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Things pregnant women should consider during the summer

midsummer pole

Now it's finally here! Our fantastic summer!! Long sunny and lazy days and long bright nights! How is it to be pregnant or give birth during the summer? Are there things to consider, any tips?

As you may remember, I have worked for a long time in the field of obstetrics! In recent summers, I have pondered over one thing. Why are so many of our children born during the summer months nowadays?

When I was a young doctor, all children (well, many of them at least) were born in March. It was said that they were the "midsummer babies." Many children were conceived on Midsummer's Eve and then born in March.

Another such "peak" was in September, although not as significant. It was the "Christmas babies" that arrived then.

The month with the most births today

In Sweden, approximately 120,000 children are born each year. We all remember the alarming images that were published about the crowded conditions in our clinics during the summer.

Today, many of our children are born in July and August.

A lot of them! About 30% of Sweden's deliveries occur during these two months.

In other words, a previously known pattern has been broken. How is it that this change has happened? And why?

Sometimes I hear my patients say that they have "planned it that way." So that the family can be together with the new little family member during the summer/vacation.

Then they will also have a daycare spot (maybe) in September of the following year. You hardly get a daycare spot in November or February. Unless you're lucky!

pregnant woman during the summer

Swedish obstetrics during the summer months

Yes, I must admit, even we in obstetrics want to have a vacation in the summer. We need to have time off and rest to cope with the rest of the year.

Who works then?

Our substitutes, the youngest? Yes, most likely.

They try to distribute our vacation leaves among the experienced staff, but despite that, there is a natural decrease in staff during the summer. That's just how it is. And that's when many (if not most) of our children are born.

I find it a bit unfortunate. If I were to give birth today and plan it, I would definitely not plan to give birth in July or August.

At least not in the city.

That's for sure.

Of course, you have the right to and will receive care even during the summer, but there is a risk that it may not turn out exactly as you planned. Many women become stressed and unhappy when things don't go according to their plans.

Giving birth in a different location

Some of the women I meet choose to give birth in a different location. Many wonder if it's allowed? How does it work with compensation, etc.? Does it cost anything? Let's say you have a summer house, relatives, or friends in another location. Can you choose to give birth there? Where it's hopefully a bit more peaceful than in the big cities.

For those of you living in the Stockholm area:

  • If you are referred to another delivery clinic due to a lack of space, Region Stockholm covers the travel expenses for you and your companion. They reimburse the round-trip travel costs between your home address and the new delivery clinic.

You must have a referral certificate from the delivery clinic in Stockholm to receive reimbursement for the medical journey.

  • If you choose to give birth in a different location, such as your summer residence?

Here, the travel to and from your place of stay to the nearest delivery clinic is covered. The travel from your home address to the delivery location is not reimbursed. However, you are eligible for reimbursement for the return journey from the delivery clinic to your hometown. This applies when you travel using the most cost-effective means of transportation based on your medical condition. To be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses, the following documents are required:

  • a certificate of the duration of care

  • a registry extract from the tax authorities.

You can obtain the certificate of the duration of care from the delivery clinic where the birth took place.

Do all clinics accept you if you don't normally live in that area?

We all have the right to emergency medical care according to Swedish law. This means that if you are in a place (summer house, vacation, etc.) and you experience contractions or anything else happens, you always have the right to emergency care.

However, receiving "planned care" can be more difficult.

For example, if the delivery is overdue and induction is necessary, it doesn't count. In the Stockholm region, you must be "registered" at the hospital to be accepted for any planned procedures.

If you plan to give birth in a different location, the recommendation is to contact the clinic where you intend to give birth and ask how they prefer you to proceed. Do this well in advance.

pregnant woman on the beach

It's vacation time, what if I happen to give birth abroad?

If you are on a vacation trip and something happens?

The European Health Insurance Card covers all medical check-ups and care related to pregnancy and childbirth within the EU.

If you were to give birth prematurely or unexpectedly during a trip to EU/EEA countries, or Switzerland, the European Health Insurance Card entitles you to medically necessary care in connection with pregnancy and childbirth.

The European Health Insurance Card is accepted within public healthcare.

You pay the same patient fee for the care as residents of the country. Temporary residence usually refers to a stay abroad that lasts less than six months.

What happens if I happen to give birth on a flight?

Giving birth on a plane is very rare but it does happen.

Most airlines have rules regarding how late in pregnancy you can fly, and if you have to board a plane while heavily pregnant, you usually need a certificate from your doctor.

It also depends a lot on the duration of the flight.

There's a big difference between a 1-hour flight within Sweden/Nordic countries and a many-hour flight across the Atlantic. If it does happen, though, many airlines give the newborn baby a generous welcome gift. They often used to receive unlimited flights with the airline for the rest of their life 😊.

Rumors say the same applies to public transportation within Stockholm, operated by SL. I wonder if that's just a myth.

I hope you had a pleasant Midsummer and have a wonderful summer!

Kind regards,

Doctor Eva


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