Switzerland,Breastfeeding,Postpartum period,Health insurance,Pregnancy,Childbirth

The pros and cons of having kids in Switzerland

January 23, 2017
in Kids

Pro: It’s a good place to give birth Swiss health insurance isn’t cheap, but it does fully cover the medical costs of giving birth – from check-ups and ultrasound scans during pregnancy to the mother and baby’s hospital stay, post-natal care and breastfeeding advice. You will not be liable for any part of the costs, as Swiss government information website ch.ch outlines. Just as well given that the bills can be extremely high. Laura Hollis, who wrote a pregnancy diary for the website Mothering Matters, estimated that 36 weeks in, her pregnancy had cost 2,838 Swiss francs. “I have very positive experiences of giving birth via the public hospital system,” says Andrea Snashall, another Mothering Matters contributor. “I liked the doctors, midwives and nurses. I could stay seven nights in hospital to establish breastfeeding and learn about giving the baby a bath etc., as well as recover physically. All paid for by the expensive though excellent health insurance.” Con: New fathers get hardly any time off While new mothers in Switzerland are entitled to 14 weeks’ paid maternity leave, there is no statutory paternity leave in Switzerland, where fathers have to make do with one or two days off for the birth of their child. By comparison, paternity leave across the European Union averages 12.5 days. A move to introduce two weeks’ statutory leave for fathers was thrown out by parliament last April. But all may not yet be lost. A campaign has been launched to give fathers a minimum of 20 days’ paid leave by law. The people’s initiative ‘For a reasonable paternity leave – in favour of all the family' has until November to gather the 100,000 signatures required to put to it a public vote. Con: It’s tough without a network Having a baby in another country can feel very lonely if you don’t have the support of extended family. And getting to know other mums with kids of a similar age can be quite daunting, admits Snashall, an Australian. “It took a couple of years to feel like I had a peer group I could bounce thoughts off and form friendships with,” she tells The Local. In the first couple of years I had to talk to friends back home when I wanted to have a chat about baby stuff.” “If you are sleep-deprived with a new baby it can sometimes be hard to get out there and make friends,” agrees Kate Orson, who has authored a parenting book. Through her work as a parenting instructor she runs...

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