Post birth in Denmark: what comes ahead

Congratulations, your family has a new member now! But as you will notice very quickly, life with children will be characterized by the great number of things to do, from medical follow ups, to activities and much more. The following is an overview of those first weeks after your baby has arrived.

Practical Information

Official documents

Right after giving birth at the hospital the midwife reports your child’s birth to the authorities. At this point the baby will be assigned a CPR number. Later on the parents can register the baby’s name online using the NemID. Note that this should be done within the next 6 months after birth and that the first name for your child shall be in the list of approved names in Denmark. In case it is not, an application shall be done to the responsible authority.

The child’s birth certificate is issued by the local church office. This regardless the religion of the family, since is the church office the official authority in Denmark for this procedure. A printed document can be picked at your local church in person or by someone authorized to do so.

For the following medical appointments remember to have your CPR card and any other additional documentation about the child or the mother. The baby will be given a child’s book or ‘Barnets Bog’ where all the relevant medical information will be noted down.

Language barrier
English will continue to be an option during the post birth period. All medical staff and other professionals involved are in capacity of performing their duties in this language. However, in case the patient does not speak English and interpreter shall be required. We recommend you to talk about this specific issue before hand with your midwife, in order to do the necessary arrangements.

Fees and medical attention
The fees of all the normal procedures throughout pregnancy, birth and post birth are covered by the state for residents in Denmark. For non-residents, some fees might be applied according to the case. All individuals are entitled to receive medical attention in Denmark, yet additional services requested by the family such as additional scanning or private care shall be payed individually.

Medical Assistance

After arriving home 

Both mother and child will receive medical check-ups after being home permanently. These medical visits will be performed by a home nurse or ‘Sundhedsplejerske’. Aarhus is divided into 4 districts and you are assigned to one of them considering your residency address. This process is done automatically. The nurse in charge of this district will contact you directly  and no other additional procedures shall be done by the parents.

The visits

The home nurse will call you a couple of days after giving birth and a first appointment will be scheduled for the first week after given birth, in most of the cases. During these visits your baby’s and your personal health will be examined. The baby will be weighted, measured and checked for general developmental milestones. The mother will be assessed on her mental condition as well as assisted with any physical inquiries there might be. The home nurse will also guide you through relevant topics such as recovery, baby’s feeding and support.

Additional care

In case the family requires additional assistance it is very important to be open and discuss it with the home nurse as she will do the necessary referrals. Also if possible, contact your GP in case you consider things aren’t working out for any of the members of the family and changes shall be made.

The district nurses office will also offer open house days where parents of the city can join to talk to a nurse about issues related to post birth, the child, mom’s recovery among others. These dates can be found in our calendar or you can ask your home nurse about other options.

Finally, parents can also access counselling by phone when calling to the home nurse guard or ‘Sundhedsplejens Telefonvagt’ at 70208008 – every day from 9am – 12m.

In case you have doubts about the immediate care received at hospital after giving birth, please check our Giving Birth in Denmark guide.

Further check-ups and vaccinations 

The Danish Health Authority recommends that children in Denmark be vaccinated. The Danish childhood vaccination programme includes ten diseases and these are voluntary and free of charge. In order to access them request the appointments with your GP. The following is the general scheme for these:

5 weeks – Medical check-up

3 months – Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) + pneumococci and medical check-up

5 months – Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) + pneumococci and medical check-up

12 months – Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) + pneumococci and medical check-up

15 months – MMR: measles, mumps and rubella

2 and 3 years – Medical check-up

4 years – MMR: measles, mumps and rubella and medical check-up

5 years – Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio booster vaccination and medical check-up

12 years – Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) – if the child did not previously receive two MMR vaccinations

Note that many vaccinations are not included in the Danish scheme, compared to other country’s. You can raise the question about adding other vaccinations you consider your child could have with your GP. In case your doctor do not provide them you can also contact private clinics to access such vaccinations.

Mother’s group 

In Denmark the municipality facilitates mothers that have given birth the possibility of joining a mother’s group with other woman who are living close to you and whose babies where born close to the date you also gave birth. This arrangement will be done by the home nurse in case you like to. The goal of these groups is to assist mothers to find others that might be facing the same situations they are and they usually meet once a week and talk about mother-baby related topics. The continuity of the groups is done with no further supervision of the municipality and the mothers arrange more or less meetings according to their internal relationships with the other members.

These groups are originally created among Danish mothers, however with the rapid growth of international families in Denmark, more and more international mother’s groups have been created. These can be found independently and sometimes through the home nurse.

General recommendations

The following are some elements we believe are worth noting at this point of the journey.

  • An open communication with your midwife and consequently with your home nurse will be the key to a successful start. Note that in many scenarios there can be some cultural clashes, but the more you talk about these inquiries the better solutions you will find.
  • Do not hesitate asking for help in case you feel you need it. In Denmark there are many resources to support new mothers, the children and the entire family. Prevention is always the best solution.
  • Feel confortable with your family GP. During the check-up be open and discuss any single issue you consider important. In case you are not fully satisfied remember you can switch to another practitioner in your area. Note that some costs might occur.
  • Join groups and/or associations for parents as this is an extraordinary way to face the first months of parenting, as you will get a lot of support from others. Find local Facebook groups or ask your home nurse for some referrals. There are several Facebook groups for this, for example in Aarhus, Copenhagen, the triangle region and Denmark in general. With some additional search you will be able to find more local ones if desired.
  • Check our baby lounges list around the city of Aarhus. They always come handy when out and about.

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