It is well-known information that the healthcare system in Spain is among the best in the world. In recent years, the birth rates in the country have been climbing consistently, and the life expectancy indexes are the best in Europe (currently at 83 years). These figures can be attributed to the unique combination of the Mediterranean climate, the high quality of products, and the superb quality of the medical services. Another point in favor of giving birth in Barcelona is that the area has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality in the world. According to data collected by the World Health Organization, there are 2.7 mortality cases per 1000 newly born babies. Celebrities and the members of the Royal Family (such as Shakira and Infanta Cristina) have chosen the doctors in Barcelona as well. In Barcelona, one can find about 12 modern clinics, where more than 16,000 babies are delivered every year. The high professionalism and versatility of the doctors in Barcelona allows them to assist in various childbirth methods. Among these methods are natural birth and water birth in Barcelona, vertical child delivery, and C-section.
Preparation for childbirth in Barcelona
Preparation for childbirth is an in-depth process. First of all, a future mom needs to plan and define the timeframe for her stay in Barcelona. Here, there are no strict limitations, and all choices depend on the preferences of the future parents. However, the majority of the mothers who choose to come to Barcelona to deliver their babies strongly recommend that future mothers spend the majority of the pregnancy (or the whole pregnancy) in Spain. The reason they give is simple: the unique climate of Barcelona beneficially affects both the mom-to-be and the developing baby. In any case, it is recommended that the mother register with a clinic no later than the 35th week of pregnancy. When registering with a clinic in Barcelona, it is necessary to present all the required documents to the doctor (including medical results or diagnoses from previous doctors, ultrasound results, and the results of all tests conducted). It is extremely important to present this information, since all the information submitted directly affects the way the pregnancy will be monitored. Furthermore, it is best to have all records and medical diagnoses translated into Spanish at a specialized translation agency. If you come to Barcelona during the earliest term of your pregnancy, you do not need to do this. Another factor to keep in mind is that even though you might have had ultrasounds and blood tests before leaving your country, it is very likely that your Spanish doctor will ask you to go through these procedures again. The purpose of repeating these steps is to make sure all the data is valid and to analyze your overall condition and the current condition of your unborn child.
Another crucial point is to prepare for the childbirth in Barcelona by requesting an entry visa. This step is directly linked to the previous one. If a future mother plans to stay in Barcelona for a period of time that does not exceed 90 days, the standard tourist visa, with a processing time of 4-5 days (and a cost does not exceed 100 euros), is a perfect option. Nevertheless, many doctors recommend that a new mother stay in the country after the delivery for 3-4 more months, since during this period a mom and her newborn baby are in need of constant monitoring and medical consultations. Moreover, to fly at such an early age might negatively affect a baby’s health. In this case, one needs to request a long-term visa. The ideal option would be to request a residence permit even before the pregnancy. This process takes some months, but it allows the mother-to-be to stay on Spanish territory for an extended period of time. Another benefit of the aforementioned option is the following: if one of the parents is a Spanish residence permit holder, his or her child born in this country is entitled to Spanish citizenship one year following the birth.
Choosing the specific clinic for delivery is a decision future parents should handle with care. One can give birth in Barcelona both in private and public hospitals. Everything depends on the personal preferences of the parents-to-be and whether the future mother has medical insurance. If you are a resident of an E.U.-country, in order to receive free medical service in a public clinic, it is sufficient to present the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In any case, it is a good idea to check whether the monitoring of a pregnancy and childbirth expenses are covered by the insurance or by EHIC. On the other hand, one can choose a private clinic in which payment will be charged on a daily basis. There is a good reason for this charge – private clinics in Barcelona very often resemble expensive hotels, boasting personal rooms, individual service, excellent food, and 24/7 presence for mother and baby. It is possible to choose a room and get a guided tour of a clinic before the childbirth. In clinics of this type, future moms who do not speak Spanish can receive the assistance of a personal interpreter. If a clinic does not offer interpretation services, one can hire a private interpreter.
The cost of natural birth in Barcelona is about 5-6 thousand euros. The cost of C-sections starts at 7 thousand euros. In Spain, 21% of childbirths are performed in private clinics. In addition, the percentage of invasive technology applications (C- section) in private clinics is higher than in the public ones (36% vs. 22%).
If you decide to follow a modern trend and have a water birth, you can choose from different options as well. Water birth in Barcelona is available literally in any private clinic (in the best clinics there are 2-3 swimming pools for childbirth).
Apart from that, one should bear in mind that during childbirth Spanish doctors widely administer epidural anesthesia (in 98% of the cases). The epidural is considered completely safe for both mother and child and allows the mother to move through the whole process in a more comfortable and less painful way. However, if this option does not suit your vision of the ideal childbirth, you can always choose to decline the epidural anesthesia.
Quiron, Teknon, Hospital Clinic, Hospital de Barcelona, and Corachan are among the most popular and reliable clinics of Barcelona.
Registration of a newly-born child in Barcelona
After a baby is born, it is necessary to register her or him. In other words, one needs to obtain a birth certificate issued in Barcelona. The fact of birth must be officially recorded within 8 days of the date of birth (although in practice this period constitutes around 30 days) in a local Regístro Civil office. It is the parents’ responsibility to register the baby. In order to perform this procedure, the physical presence of one of the parents or an immediate family member is required. In some cases, a doctor or a midwife can register the fact of birth, although these cases are very rare.
A birth certificate issued in Barcelona includes the following information:
- The name of the newborn child
- Date, time, and place of birth; in case of a multiple birth, when the exact time for each newborn is not known, the information is indicated in the order of the babies’ birth, or the error in timing is indicated
- Sex of the newborn
- Information about the parents, whether the marriage is officially registered (full name, date of birth)
- Number assigned at birth
- Time of registration
A birth certificate issued in Barcelona will contain information on whether the child is legitimate or illegitimate. Accordingly, children born within 180 days of their parents’ marriage or within 300 days after their divorce date, declaring the marriage null and void, or in the case of a father’s death, are considered legitimate.
The specialists of INEEDSpain service center are always ready to consult with you regarding the choice of the right clinic for you in Barcelona, your visa application process, or a residence permit request.