Pregnancy and birth
Mothers are entitled to an allowance and a maximum of 15 weeks maternity leave, with a minimum of 1 week before childbirth and 9 weeks after.
How to apply for pregnancy and birth benefits?
If you are pregnant and expecting to give birth in Belgium, there are a couple of practical matters you should arrange beforehand.
- Inform your employer as soon as possible.
- Make sure that you are registered with a health insurance fund. At the earliest 6 weeks before your due date, inform your health insurance fund.
- Have your general practitioner or gynaecologist fill out a work incapacity form with your due date. Deliver it to your health insurance fund. You will receive more documents that you will need to fill out and deliver back.
- You can stop working at the earliest 6 weeks before your due date. You have to stop at the latest 1 week before your due date. If you stop working earlier, you will have less maternity leave after the birth.
In Belgium, most women give birth in a public hospital.
In the days following the birth of your child, there are a few more things to arrange.
- Register your baby with the municipality. Do this within the first 2 weeks. Bring the ID of both parents, your marriage certificate or acknowledgement of parentage, and the birth certificate issued by the hospital. The municipality will issue several copies attesting to the registration.
- Register your baby with your health insurance fund. Bring the attestation issued by the municipality.
- Apply for child benefits. You will receive both a one-time premium and a monthly allowance. Check out groeipakket.be (English) for specifics on how to apply.
Fathers and co-mothers are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave. Inform your employer immediately following the birth. You will need to fill out an application with your health insurance fund. Drop by in your local office with the attestation issued by the municipality.
How much does childbirth cost in Belgium?
Your health insurance covers most of the cost of a childbirth in a Belgian public hospital. If you stay in a double room, you typically pay around 200 euros out of pocket. On top of that, the hospital may bill you medicines, medical materials and other care.
If you choose a single room upon admission, you should expect a significantly higher cost, on average 1500 euros for childbirth. Unless you have an extensive hospital insurance, the surcharges in a single room are not reimbursed.
It may be useful to take out a hospital insurance. Socialistische Mutualiteiten has 2 policies to choose from.
- KliniPlan offers comprehensive coverage in a double room.
- KliniPlanPlus goes the extra mile and also reimburses costs incurred in a single room (after a 9-month waiting period).
If you are already pregnant, you can take either and still enjoy coverage for your childbirth in a double room.
Gifts and perks
As a member of Socialistische Mutualiteiten, you enjoy plenty of additional benefits, including a host of childbirth gifts and perks. These benefits depend on the fund you choose to join. Contact us or drop by an office for more information on our perks for young families.