with questions you may have
  • - advise you on hospital routines

Either you or the staff in the hospital can request a patient support officer during office hours. Patient support officers can also be contacted out of hours, in an emergency, via the hospital hotline on 0800 588 9936. 

Consenting to treatment

We want to make sure you fully understand your condition and the treatment options available to you. Before you receive treatment, it should be fully explained to you by a member of the medical team. The patient support officer can help you with this. 

You may be asked to sign a consent form before the treatment starts. No treatment will be carried out without your consent unless it is an emergency and you are unable to give consent. 

Post delivery

After the birth of your baby, you will be transferred from the delivery suite to a ward room where your baby will stay with you. However, there may be times when your baby may need to be taken to the nursery or special care baby unit (SCBU) for closer observation. The hospital staff will explain everything to you and keep you informed on your baby's progress. 

Feeding your baby

The nursery staff will be able to help you with the general care of your baby and feeding. Mothers can be given support in breast feeding or bottle feeding. 

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Going home

When can I go home?

There are several factors that may influence the time you spend in hospital following the birth of your baby. As a general rule, discharge can be arranged from four hours to five days after the birth providing you and your baby are well. The medical staff will be able to advise you on when you may be discharged.

Registering your baby

It is a legal requirement to register your baby. Before going home from hospital you should collect a notification of birth (Geburtsmeldung) from the German administration office (office hours only) in the hospital. This will state when and where your baby was born so that you can register your baby through your military unit. It's very important you have this before you leave the hospital. Your patient support officer can provide support with this. 

Follow on care

The patient support officer will let your community midwife's office know that you've gone home. You are advised to contact the midwife yourself too, especially if you have been discharged at the weekend, late in the day or at short notice. 

Once you have contacted your midwife, they will arrange with you to visit you at home. 

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