Monday, May 21, 2012

Five Reasons Switzerland is a Great Place to Have a Baby


The Frau has now been Die Mom for over seven months. Naturally, she was incredibly nervous about giving birth in a country where she had to learn the German equivalents for painkiller, cervical dilation, and please no episiotomy. But somehow, everything went smoothly. Somehow, the Frau survived. Somehow, Switzerland delivered by helping the Frau do the same.

You can hike around Lake Lungern with a stroller.
Needless to say, the rumors are true. Switzerland is a great place to have a baby. Here’s why:

One: Affordable care. 

Frustrated with expensive Swiss insurance policies? Have a baby and get your money’s worth. Swiss insurers are required to pay for almost all pregnancy-related doctor and hospital visits. So go ahead—lower your monthly payments and increase your deductible—your normal pregnancy-related check-ups and hospital bill won’t be coming out of it.

Two: Patience. 

Swiss midwives don’t rush you. Most encourage natural birth. But before you run back to the United States and demand a C-section, keep this in mind: a place that encourages natural birth (whether you do it or not) is actually a good thing because it means your labor is cared for with patience, not by people who just want you to hurry so they can go to lunch. Also, after a normal birth, you can stay in a Swiss hospital for up to five days as you recover and learn to care for your baby. You can even leave your baby at the hospital and go out to dinner, which the Frau highly recommends since after you leave the hospital with your new baby, dinner will probably become something you dream about, rather than eat.

Three: Midwives. 

You can have a midwife visit you at home after you return from the hospital. She comes to your house and makes sure you know what you’re doing (because if you’re like the Frau you won’t!). This is all also covered by Swiss insurance, which becomes even more of a blessing if you read books like Baby Catcher, and realize how U.S. insurers have basically made independent midwifery extinct in the United States. Be more prepared than the Frau, and choose your midwife before you give birth

Four: Free Money. 

Yes. You are hearing right. Beginning the month your child is born (so aim for the 30th!) you receive a minimum child benefit allowance of CHF 200 ($212) a month, which is added to your paycheck.  Unfortunately the Frau lives in Aargau, where they give you the bare minimum, but still, it helps make up for the fact that diapers and three times as expensive in Switzerland than they are in Germany. Even more amazing? You get your CHF 200 every month until your child turns 16. After your child turns 16, you are entitled to an education allowance of CHF 250 a month until your child is 25. If you’re luckier than the Frau, you also live in a canton that will give you a bonus of CHF 1,000, just for giving birth.

Five: Stroller-accessible Hiking Trails

You may not be able to get to your fourth-floor apartment without a struggle, but the woods? No problem. You’ll be sure to find plenty of stroller-accessible hikes in Switzerland. A few great Frau-tested hikes with strollers include the path around Lake Lungern, the wine trail near Maienfeld, and the wonderful walks included on this blog. Now if only the people riding the SBB/CFF/SSF without kids wouldn’t take up all the spots in the family zone, things would be perfect.

Have you had a baby in Switzerland? What has been good (or bad) about it for you?

26 comments:

Kay B.Elle said...

Hello! I really like your posts. This one was really good! Now you will need starting to make the opposite list... Keep on the great work! K.

Anonymous said...

mmm, five good reasons why Switzerland is a bad place to have a baby... if you are a European and your aspiration is not to become a housewife or a working woman at a 20-50% rate only at least....

a) Availability of childcare for little ones from 4 months to 18 months: totally insufficient (you can enroll at the forth month of pregnancy for a place but wait easily 2 years before getting one). In Switzerland the main expectation is that the woman will stay at home and care for the baby inevitably reducing her working hours and therefore relying on a full employed good earning man.

b) if you get a child care place then you face another problem: it is extremely expensive! with two childlren in full time care you can easily engage half of you salary.

b) No more than 16 weeks paid maternity leave (80% of teh salary) and only starting from the day of birth

c) No federal paternity or parental leave. There are a few local exception. The maximum a fatehr can take is 21 days in one administration of one city. The rest of the country is far below

d) when your child reaches school age in the majority of the schools he or she will have a break between 11:30 and 14:00 and nobody to care for him or her. You need to figure out who will take him or her from school prepare food and bring him or her back to school in time

e)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Let me give you five good reasons why Switzerland is a bad place to have a baby... if you are a European and your aspiration is not to become a housewife or a working woman at a 20-50% rate only at least....

1) Availability of childcare for little ones from 4 months to 18 months: totally insufficient (you can enroll at the forth month of pregnancy for a place but wait easily 2 years before getting one). In Switzerland the main expectation is that the woman will stay at home and care for the baby inevitably reducing her working hours and therefore relying on a full employed good earning man.

2) if you get a child care place then you face another problem: it is extremely expensive! with two children in full time care you can easily engage half of you salary.

3) No more than 16 weeks paid maternity leave (80% of the salary) and only starting from the day of birth

4) No federal paternity or parental leave. There are a few local exception. The maximum a father can take is 21 days in one administration of one city. The rest of the country is far below

5) when your child reaches school age in the majority of the schools he or she will have a break between 11:30 and 14:00 and nobody to care for him or her. You need to figure out who will take him or her from school prepare food and bring him or her back to school in time

Chantal said...

Hi Kay, thanks for the feedback, I see someone below has started on the opposite list. I will also add my two cents in a future post on some of the downsides. I definitely agree with some of the points made. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

Hattie said...

You may also have trouble, down the line, getting your child into an English speaking school, should you desire to do that. The mandate is for Swiss kids to go to Swiss schools, period. I'm not 100% against this, but unless there have been changes since I left,Swiss all-day schools, let alone schools with after school care, are nonexistent.
I got to the point where I could not stand the situation and we sent our kid to an international school, making sacrifices in other areas to do this. But since your husband is Swiss this may not be an option.
And day care and pre-school? Rare and only very very part time, in my experience.
The Swiss want mothers at home, and their public policy is deliberately designed that way. Trying to carry out any alternative desires on your part will find you swimming upstream.
I am glad for my Swiss pension, which is some compensation for how Swiss policies ruined my chances for a career. I had friends who struggled and succeeded, but they paid the price in overwork and isolation.

Chantal said...

Hi Hattie,
Thank you for your honest feedback. I agree that Switzerland does make it difficult for women who want to have a career and a family. The school situation is very frustrating--and I haven't even gotten that far in my experience here. Also the new mandate in Zurich that expats send their children to Swiss schools is crazy. I'll try to address some of this in a future post. (The woman wanting a career in Switzerland is also a theme that runs through the memoir I am working on).

Martin said...

regarding "Vaterschaftsurlaub" check this out:

- rtmp://cp23910.edgefcs.net/ondemand/mpc/drs1/rendezvous/2012/05/120524_rdv_vaterurlaub.mp3
- http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/standard/Travailsuisse-fordert-gesetzlichen-Vaterschaftsurlaub/story/26309837

Kathy said...

I'm not sure how widespread this is yet, but some Gemeinden now offer for Hort (after school space/programs) and Mittagstisch (lunch space/program).

http://www.thalwil.ch/de/bildung/bildunghort/

http://chancengleichheit.web.psi.ch/pdf_files/Liste_Familienerg%C3%A4nzendeBetreuung.pdf

http://www.aargauerzeitung.ch/aargau/aarau/gefragt-sind-in-rohr-hort-und-mittagstisch-121768078

Chantal said...

Kathy,
Thanks so much for these links. I had heard about this small movement for the better but am also not sure how widespread it is. Will have a look.

Tanya said...

I think CH is a great place to have a baby. I had a much better experience here than I had with my first in SF, CA. I had a great midwife, though I have friends that have not been so lucky. Quark and tea bags do not cure all ills.

Certainly, the family-friendly hiking is my favorite part about having kids here. The theme trails are the best. When your little one gets a bit bigger, try the Toggenburg Klangweg or Brunni Tickle Trail. Check out my http://momstotszurich.blogspot.com for some more ideas.

Chantal said...

I agree that the whole quark and tea bag thing is a bit strange!

Thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I really liked your post and all the comments by others that have followed.
I am Australian, living in Hong Kong, 10 weeks pregnant and i am about to move to Switzerland with my partner for work.
I will be living in the Aarburg area/state and i am trying to find out as much as i can in regards to care and giving birth!
In regards to the pension that you get, does this mean that even expats get this?
Did you have to book into a hospital quite early or can i look at hospitals in my 4th month (which is what i will be when i arrive)
Thanks,
Sally

Anonymous said...

llnobkopk 826 vdreuapyw http://www.louboutinsoldes.fr ucgtywcxc 561 situslrxn [url=http://www.louboutinsoldes.fr]christian louboutin pas che[/url] tfpfhlfyg 129 svbexcwuc
ticbiexrw 467 tlmvyyphw http://www.chaussureschristianlouboutin.fr ttosvhmbu 385 zgddnneun [url=http://www.chaussureschristianlouboutin.fr]louboutin soldes[/url] pedmaxmtf 042 fxgrmxpwg
mepaehwuz 319 tnpzwoixr http://www.christianlouboutin-soldes.com gcqfnddsb 434 hydhvkezf [url=http://www.christianlouboutin-soldes.com]Louboutin France[/url] unrsqypbs 746 squlzoznc
ljwcssylu 100 frosjgsfm http://www.christianlouboutin-soldes.fr kvcacrodr 332 lilvphmom [url=http://www.christianlouboutin-soldes.fr]Louboutin Pas Cher[/url] ehievippz 009 ufampkrhd
fotacezlr 065 bqunoopkq http://www.louboutin-chaussures.eu nlxpyvutb 486 ihwrrdybe [url=http://www.louboutin-chaussures.eu]chaussures christian louboutin[/url] tqujtetgt 999 dzizoikpz

Priyanka Peace said...

"Over 1 00 000 Part time jobs available for

FREE. More than 10 000 people are earning good

amount of money everymonth. NO REGISTRATION

FEE, its free to join.

For Details visit : www.rktechservices.co.in "

Priyanka Peace said...

"Over 1 00 000 Part time jobs available for

FREE. More than 10 000 people are earning good

amount of money everymonth. NO REGISTRATION

FEE, its free to join.

For Details visit : www.rktechservices.co.in "

Garry Cursten said...

A few great Frau-tested hikes with strollers include the path around Lake Lungern, the wine trail near Maienfeld, and the wonderful walks included on this blog. Now if only the people riding the SBB/CFF/SSF without kids wouldn’t take up all the spots in the family zone.

Best Baby Swing said...

This is all also covered by Swiss insurance, which becomes even more of a blessing if you read books like Baby Catcher, and realize how U.S. insurers have basically made independent midwifery extinct in the United States.

yang wei said...

I like it very much.
http://www.twinoy.com/
[url=http://www.twinoy.com/]louboutin soldes[/url]
[url=http://www.twinoy.com/]escarpins louboutin[/url]
[url=http://www.twinoy.com/]louboutin homme[/url]

yang wei said...

I like it very much, thank you very much.
louboutin soldes
escarpins louboutin
louboutin homme
http://www.twinoy.com/
[url=http://www.twinoy.com/]louboutin soldes[/url]
[url=http://www.twinoy.com/]escarpins louboutin[/url]
[url=http://www.twinoy.com/]louboutin homme[/url]

marta larkin said...

You've buckled down and earned two weeks off work...congratulations! Presently it's an ideal opportunity to make those travel arrangements. Be that as it may, first you have to make sense of the colossal spots to travel and after that pick one (or more than one, why not?!). There are such a large number of superb spots to consider, however before you settle on your choice, you have to choose what you're searching for.

sarah saad said...

نقل عفش بالرياض
شركات نقل العفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة نقل اثاث بجدة

dong dong23 said...

christian louboutin uk
oakley sunglasses
polo ralph lauren
ray-ban sunglasses
louis vuitton uk
pandora charms
columbia shoes
christian louboutin shoes
nike outlet
coach outlet
20172.17wengdongdong

Jian Zhuo said...

moncler coats
chaussures louboutin
polo ralph lauren pas cher
49ers jerseys
adidas
louis vuitton outlet online
adidas store
heat jerseys
white sox jerseys
polo ralph lauren
20170402yueqin

Emran Hossen said...

Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation has been providing quality home loans across Wisconsin.Meet our loan officers. Please choose the loan officer that you were referred to view their personal page and apply online.Wisconsin FHA Each loan officer's page includes the following services.

Top 10 Movies said...

Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation has been providing quality home loans across Wisconsin.Meet our loan officers. Please choose the loan officer that you were referred to view their personal page and apply online.Wisconsin Best Interest Rates Each loan officer's page includes the following services.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin