A guide to the care and procedures & useful links
Well you have made the big move to Limousin, just starting to feel settled and then you find out you are expecting a baby. No one would be surprised if your first reaction is “I want to go home.”
Having your first baby is a daunting event for anyone, and if on top of this, you are in a foreign country without the support of your close family and friends the whole thing may feel rather terrifying.
France is a great place to bring up children and the hospitals have a world class reputation.
Finding The Right Doctors
First of all you must find a gynaecologist. Before you start your search, you should try to decide where you want to have the baby, because different gynaecologists work from different hospitals. Although you may be open-minded about hospitals it is worth bearing in mind that larger hospitals, particularly university hospitals may be better equipped, in the event of problems arising. Home births are still relatively rare in France but it is possible.
Find details of hospitals in Limousin here
Asking around for recommendations is probably the one of the best ways of finding a good gynaecologist. If you don’t speak much French, now might be the time to get in a bit of practice, you have got nine months to get all that essential vocabulary.
Notifying the Authorities
First of all you must declare your pregnancy to your local caisse by the end of the third month. Your gynaecologist will give you the necessary form, a three-part document or déclaration de grossesse. One sheet will be sent to Caisse d’Assurance Maladie , and 2 copies to Caisse d’allocations familiales, CAF.
FAMILY ALLOWANCE AGENCY CAF- HAUTE-VIENNE
25 rue Firmin Delage
87046 LIMOGES Cedex 1
Telephone : 0 820 25 87 10
Fax : (33) 05 55 43 40 76
FAMILY ALLOWANCE AGENCY CAF- CREUSE
Rue Marcel Brunet
23013 GUERET Cedex
Telephone : 0820 25 23 10
FAMILY ALLOWANCE AGENCY CAF- CORREZE
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
Telephone : 0 820 25 19 10
You should then be given a carnet de maternité , containing paperwork to be completed at each check up.
Expect to have seven consultations, but you are obviously free to contact your g.p. or hospital at any time if you have any problems or concerns.
Rights and Responsibilities
You can find full details of what to expect in the maternity guide you will be issued with, which you can also read on line here
If you are entitled to paid leave, the amount of prenatal and postnatal leave you are allowed depends on how many children you have, and to how many you are giving birth. If you already have one child you are given six weeks off before your due date as well as the 10 weeks following the birth (16 weeks if you have twins, 22 weeks if you have triplets). If this is your third child you can finish work eight weeks before the anticipated birth and you are entitled to 20 weeks leave after the birth.
The average stay in hospital for a routine delivery is three days. You can find more information on your pregnancy care from start to finish, as well as health and maternity allowances on line here
Registering the Birth
The Déclaration de Naissance or registration of birth is obligatory for any child.It must be made within three days of the birth, although allowance is made for weekends.
A birth which was not declared within this time, can be registered on the registers only on presentation of a judgement given by the court of the district in which the child was born.
The birth is usually declared by the father, or alternatively, by the doctors, health workers or other person present at the birth.
The birth notification is made at the town hall at the place of birth . The birth certificate is written immediately by an official known as the, officier d’état civil.
A copy of the birth certificate can be requested on line at www.acte-naissance.fr
Will my baby be French or British?
Any child born to at least one parent who is a French national has automatic French nationality.
A child born in France, where neither parent is French can take French nationality if they wish to do so at 18 years of age if they are still resident in France. The same applies to children who have lived in France for 5 years or more from the age of 11
The birth may be registered at the consular section of British Embassy in Paris. This form of registration is not compulsory, however it is proof of citizenship. Such registration will ensure that the birth is included among the records of the General Register Office in the United Kingdom. There is no obligation to register the birth before applying for a passport for your child.
More details on how to register here
Post Natal Care
A health record or carnet de santé is issued after the birth of a baby. This notebook must be taken to each consultation consultation until they are 18 years of age. This provides a record of full medical history.
The postnatal period (période post-natale) involves examinations for both the mother and infant. The baby is examined in the first week and then nine further times in the first year, three during second, and two during each of the next years up to the sixth birthday.
Mother and baby will be seen by the gynaecologist eight weeks after delivery.
Local health centres or Protection Maternelle et Infantile (PMI) provide clinic services for mother and child. The staff perform the basic postnatal checks, provide advice and help on issues such as breast feeding. They also carry out vaccinations.
Follow the link to find the address of the Limousin Protection Maternelle et Infantile clinic near to you
The health record also acts as a certificate of vaccinations. The doctor or clinic signs, dates and declares the vaccinations given. There are several vaccinations due in the first 18 months you can find full details here
Livret de Famille
Livret de famille is a family record book, an official document that contains details of legal events such as marriage. In France it would normally be issued at the time of a marriage, or on the birth of the first child for a non married couple. Additional births, divorce etc. are noted in the book. In fact it is obligatory for the the birth certificates of all the children of the same father and the same mother. However if the children are from another relationship of the man or the woman they do not have to appear in it, for example, a woman who had 3 children with 3 different men will have 3 family record books
Other Useful Information
French names for your new baby
AMELI have an English speaking helpline if you need more information on your social security insurance, benefits and healthcare rights in France ?
French Health Insurance Advice Line
0 811 36 36 46 (from France, local call price from fixed-phone line)
0033 811 36 36 46 (from the U.K.)
Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
English speaking operators will answer immediately or within 48 hours, if the answer requires research.