Sensitive care and support during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period

A midwife is a university-educated health professional. Just like in other countries of the European Union, she independently guides women through healthy pregnancies, childbirth, and the postpartum period.

You can meet a midwife in the maternity hospital, in the gynecologist's office, at midwifery centers, or during home visits. The care she offers is determined by her place of work.

“Thanks to our midwife, I knew what was happening and how to support my wife when she was giving birth. I appreciated that she always explained everything in a clear way.” Lukáš, 32, Mělník

During pregnancy, she
• leads your pregnancy counseling and antenatal classes;
• prepares you for labor and the arrival of your baby;
• consults you about your birth plan;
• supports you during challenging situations;
• offers you the option of pregnancy exercises and massages;
• supports a healthy pregnancy.

During delivery, she
• cares for you and facilitates a smooth and safe course of birth for you and your baby;
• helps you time your departure to the hospital;
• accompanies you to the hospital of your choice;
• helps you relieve pain;
• supports bonding and breastfeeding.

During the postpartum period, she
• cares for you and your family at your home;
• provides lactation counseling;
• supports healing of possible birth injuries;
• offers exercise;• provides advice on childcare;
• provides healthcare in the event of an outpatient birth.

“I didn't want to go to the maternity hospital alone, among strangers. I asked a midwife I'd been seeing throughout my whole pregnancy to accompany me. It was nice to have a familiar face with me there.” Katka, 23, Lomnička

Ask what services are offered by midwives in your area.

With a midwife,
• you have someone to turn to when you need advice;
• care is tailored to your needs;
• your older children can also participate in your antenatal care;
• you have a lower risk of premature birth and a greater chance of giving birth spontaneously and in accordance to your birth plan;
• you are more likely to give birth without injury and not be separated from your baby after birth;
• you will be cared for throughout your whole postpartum period;
• you are more likely to breastfeed fully;
• you will feel safe;
• you increase the chances that you and your partner will have fond memories of your baby's arrival.

“My midwife was on call whenever I needed advice. She always had enough patience and time for me.”Pavla, 30, Brno

Did you know…
… at the maternity hospital, you can receive care from the midwife of your choice?
… midwives work closely with gynecologists, pediatricians, physiotherapists, psychologists, doulas, and other specialists?
… together with your midwife, you can create a birth plan that outlines your wishes regarding the birth process and the provided care? This way, you’ll facilitate communication with health professionals in the delivery room.
… a midwife will explain to you what informed consent is and what to do if you want other than the proposed care?
… three postpartum consultations with a midwife at your home are covered by your insurance?
… a midwife, as well as a doula, provides psychological support and information to expectant parents?
… unlike a doula, a midwife has medical education, provides healthcare, and can provide health recommendations?

“My midwife supported me in giving birth according to my wishes. It was comforting that I already knew her and knew what to expect from her.” Hana, 26, Mohelnice

Do you need more information?
Rights in childbirth — a handbook by the League of Human Rights 
Pathways to a happy birth — leaflet on care in Czechia