Birth

Birth

«I'm due to give birth to my child soon. Of course I'm excited, but I'm also a little nervous. I'm particularly concerned about labour: I've heard that labour pains are almost unbearable. How will I know when it's starting and what should I expect?»

Geburt Erwartungen

There are a number of signs that your baby won't keep you waiting much longer. You may notice that the pressure on your ribs and breastbone eases: the baby is pushing down. For some time, your tummy has occasionally been feeling hard. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions, which will increase in strength and frequency. You may be more unsettled and anxious than normal and feel stabbing pains in the lower back, pelvic and pubic area.

One common indication that birth is imminent is the loss of the plug of mucus from the cervix. This can happen when the first contractions start or a few days earlier. Prompt action is required when your waters break, which means that the amniotic sac has ruptured. If this happens, you should contact your midwife or doctor immediately.

Pre-labour and actual labour

Labour is a series of contractions that cause cramping pains. They feel as though a belt is being pulled tighter and then let out again. How can you tell whether the pains are pre-labour contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions or the real thing? Genuine labour contractions will increase in strength and become more frequent and more painful. Initially, the contractions will occur at 10 to 15-minute intervals. The contractions will become more frequent, until they come every four to five minutes. During this phase, individual contractions can last between 20 and 60 seconds, which indicates that birth is imminent. You need to inform your midwife immediately and make your way to your chosen birthing venue.

Household remedies for labour pains

There are a variety of natural remedies and strategies for making labour pains more bearable:

  • Many mothers-to-be choose acupuncture or homoeopathy. Around half of all pregnant women find that homoeopathic treatments reduce pain and help them to relax.
  • Heat is good for helping you to relax. Try placing a microwavable wheat bag or hot water bottle on your back.
  • Focus on your breathing. Breathe out with regular, strong, deliberate exhalations to reduce the risk of hyperventilation. Feel free to say Ah or Oh as you breathe out. Screaming can help you to relax too.
  • Move your pelvis. For example, make circles with your pelvis while sitting on a Swiss ball. Alternatively, sit astride a chair and move your hips backwards and forwards.
  • Give yourself a gentle massage at the base of your sacrum, around your lower back or around your shoulders – wherever you need it.
Medication to alleviate labour pains

If natural remedies and methods fail to ease your labour pains, muscle relaxants are available as suppositories and infusions. Stronger painkillers may also be used. You should only take painkillers that have been recommended by your doctor or gynaecologist. Don't just grab whatever painkillers you can find in the medicine cabinet: you need to consider the potential harmful side effects on your baby.

The final remedy for easing extreme labour pains is an epidural. This local anaesthetic numbs the region from your hips to your feet. The birthing mother will not feel any pain, but is still conscious and able to witness the birth of her child.

Water birth

Giving birth in water can significantly reduce labour pains. The water is heated to between 34°C and 36°C, helping you to relax. The feeling of weightlessness also helps. The birthing mother has greater freedom of movement, making it easier to move into more comfortable positions to ease the pain.

Studies have shown that water births significantly reduce the likelihood of perineal tears and also reduce blood loss. The birthing process is much less stressful for babies born in the water.

A water birth is not an option for breech births or if you are expecting twins. When deciding whether to opt for a water birth, bear in mind that it is harder for the midwife or obstetrician to intervene rapidly if there are any complications.

Birthing process

The birth of your baby is divided into four phases:

Dilation Contractions occur at least once every seven minutes. The cervix dilates to 2-3cm.
Transition The contractions become more intense. The cervix continues to dilate to the requisite 10cm.
Delivery The baby's head has entered the birth canal. Your midwife will give you helpful advice on how to push and breathe correctly.
Afterbirth

Your baby has arrived. Your baby's lungs begin to work – baby may scream. Your baby will soon want to find your breast to feed.

The midwife or your partner will cut the umbilical cord. You will experience contractions to release the placenta (afterbirth), which supplied your baby with oxygen and nutrition while in the womb.

Duration

The duration of the birth process depends on a multitude of factors, which tend to vary from one birth to the next. Some birthing mothers have to be incredibly patient during a natural birth. But the whole process can also be over very quickly.

Caesarean section

There may be medical reasons for performing a Caesarean section or you may choose this option for personal reasons. Medical grounds for a Caesarean section include changes in the child's heartbeat, a prolapsed umbilical cord, shoulder or breech presentation, premature birth and multiple births. An emergency Caesarean section may be performed if there are complications during labour in order to save the baby or mother.

However, the operation is associated with the risk of infection, tissue injury, poor wound healing, side effects from the anaesthetic and increased risk of thrombosis. You will need to discuss your own situation with your gynaecologist and midwife.

Registering the birth

Usually the hospital or birthing centre will register the birth of your newborn at the local register office. Your midwife may contact you during the registration process. The best thing is to pack all of the requisite documents in your hospital bags. What you will need:

  • Family register or record booklet
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of identity
  • Birth registration form

What can Helsana do for you?

Preparing for the birth

We recommend that you attend a birth preparation course. The course will provide valuable information and helpful advice on what to do during your pregnancy and the birth. Helsana will contribute to the cost of any birth preparation course run by a recognised midwife under your basic and supplementary insurance.

Birth

For outpatient deliveries in a hospital or birthing centre and home births, you can claim costs in accordance with the applicable rate or contract with the hospital or midwife. For an inpatient birth in a hospital or birthing centre, we will reimburse the costs in accordance with the agreed rates for your basic and supplementary hospital insurance.

Pain relief

You can claim the costs of pain relief medication and infusions provided during the birth under your basic and supplementary hospital insurance.

Caesarean section

A Caesarean section is an operation that requires inpatient care in a hospital. The costs of the surgical procedure and the hospital stay will be covered in part or in full, depending on the level of cover provided by your basic and supplementary hospital insurance.

Prenatal registration with Helsana

You can take out the Baby Package even before your child is born. That way, the usual medical examination is dispensed with, guaranteeing that your baby will qualify for all the additional benefits provided by the Baby Package. At the same time, you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your child is comprehensively covered from the outset. If you take out cover before your baby is born, you will also benefit from various free products in the coming months or years. Learn more about prenatal registration.

Birth preparation

Basic insurance
CHF 150.–

You can claim CHF 150 per calendar year for ante-natal courses provided by an accredited midwife.


SANA
75% up to CHF 500

Choose a course, that is approved by us.

You receive 75% of the costs of various courses up to CHF 500 per calendar year.

Conditions:

  • The course is approved by us.
  • The course is provided by an accredited midwife, a provider or a physiotherapist recognised by us or takes place in the hospital.

Note: CHF 150 of the costs of childbirth classes provided by midwives are covered by basic insurance.


Product information:
SANA
COMPLETA
75% up to CHF 500

Choose a course, that is approved by us.

You receive 75% of the costs of various courses up to CHF 500 per calendar year.

Conditions:

  • The course is approved by us.
  • The course is provided by an accredited midwife, a provider or a physiotherapist recognised by us or the course takes place in the hospital.

Note: CHF 150 of the costs of childbirth classes provided by midwives are covered by basic insurance.


Product information:
COMPLETA

Choice of hospital

Basic insurance
Listed hospitals

You are free to choose among all the hospitals in Switzerland that are included on the cantonal hospital lists (“listed hospitals”), but receive no more than the costs specified by the tariff of your canton of residence.


OMNIA
Free choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) general ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
OMNIA
HOSPITAL ECO
Unrestricted choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) general ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL ECO
HOSPITAL PLUS
Unrestricted choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) semi-private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS
HOSPITAL PLUS BONUS
Unrestricted choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) semi-private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS BONUS
HOSPITAL PLUS CLASSICA
Anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) general ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS CLASSICA
HOSPITAL COMFORT
Unrestricted choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT
HOSPITAL COMFORT BONUS
Anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT BONUS
HOSPITAL COMFORT CLASSICA
Unrestricted choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) general ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT CLASSICA
HOSPITAL FLEX
Unrestricted choice of hospital anywhere in Switzerland

You are free to choose the hospital you want anywhere in Switzerland.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) general, half-privat and privat ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL FLEX

Semi-private ward

HOSPITAL PLUS
Two-bed room, free choice of doctor

You can claim the costs of accommodation and medical treatment in a two-bed room in the semi-private ward of any hospital in Switzerland. There, you can enjoy a peaceful environment and privacy as well as a free choice of doctor at the hospital.

Please note that certain hospitals do not have a (recognised) semi-private ward, in which case you may incur costs which you will have to bear yourself.


Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS
HOSPITAL PLUS BONUS
Two-bed room, free choice of doctor

You can claim the costs of accommodation and medical treatment in a two-bed room in the semi-private ward in any hospital in Switzerland. There you can enjoy a peaceful environment and privacy, as well as a free choice of doctor at the hospital.

Please note that certain hospitals do not have a (recognised) semi-private ward, in which case you may incur costs which you will have to bear yourself.


Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS BONUS
HOSPITAL PLUS CLASSICA
Two-bed room, free choice of doctor

You can claim the costs of accommodation and medical treatment in a two-bed room in the semi-private ward in any hospital in Switzerland. There, you can enjoy a peaceful environment and privacy, as well as a free choice of doctor at the hospital.

Please note that certain hospitals do not have a (recognised) semi-private ward, in which case you may incur costs which you will have to bear yourself.


Product information:
HOSPITAL PLUS CLASSICA
HOSPITAL FLEX
Two-bed room, free choice of doctor

You decide in each case what ward you would like to be admitted to and be treated in.

In a semi-private ward, you enjoy a peaceful environment and privacy in a two-bed room and have a free choice of doctors at the hospital. Depending on which option you select, you bear part of the costs yourself:

  • HOSPITAL FLEX 1: You pay 35% of the costs up to CHF 3,000 per calendar year.
  • HOSPITAL FLEX 2: You pay 20% of the costs up to CHF 2,000 per calendar year.

Product information:
HOSPITAL FLEX

Private ward

HOSPITAL COMFORT
One-bed room, free choice of doctor

You receive the costs of the stay and medical treatment in a one-bed room in the private ward of any hospital in Switzerland. There you can enjoy peace and privacy as well as a free choice of doctor.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT
HOSPITAL COMFORT BONUS
One-bed room, free choice of doctor

You receive the costs of the stay and medical treatment in a one-bed room in the private ward of any hospital in Switzerland. There you can enjoy peace and privacy as well as a free choice of doctor.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT BONUS
HOSPITAL COMFORT CLASSICA
One-bed room, free choice of doctor

You receive the costs of the stay and medical treatment in a one-bed room in the private ward of any hospital in Switzerland. There you can enjoy peace and privacy as well as a free choice of doctor.

Please note that some hospitals do not have a (recognised) private ward; in such cases, you may incur costs for which you alone will be responsible.


Product information:
HOSPITAL COMFORT CLASSICA
HOSPITAL FLEX
One-bed room, free choice of doctor

You decide in each case what type of ward you would like to be admitted to and be treated in.

In a private ward you enjoy peace and privacy in a one-bed room and have a free choice of doctor. Depending on which option you select, you pay for part of the costs yourself:

  • HOSPITAL FLEX 1: You pay 50% of the costs up to CHF 9,000 per calendar year.
  • HOSPITAL FLEX 2: You pay 35% of the costs up to CHF 4,000 per calendar year.

Product information:
HOSPITAL FLEX

Transport at home

Basic insurance
50% up to CHF 500.–

You receive overall 50% of the costs, up to CHF 500 per calendar year, of scheduled transportation to a medical facility for medically necessary treatment at home and abroad.

This is on condition that you choose a recognised mode of transport, e.g. a vehicle operated by Spitex, a wheelchair-accessible taxi, a Red Cross vehicle or an ambulance.


TOP
CHF 100'000.-

In addition to the transportation benefits provided by the basic insurance, you receive CHF 100,000 per calendar year for transportation that is required on medical grounds within Switzerland.

The total amount is payable to cover all rescue, recovery, relocation and emergency transportation services.


Product information:
TOP
COMPLETA
CHF 100'000.–

In addition to the transportation benefits provided by the basic insurance, you receive CHF 100,000 per calendar year for transportation that is required on medical grounds within Switzerland.

The total amount is payable to cover all rescue, recovery, relocation and emergency transportation services.


Product information:
COMPLETA
PRIMEO
CHF 500.–

You receive overall CHF 500 per calendar year for transportation and travel costs for public transport services (the Swiss Federal Railways SBB, bus, tram) or private transport at home and abroad.

Conditions:

  • Transport is required to reach a medical facility for outpatient treatment that is covered by the basic insurance policy or by the PRIMEO policy and for travel costs to reach a facility for physiotherapy or radiotherapy.

Product information:
PRIMEO
OMNIA
CHF 100'000.–

In addition to the transportation benefits provided by the basic insurance, you receive CHF 100,000 per calendar year for transportation that is required on medical grounds within Switzerland.

The total amount is payable to cover all rescue, recovery, relocation and emergency transportation services.


Product information:
OMNIA