Pregnancy and birth: When you become a parent

Becoming a parent in Denmark: What you need to know about your pregnancy, giving birth, birth registration and naming etc.

Select one or more topics

Pregnant – what's next?

Once you have taken a positive pregnancy test, you need to book an appointment for your first pregnancy consultation with your family doctor (also called a general practitioner, GP).

You are welcome to bring a partner with you.

What happens at the first pregnancy consultation?

  • You will be registered as pregnant in the doctor's system. This means that you will automatically be called in for midwife appointments.
  • You might have blood tests taken and you will talk about what services are available during your pregnancy, such as ultrasound scans. You will also talk to the doctor about where the birth can take place.
  • You will be given a health booklet (called 'vandrejournal' in Danish) – this is a paper with information concerning your pregnancy and you need to bring it with you to all pregnancy-related appointments throughout your pregnancy.

The basic principle of the Danish welfare system is that all citizens have equal rights to social security. The majority of healthcare services are financed by general taxes and mainly provided free of charge.

What is free?

If you have a Danish civil registration number (CPR number), you are covered by the national health insurance. Your visits with your family doctor (GP) are free of charge, and the same applies for the midwife consultations, 2 ultrasound scans at the hospital (around weeks 12 and 20) and your birth and potential stay at the hospital after the birth.

You are also entitled to free visits from a health visitor (sundhedsplejerske) in your own home after the birth. A health visitor is a nurse with further training within children’s health.

What do you need to pay for yourself?

If you want more ultrasound scans than the 2 ultrasound scans offered by the hospital, you need to book these at private clinics, and you will have to pay for these. It is also possible to buy private consultations with midwifes and private birth preparation courses. 

Consultations with your family doctor (GP) and midwife

When you or your partner are pregnant, you will be offered a number of consultations to ensure that you and your baby have the best possible pregnancy. The consultations are free of charge and are offered to you by your own family doctor (GP) and a midwife in the local area or at the hospital. If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth, your GP and a midwife will be your primary healthcare representatives – you will not see an obstetrician/OB-GYN (a doctor who focuses on pregnancy and birth).

  • Family doctor (GP): You have 3 consultations (weeks 6-10, week 25 and week 32 of the pregnancy).
  • Midwife: You have around 4 to 7 consultations with a midwife, if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. The number of visits depends on when you give birth (before or past your due date).

The consultations are designed to provide advice about the pregnancy and prepare you for the birth. The midwife will also listen to the baby's heartbeat and feel how the baby lies within the womb. 

You book the consultations with you family doctor (GP) yourself. The midwife consultations are booked for you – you will receive information about time and date via Digital Post.

Offer of ultrasound scans

All pregnant women are offered 2 ultrasound scans during pregnancy to monitor whether the foetus is developing as it should. It is voluntary whether you want to have the ultrasound scans. You often have to book an appointment for the first ultrasound scan yourself.

  • The first ultrasound scan is called a 1st trimester ultrasound scan and takes place in weeks 11 to 13 of pregnancy. Here, a midwife, nurse or doctor will check if there is life, if there is one or more foetuses and how far along you are in your pregnancy. You will be offered a risk assessment, which can tell you the likelihood of the baby having a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome. If you want a risk assessment, the pregnant woman must have a blood sample taken before the ultrasound scan – this is called a doubletest. Where you get the blood sample taken, might depend on the region you live in. Talk to your GP or midwife, if you are unsure of what to do. 
  • The second ultrasound scan is called the 2nd trimester ultrasound scan and takes place in weeks 18 to 21 of pregnancy. During this ultrasound scan, the baby's growth, organs and signs of abnormalities are examined, among other things. It is also possible to see the baby's gender, if you want to know.

Free influenza vaccination during the winter

The influenza vaccine is free for pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester during the winter months from October to February.

Pregnant women have an increased risk of complications if they get influenza and therefore the Danish Health Authority recommends that pregnant women get vaccinated. When you get vaccinated as a pregnant woman, the newborn child is also protected against influenza during the first months of life.

Book an appointment with your family doctor (GP)

If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant, you are offered the vaccination.You must book an appointment with your family doctor (GP) to get vaccinated.

Other vaccinations

The Danish Health Authority regularly assesses which vaccines should be offered to pregnant women. This may be based on, for example, the risk of infection and the time of year. The vaccinations can prevent the pregnant woman from getting sick and protect the baby during the first months of life. 

The vaccination might for instance be the whooping cough vaccination. If your GP recommends this vaccine, it it ideal between week 16 and 32 of the pregnancy. Talk to your GP, if you want to know the latest recommendations.

Regarding food

When you are pregnant, food can affect your baby while it is growing inside your belly. Follow the official dietary advice from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
It is recommended to take supplements of folic acid, vitamin D and iron. Also, make sure to get calcium through diet or supplements.

Regarding exercise

Physical activity during pregnancy is beneficial for both you and your baby. The Danish Health Authority recommends physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day. There are a few important precautions regarding for instance hard exercise and contact sports. 

Find the leaflet 'Healthy habits – before, during and after pregnancy' at the website of the Danish Health Authority. The leaflet is available in English and a number of other languages. You can also find other information regarding a healthy pregnancy: 

Smoking and alcohol

Smoking and alcohol can be harmful to your baby while it is growing inside your belly.

Many municipalities have programmes that support your health. Contact the municipality to find out more.

Family counselling and support

Pregnancy is a life-changing event and can be a life crisis, and some people may need counselling or help with finances, relationships or previous experiences during pregnancy or childbirth.

Talk to your family doctor (GP), midwife or health visitor (sundhedsplejerske) if you have any concerns about pregnancy or the first time as a parent. They can provide advice and possibly refer you to additional services.

Private organisations such as Mødrehjælpen can also support you. 

Violence in the family

All forms of violence are illegal in Denmark. It is important to seek help if you are a victim of violence. 

Preparing for the birth, labour and the moment after giving birth

Decide on the place of birth with your family doctor (GP)

You can choose to give birth:

  • At the hospital
  • At home
  • Some regions in Denmark offer birth at a maternity clinic outside the hospital.

Your family doctor (GP) and midwife can tell you about options and offers in the region you live in. However, birth at a maternity clinic or at home is only recommended if the pregnant woman has had an uncomplicated pregnancy and an uncomplicated birth is expected. 

Free choice of hospital

In Denmark, there is free choice of hospital. This means that, in principle, you can give birth at the hospital of your choice. However, there must be room at your preferred hospital – both in the maternity ward and in the paediatric ward. You are guaranteed a place in the hospital to which you belong based on your home address.

There may be special conditions of the woman or foetus that mean that you are recommended to give birth at a different hospital than where you normally belong.

What kind of maternity care can you get?

If you have a civil registration number (CPR number), you are entitled to free midwifery and medical care during labour.

The pregnant woman can bring the child's other parent or another relative to the birth. In some cases, it is possible for a relative to stay overnight with mum and baby. Ask the midwife if you have any special requests or needs.

Vaginal birth or c-section?

A vaginal birth is generally planned if the pregnancy is uncomplicated. However, you might get a planned c-section if you have medical reasons to get it. This is something you talk about with your midwife during your consultations. 

In Denmark, approximately 20 per cent of all births are c-sections. Half of these are planned c-sections and half emergency c-sections that are performed during labour due to complications.

Free birth preparation and parenting courses at the hospital

In the last months of pregnancy, you can attend birth preparation and parenting courses. These are free courses held at the hospital. The format of the courses varies from hospital to hospital. For example, it can be a large hall with joint classes or small groups. Or it can be online videos available at the hospital's website. Ask your midwife or health visitor (sundhedsplejerske) what local programmes are available.

What do you learn during the courses?

  • What danger signs to look out for.
  • When to call the hospital. the stages of labour and pain relief.
  • The baby's first days, nutrition and sleep habits.
  • Relationships, sexuality and becoming a family. 

Find out if the municipality has special pregnancy programmes

The municipality may have targeted programmes for pregnant women and parents-to-be. Talk to your health visitor about what programmes are available in your municipality that may be relevant to you.

Birth preparation that you have to pay for yourself

There are private programmes outside the hospital that you have to pay for yourself. You can for instance attend birth preparation classes in water, yoga, gymnastics and much more. Find out for yourself which programmes are right for you.

Signs that labour is about to start can be:

  • Mucus from the vagina – the mucus plug has broken
  • Slightly slimy vaginal bleeding – 'sign bleeding'
  • Contractions
  • Amniotic fluid oozing or running

Call the midwife or hospital

Call your midwife or the hospital if you notice any signs that labour is about to start. The midwife will ask you about your contractions and assess how far along in the process you are.

In dialogue with the midwife, you will be advised on when to come to the hospital. If you come too early, you might be sent home again. 

Please note that you need to transport yourself to the hospital, unless it is an emergency. 

Arriving at the hospital

You will be assigned a midwife who is on duty. 

In labour

The labour process varies from person to person. The labour typically lasts from a few hours to 24 hours. You are entitled to midwifery and medical care during labour. If the birth is uncomplicated, there will be one or more midwives present, no doctors (obstetricians/OB-GYNs).

It is a good idea to bring a companion to the birth, and it might also be possible for a companion to stay the night at the hospital with you and the baby.

Pain relief methods

There are different options concerning pain relief – they may vary from hospital to hospital, so ask your midwife during pregnancy about your options. Pain relief methods available may be massage, warm bath, oxygen, sterile water injections, acupuncture, laughing gas and local anesthesia/epidural.

First moments after birth

  • Skin-to-skin contact: Once the baby is born, they will immediately be placed on the chest of the mother with the umbilical cord attached. Skin to skin-contact (holding your baby naked against your skin) is encouraged as there are many benefits to this – for instance that the baby can hear the comforting sound of your heartbeat and voice, which helps them calm and relax. Skin-to-skin also helps boost your milk supply and stimulate your baby's feeding instincts.
  • Cleaning of the baby: The baby may be wiped but they are not bathed/cleaned.
  • Weighing, measuring and other routine procedures: Depending on the health of your baby, these can usually wait until approximately 1 hour after birth. Some of the procedures might be done while the mother holds the baby. Some procedures done in other countries will not be done in Denmark. Ask your midwife beforehand to avoid surprises. 
  • You are responsible for your baby: The baby stays with the mother/parents in the room. You care for the baby, but can of course ask the midwives for help.
  • C-section: The moments after birth might be different after a planned or emergency c-section. If the c-section is planned, or you would just like to know about (emergency) c-sections, talk to your midwife about what to expect. 

More examinations of the baby

A few days after the baby is born, the hospital offers 2 examinations of the baby: a hearing test and a heel blood test (screening for congenital conditions).

Many children develop jaundice after being born. This is completely normal. It is only if your child has severe jaundice and becomes lethargic and won’t feed that they will receive light treatment in hospital. Breastfeed your child as often as possible – this helps clear the jaundice. If you have concerns, talk to a midwife or you GP or health visitor.

It differs how long first time and second time parents can stay at the hospital – from region to region and hospital to hospital. Talk to your midwife about your wishes and options.

First time parents

If there are no complications, and you wish to go home, you can leave the hospital approximately 4 to 6 hours after giving birth. 

If you prefer to stay at the hospital, you often have the option to stay 1 to 2 nights in the family unit at the hospital. You take care of the baby yourself, but midwives and nurses are available to help – for instance regarding breastfeeding. 

Second+ time parents

If there are no complications, you can leave the hospital approximately 4 to 6 hours after giving birth. It is only possible to stay at the hospital in case of complications or other special circumstances. 

The Danish Health Authority recommends breastfeeding

The Danish Health Authority recommends full breastfeeding until your baby is around 6 months old, as breast milk is the healthiest nutrition for your baby. Partial breastfeeding is recommended until the child is 12 months or longer if both mother and child are comfortable with it.

It's normal for breastfeeding to cause problems

It's a good idea for both parents to spend some time learning about breastfeeding. For some, getting breastfeeding started is relatively easy, for others it can be challenging. It's something both mum and baby need to learn, and the other parent can provide support.

Breastfeeding can cause discomfort such as pain, sore nipples, insufficient milk or mastitis. You can get help and support with breastfeeding from your midwife, maternity nurse and health care nurse.

Breastfeeding techniques can help

Problems can often be alleviated by using different breastfeeding techniques. For example, finding the right breastfeeding position, getting your baby in a good position or helping your baby find the right sucking technique.

If you cannot or do not wish to breastfeed

Talk to your midwife or health visitor (sundhedsplejerske) if you are thinking of opting out or stopping breastfeeding. The Danish Health Authority recommends breast milk over formula if possible. You may be able to milk out and bottle-feed if breastfeeding is not working for you and your baby.

There may be good reasons why you are unable or unwilling to breastfeed. A good mum is someone who makes the right decisions for herself and her family. If you don't enjoy breastfeeding, stopping may be the right decision for you and your family.

You can also choose to have a home birth with a midwife from your hospital. The recommendation when considering a home birth is that you are healthy, have a normal pregnancy and you are expecting a healthy child in general. Also, you may not have had a c-section previously and you must be between the week 37 to 42 when the birth begins. Talk about your options with your midwife.

Plan your maternity/paternity leave

All pregnant women have the right to 4 weeks of leave before the birth.

Mothers, fathers and co-mothers have the right to 2 weeks of leave in connection with the birth, and after that each parent have 24 weeks, some of which can be transferred to the other parent. 

Special rules apply for single parents or for parents who are not living together. 

As a general rule, both parents are entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after birth if they live together when the child is born.

Maternity/paternity benefits are benefits that you have the possibility of getting as compensation for the income which you do not get when you are on maternity leave. Your possibility of obtaining maternity benefits depends on your affiliation with the labour market, meaning if you are:

  • a salaried employee on maternity leave
  • an unemployed person on maternity leave
  • self-employed on maternity leave or
  • students and newly qualified on maternity leave.

Maternity benefits are administered by Udbetaling Danmark (Public Benefits Administration).

Read all about which rules apply to your specific situation:

Get help in the beginning

Transition from hospital to home

The first time as a parent can be overwhelming. If you feel unsafe or have questions and have not yet been contacted by the health visitor (sundhedsplejerske), you can contact the hospital during the first 7 days. It can be about physical and psychological issues – for both mum and baby.

If your baby is born at home

The day after the birth, you will usually get a call from a midwife asking how you are doing. Some hospitals offer home visits by a midwife the day after birth.

Between 48 and 72 hours after the birth, you will be offered a consultation with a midwife and examinations of the baby. The examinations of the baby includes a hearing test and a heel blood test (screening for congenital diseases). They will also check if the baby is developing jaundice.

If you have any questions or problems after the birth, you can call the maternity ward where the birth took place or where the midwife came from within the first 7 days.

The health visitor (sundhedsplejersken) offers free home visits to all new families

A health visitor is a nurse with further training within children’s health. The health visitor will visit you on day 4-5 if you have been discharged within the first 72 hours after birth. If you have been hospitalised for longer, the visit is typically arranged over the phone.

The health visitor assesses the child's health, well-being and development. The health visitor is not there to find faults in the way you organise yourselves as a family. It is an offer of support where you as a family can ask about anything you are unsure about. 

If you accept the offer, the health visitor will visit a number of times during the baby's first year. Furthermore, you can contact the health visitor if you need to. This can be about breastfeeding or other nutrition, well-being and parenting. Each municipality has its own programme regarding these visits. Check it on the municipality's website. 

Call 112

For emergency assistance in life-threatening situations or serious accidents, always call 112.

Contact your own family doctor (GP)

If you have questions about postpartum haemorrhage, medication, mastitis or cystitis, contact your GP.

Contact the out-of-hours medical helpline in your region

If your family doctor (GP) is closed – in the evening and at weekends, you can contact the out-of-hours medical helpline in your region if you have an acute illness that cannot wait until your family doctor opens.

North Denmark Region, call +45 70 15 03 00
Central Denmark Region, call +45 70 11 31 31
Region of Southern Denmark, call +45 70 11 07 07
Region Zealand, call +45 70 15 07 08
Capital Region of Denmark, call 1813

Who gets custody of the child?

The question of who gets custody of the child depends on a number of matters. 

Automatic joint custody, if you are married

  • If you are the mother of the child and married to a man, he will automatically be registered as the father of the child, and you will have joint custody.
  • If you are the mother of the child and married to a man who is not the child's father, he will still be registered as the father unless you both contact the parish or municipality where the birth is registered.

If you are separated, custody is not dealt with automatically

  • If you are the mother of the child and you are separated or have been married to another man within the last 10 months, your current husband will not automatically be registered as the father. Furthermore, the Agency of Family Law will be informed. 

If you are 2 women who are married

  • If you are 2 women who are married and have a child together, the co-parent must consent to being a co-parent before the pregnancy treatment begins. 
  • You can be a co-parent with or without custody of the child.

Register paternity and custody

If you are not married and you want joint custody and responsibility for the child, you must both fill out a declaration of paternity and custody so that the child's father is registered.

If you do not want joint custody, you must fill out the form 'Mother's information in the case' from Agency for Family Law. The form is in Danish. However, you will always get joint custody if you have had a joint address in the CPR register within the last 10 months before the child's birth. 

Both parents must use the self-service

Use the self-service 'Declaration of care and responsibility for paternity'. Once the declaration has been approved, you will receive a confirmation in Digital Post.You can fill out the declaration of care and responsibility both before and after the birth. It's a good idea to do it before the birth in case something happens to the mother during the birth.

One parent starts by filling out the declaration of care and responsibility. Afterwards, the other parent must also sign the declaration in the self-service. It doesn't matter which parent starts.

If you fill in before the birth

If you complete the declaration of care and responsibility before the child is born, you will receive a reply in Digital Post. The response must be sent to the parish where the mother lives once the child has been assigned a CPR number. Send the reply to the parish right after the birth. If the mother lives in Southern Jutland, the reply must be sent to the municipality.

If you fill in after the birth

The deadline for completing the declaration of care and responsibility is 28 days after the birth. If you do not complete it by the deadline, the case will be sent to the Agency for Family Law, which will send a letter in Digital Post to the mother and start a paternity case.

Register co-motherhood before pregnancy and after birth

If you are 2 women who want to have a child together, the co-parent must remember to consent to being a co-parent before the pregnancy treatment begins. If you do not want joint custody, you must fill out the form 'Mother's information in the case' from the Agency for Family Law. However, you will always have joint custody if you have had a joint address in the Civil Registration System (CPR) within the last 10 months before the birth of the child. 

Fill in the form and bring it with you to the fertility treatment centre

Fill in the form that fits your situation. Remember to print and bring the 'Consent to Co-Motherhood' form with you to the fertility treatment centre. They will sign the form and you must then send it to the Agency for Family Law by email to faderskab@familieretshuset.dk.

If you are not married, you must then use the self-service 'Declaration of care and responsibility for co-motherhood' to obtain joint custody.

It is also possible to complete the declaration of care and responsibility during pregnancy. You must register the co-motherhood immediately after the birth by contacting the parish where the child's mother lives. The declaration of care and responsibility must be approved by the Agency for Family Law beforehand.

If you and the child's other parent separate during pregnancy, you must fill out the 'Declaration of care and responsibility for paternity/co-motherhood' to obtain joint custody. This does not apply if you have lived together within the last 10 months before the birth of the child.

Get to know the rules before you make agreements about children. See the Danish guide 'When you split up':

Register the birth, CPR and naming

What happens automatically?

When a baby is born in a hospital, the midwife is responsible for registering the birth.
If the mother has a civil registration number (CPR number) and lives in Denmark, the baby is automatically registered in the Danish Civil Registration System (CPR) and receives a CPR number. However, the rules vary, if the mother does not have a civil registration number and/or does not have a Danish address. You can find more information concerning the different scenarios on personregistrering.dk: 

When do you have to do something yourself?

If there is no midwife present at the birth, you must take care of the birth registration yourself (there are special rules, if the mother lives in Southern Jutland. Please see below). 
Print out the 'Birth notification' form, fill it out and hand it in to the parish where the mother lives.

Special rules if the mother lives in Southern Jutland and the birth did not take place in a hospital

If the mother lives in Southern Jutland and the birth does not take place in a hospital, you must report the birth yourself. Print the form 'Birth notification', fill it out and hand it in to the municipality where the mother of the child lives.

The child can be named at a christening or on borger.dk

The child can be named in the self-service for naming or at a christening in the Danish National Church.

The application must be signed by both parents who have shared custody within 14 days after initiation. If exceeded, you must complete a new application. If you have sole custody, only you need to sign.

If the child is christened in the Danish National Church, they automatically become a member after the christening. You must arrange the christening with the parish priest or church office in the parish of residence. If the child is born in Southern Jutland, you cannot name the child at a christening. The child must be named in the municipality in which the birth is registered. 

Name the child within 6 months

The child must have a first name and surname by the age of 6 months at the latest. If you have joint custody, you must both sign the application. If the child is not named within 6 months, it will automatically be given the mother's surname and the Agency for Family Law will be informed. 

What are you allowed to name your child?

When choosing a name for the child, it is important to make sure that the name is approved. The name must not be a disadvantage to the child.

The Certificate of Personal Data (in Danish: 'Personattest') confirms actual civil information on birth, name, marital status and death.

The certificate will include more information as additional data is registered on you. For example, a Certificate of Personal Data issued for a newborn child who has not yet been named will only include information on birth and parents, while a Certificate of Personal data issued for a deceased person will also include information on name, marital status and death/burial.

You can order your own Certificate of Personal Data and the same certificate for your child under 18 years. However, one of the following conditions must be fulfilled:

  • you are birth registered in Denmark
  • you are registered on the basis of international foreign adoption
  • you had a name change in Denmark after 1 April, 2006
  • in relation to death, you request a certificate as a related to a deceased who has died in Denmark. 

In order to apply for a certificate digitally you must have a Danish CPR number and MitID.

You can apply for the certificate in Danish and English.

If your child is birth registered in Denmark (outside the Southern part of Jutland) and baptised in the Danish National church (in Danish 'Folkekirken'), you are entitled to obtain a Baptism and Birth Certificate (in Danish: 'Fødsels- og dåbsattest').

The Certificate of Baptism and Birth Certificate includes information on name, birth, parents and baptism.

If your child is not baptised, you need to order a Certificate of Personal Data instead.

Your child must have their own passport if they are travelling to a country that requires a passport. This also applies to very young children.

Getting a Danish passport

Your child can get a Danish passport, if they have a Danish citizenship. A child born on or after 1 July 2014 automatically acquires Danish citizenship at birth if the father, mother or co-parent is Danish. For children born before this date, it will depend on the law that was in force when the child was born.

To order a passport for your child, the person(s) with custody must give their consent. This is done by signing in the self-service. To order the passport, you must show up in person at the Citizen Service with the child. 

Read more about the rules for passports and apply for a Danish passport:

Getting a foreign passport

If you and your child child are citizens of another country than Denmark and your child therefore needs a foreign passport, please contact the embassy or consulate of your home country. Here they can also inform you about requirements to apply for the passport.

Your child's health

All children (with civil registration numbers?) in Denmark are offered free health check-ups at the family doctor (GP).

The Danish childhood vaccination programme offers free vaccinations against a number of serious diseases such as tetanus, rubella, meningitis, whooping cough and measles.

Remember to book the appointments with your family doctor (GP):

  • 5 weeks after birth: Baby check-up
  • 8 weeks: Mum check-up
  • 3 months: Vaccination of child
  • 5 months: Examination and vaccination of child
  • 1 year: Examination and vaccination of child
  • 1 year and 3 months: Vaccination of child
  • 2 years: Examination of child
  • 3 years: Examination of child
  • 4 years: Examination and vaccination of child
  • 5 years: Examination and vaccination of child
  • 12 years: Vaccination of child

A few days after birth, you will be offered screening tests for your baby. The child will be screened for a number of congenital metabolic diseases and cystic fibrosis through the heel blood test. You will also be offered the opportunity to have your child tested for congenital hearing impairment.

The heel blood test is taken at the hospital 48-72 hours after birth. The hearing test is performed within the first 10 days after birth. The 2 tests are often done at the same time.

Your health as a parent

The postpartum period can be associated with various physical and psychological changes. Some may experience bleeding, pain and afterpains. Afterpains are contractions that continue after birth as the uterus shrinks to its non-pregnant size. They usually last for 3 to 4 days.

Both mum and partner may experience minor as well as major emotional reactions to the new roles.

Contact the hospital if you experience complications or severe pain after labour. Contact the hospital, the health visitor or your own family doctor (GP) if you experience dark thoughts, depression or similar.

If you feel the need, you have the option of a postnatal talk with a midwife. Generally, the midwife who delivered the baby will be the one participating.

The postnatal talk might take place before you leave the hospital or during the first week after birth. Some birth centres offer it in conjunction with the heel blood test and the hearing test.

The need for a postnatal talk may arise long after giving birth. In that case you can usually contact the hospital and make an appointment for a postnatal talk.

8 weeks after your birth, you should be examined by your family doctor (GP). Remember to book the appointment yourself. At the appointment, you will have a medical examination and a conversation with your doctor (GP).

The purpose of the appointment is to round off your pregnancy and labour. Your doctor will assess how you are feeling both physically and mentally after giving birth. The doctor will talk to you about contraception and check for any stitches and whether your uterus has fully contracted as it should.

What is postpartum depression?

Having a baby to care for is a big change, and for some, it can feel overwhelming. This situation can develop into postpartum depression. The symptoms of postpartum depression include sadness, crying or thoughts of suicide. Both parents can suffer from postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression can be treated. Talk to your family doctor (GP) or health visitor (sundhedsplejerske) if you have any symptoms.

In most municipalities, the health visitor offers an examination for signs of postnatal depression 8 weeks after birth, so you can get help as soon as possible.

When should you seek help?

Contact your family doctor or health visitor if you have symptoms of postnatal depression.

If you need help urgently, you can call 112 or the emergency medical centre/emergency department. Your symptoms might for instance be suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming the baby.

The health visitor will talk about mental well-being and signs of postnatal depression as part of her visits with you. It is important to seek help if you or your partner have symptoms of postpartum depression. This also applies if it occurs after the examination or if you have not been offered an examination.

Phone number for the medical helpline in every region in Denmark:

  • North Denmark Region, call +45 70 15 03 00
  • Central Denmark Region, call +45 70 11 31 31
  • Region of Southern Denmark, call +45 70 11 07 07
  • Region Zealand, call +45 70 15 07 08
  • Capital Region of Denmark, call 1813

Other relevant information

Public day-care facilities

If your child is going to daycare, you must register them for a place. It varies from municipality to municipality when your child can be enrolled. In some municipalities, you must register your child as soon as they are born. Check the municipality's website to find out what applies in the municipality. Contact a nursery or daycare centre directly if you want to visit it before you register your child.

You register your child for a place through the self-service 'Digital pladsanvisning' or through the municipality's website.

Waiting lists

You have the right to be placed on a waiting list for a specific day-care facility of your choice. However, it is not certain that the child can get a place in the desired day-care facility, as it depends, for example, on how long the waiting list is. Places on the waiting list may be affected by children with special needs and siblings. You may therefore move up and down the waiting list.

Care at the same day-care facility as siblings

If you already have a child in a specific day-care facility, siblings will be moved up on the waiting list for the same day-care facility. The municipality provides sibling allowance so that you get a lower parental payment. Check the municipality's website for what applies in the municipality.

Private childcare options

A private childcare scheme is based on a private childcare agreement between you and the private childcare provider. Contact the private childcare provider to sign up.

You can choose to look after your child at home. Some municipalities offer financial support. Each municipality determines the amount of financial support and the age group that can receive the support. Check the municipality's website to read about the possibilities in the municipality.

All children are guaranteed care

The childcare guarantee means that your child is guaranteed a place in a day-care facility that suits their age from 30 weeks old until they start school.
The childcare guarantee does not guarantee a place in a specific day-care facility. However, you always have the right to request admission to a specific day-care facility in the municipality.
If you use the childcare guarantee, you still have the right to remain on the waiting list for the originally requested day-care facility.

Through the health visitor, the mother of the child is offered to attend a mum's group from around 1 month of age. Some municipalities also offer fathers' groups and family groups.

When the child is a little older, you can take them to activities such as baby hymn singing in the local church, baby swimming, playgroups and much more.

Check the municipality's website or contact the health visitor (sundhedsplejerske) to find out about the possibilities in the municipality.

Child and youth benefits

Most families with children in Denmark automatically receive child and youth benefits once every quarter of the year. Certain rules apply in order for you to receive these benefits:

Other benefits

As a parent you may be entitled to other benefits. This depends on whether you belong to a particular group or you are in a particular situation.

These benefits can for instance be:

Last updated: 16 April 2024