I’ve written about the woes of the first trimester, the sudden return of énergie during the second trimester, the craziness of the third trimester, the perks of pregnancy, and whether or not travelling while pregnant is a good idée; however, I have yet to write about what to expect after declaring your pregnancy in France. So, here goes…
As mentioned here and here, once you discover you’re pregnant, you must declare this pregnancy at La CAF (a government agency responsible for familial allocations) before the 14th week (if you decide to follow through with the pregnancy). But, don’t fret if you don’t make it to La CAF before the 14th week. If you end up in the 2nd or 3rd trimesters, you can still declare the pregnancy. Honnêtement, the raison the gouvernement prefers you declare early: the paperwork takes FOREVER! With La CAF, the family has the right to 923.08€* the month after the first birth. After that, the family receives 184.62€* a month until the child turns 3. It’s 4 months after the birth and we still haven’t received our allocations yet. There are a ton of required documents but La CAF is known for not telling you about them all at once, so, you end up having to make several trips just to hand in documents.
Making the decision to continue the pregnancy is only the beginning! After that, there’s finding an hôpital, a mid-wife, a place to take pregnancy préparation courses…the liste continues. This can be quite overwhelming for an expat who has very few French ties in this catégorie.
Once you find the hôpital where you want to give birth, you schedule an appointment to register there. I chose to give birth at L’étoile.
At the registration appointment, mon chéri and I received a folder full of important documents to fill out.
We also received a booklet full of information: Everything from the birthing experience through to taking care of a toddler can be learned from this book.
The hôpital takes very good care of you. As an expat with very few Français connections to give advice in this département, I was lost in a sea of paperwork and questions. The hôpital was my saveur! They gave me a liste of mid-wives who give prénatal preparation courses, which certainly took a load off my shoulders. They also provided me with a gynécologue, a liste of required things to bring to the hôpital once in labor…
…and an explanation of what to expect during my stay. Though, no matter how “prepared” you think you are for the birth, you’re never prepared enough and that’s ok. ♦
*These numbers depict the maximum amount that a family can receive from la CAF. Of course, how much you actually get depends on your impôts (taxes).
This is part of a series on my pregnancy in France. You can follow my pregnancy and gain helpful insight on what pregnancy is like in France by reading these blogs:
- Bienvenue…it’s a girl!
- The First Trimester: Où sont les toilettes ?
- The Second Trimester: Attaque de Sinusite !
- The Third Trimester: Pas assez d’énergie !
- Pointing out the Perks of Pregnancy
- Traveling While Pregnant: Une Bonne Idée?
- Declaring La Grossesse (pregnancy) en France