Second part of miniseries dedicated to being pregnant in Poland. This time, I will stay focus on a things related with giving a birth and most important things to do, after the baby is born. If you would like to read first part related with pregnancy, click here to open it in a new card. As usual, I will start with sharing list of subjects covered in this post:
“The Delivery” in Poland
I highly recommend connecting your preparations for the delivery with a birthing school (szkoła rodzenia). Classes for “parents-to-be”, allow both of you to prepare for the delivery and childcare. Birthing schools exist at hospitals, some of them are also operated by non-governmental organizations. The classes are addressed to both: mothers and fathers. During the classes, you will discover what happens with the child in the mother’s womb. You will also prepare yourself for the delivery, by learning proper positions and breathing techniques.
Also, one crucial thing worth mentioning: “Newborn care is also discussed.” This is very important information especially to these of you, who had no experience with little babies yet. Specific details on birthing schools in each city or region may be obtained at the healthcare center where the pregnancy is managed. Most birthing schools are paid, but the costs are very often covered by the National Health Fund (NFZ).
Delivery Plan – Pregnant in Poland
Delivery Plan is a document you as a pregnant woman need to prepare together with your doctor or midwife (or on your own). You describe there the expected course of the delivery and the individual needs. The Delivery Plan should include the presence of the accompanying person (as for example your partner), the consent to possible medical interventions and the use of anesthetics. It may underline the cultural and religious issues which the doctors should respect.
The Delivery Plan covers all the stages of delivery. I recommend talking this subject through with your doctor or a midwife. Despite the fact, that I am not mum (I need to underline it once again), I think that having brainstorm with someone who has “3rd person experience” and professional knowledge, may be very helpful. However, you need to remember that the Delivery Plan presents the woman’s preferences discussed with professionals. But if the life or the health of the child or of the mum-to-be is in danger, the plan will cease to matter. Saving life of a baby and your own will be most important. Of course, no panic. I am writing this purely informational.
“Code Red!!!” – steps in a hospital
As you will refer to the hospital, you will be referred to the reception unit, where you will present your documents and test results. My advice here. During the last days, prepare yourself a “code Red” bag, packed with things which you will need to take to the hospital. Clothes, favorite towel, pajamas, and mentioned documents. It helps a lot, since first hours of contractions may be pretty chaotic. Anyway, you will discuss your general health with a midwife. You will also have gynecological examination and a CTG. Both performed in order to establish the stage of the labour.
That is the best moment for presenting the delivery plan, as there may be no time for that later on. Then, after it is established that the relevant stage of labour, you will be directed to the delivery room. You may also be sent back home if the labour has not started at all. Delivery rooms are usually double, sometimes single. Specific information on the respective stages of the labour may be obtained from a doctor or a midwife. After the delivery, your baby’s Apgar score is measured. After the childbirth, you and your child will spend about three days in the hospital.
Registration of a newborn child – Pregnant in Poland
As the birth is given, fresh parents (most probably daddy) will be provided with a document claiming the Written Notification of Birth (pisemne zgłoszenie urodzenia dziecka). It is an important document which absolutely cannot be lost, as it is the basis for issuing the birth certificate later. You need to bring this document to Civil Registry Office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego), so they will prepare birth certificate. Birth has to be registered within 14 days from the moment when your child was born. Whole process cost 11 zł and requires below documents:
- written notification of birth, issued by a doctor, a midwife or a healthcare facility;
- abridged copy of a marriage certificate, if the parents of the child are married;
- abridged copy of the birth certificate or abridged copy of the marriage certificate with a note regarding divorce or abridged copy of the death certificate of the spouse. If the mother of the child is, respectively: unmarried, divorced or widowed.
Civil Registry Office – where and why?
As usual, Google Maps will be your best advisor, as we talk about finding your local Civil Registry Office. Just type in “Urząd Stanu Cywilnego” and find the one which is closest to you in your district. Good news here, is that you can perform all the activities related with new born child via ePuap. Digital platform which allow you to deal with official paperwork from your apartment. Just click here, if you would like to know more about it – I made a separate article dedicated to ePuap and ways to get it.
Coming back to registration process. This is the moment when you will need to register your child name. It is possible to give the child one or two first names. Parents choosing the names will need to bear in mind that they cannot be diminutive, derogatory or humiliating. After the birth certificate is issued, you should collect and keep its copies. You need to remember that in case of children whose nationality is other than Polish, the birth certificate is required to obtain an identification document in their country of origin and further, to legalize their residence in the territory of Poland. If the child’s nationality is Polish, the copy of the birth certificate will be useful when obtaining passport and identity card.
Leaves after childbirth
The relaxing part. You did a good job already if you get there. Therefore, parents deserve parental leaves. The Polish labor law distinguishes few kinds of leaves for parents. Foreigners may take them if they are employed in Poland under a contract of employment. The sole exception is the parental leave, available to all persons who pay health insurance contributions and hence also to people employed on the basis of a commission agreement (umowa zlecenie). Below, you will find brief descriptions of the respective kinds of leaves.
Maternity leave may be up to 20 weeks long and 14 weeks of it are obligatory and may only be used by the mother. After that time, the woman may go back to work provided that the father of the child uses the remaining 6 weeks. After the 20 weeks, one of the parents is entitled to additional 6 weeks’ leave. The additional period may be divided between the mother and the father. The additional maternity leave must be applied for at least two weeks before its beginning.
The maternity leave is paid. During the basic maternal leave, so the first 20 weeks, you will be paid the full amount of remuneration. Parents who decide from the beginning to use the additional maternity leave or the one-year leave, they receive 80% of the remuneration. If the decision on using the entire leave is made after the first part is completed – the remuneration paid will be reduced to 60%. So make a wise decison from the very begining.
Child Care Leave
Child Care Leave is 26 weeks long. It is available to the mother of the child after she has taken the maternity leave and the additional maternity leave in full. If you gave birth to multiple children, you are entitled to a longer leave. Parental leave is paid. You are entitled to 80% or to 60% of remuneration, depending on when the decision on taking the longer leave was made.
Parental Leave. Both the mother and the father of a child are entitled to up to 36 months’ parental leave, if they have at least 6 months work experience. The leave must be taken before the child’s 5th birthday. Parental leave is also available to parents who provide work under a commission agreement or conduct economic activity and pay health insurance contributions (NFZ). The leave may be divided into parts and must be shared between the parents. During the parental leave, the employer may not terminate or dissolve the employment contract. After the parental leave, the employer is obliged to reinstate the employee to the previous or equivalent position and may not reduce their remuneration. The parental leave is unpaid.
So the benefits for a families after the baby is born.
- Maternity grant (Becikowe) is one-off financial assistance in the amount of 1000 zł, awarded to families in which net income per household member does not exceed 1922 zł per month. In order to obtain the grant, the woman is required to remain under medical care from week 10 of the pregnancy.
- Family 500 plus (500+) is a monthly childcare benefit for each child in the family in the amount of 500 zł.
Once again, both benefits might be requested via ePuap portal. I will also support myself with a quote talking about Family benefits availability for foreigners:
1. Foreigners to whom the provisions on the coordination of social security systems apply;
2. Foreigners covered by the bilateral agreements on social security binding on the Republic of Poland;
3. Foreigners residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland under a permanent residence permit, a residence permit for long-term EU residents or a temporary residence permit, granted with regard to the circumstances referred to in Article 127 or in Article 186 section 1 pt. 3 of the Act of 12 December 2013 on foreigners, or of a refugee status or subsidiary protection obtained in the Republic of Poland;
4. Foreigners who hold a residence card with the “access to the labour market” note, with the exception of third-country citizens who have obtained a work permit for the territory of a member state for a period not exceeding six months, third-country nationals who have been admitted for the purpose of study and third-country nationals who are allowed to work under a visa.Source: migrapolis.pl
Summary – Pregnant in Poland
Actually, it is good to think about this, before pregnancy starts. Summarizing, that would be all, as we talk about the delivery and pregnancy in Poland. I hope that this article will clarify the “whole process” for you.
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gov.pl; https://praca.gazetaprawna.pl/; wikipedia.pl; https://www.migrapolis.pl/; https://epuap.gov.pl/Source