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Greece – Maternity and Giving Birth

Greece is a popular tourist destination in Europe, with a rich history and culture. However, if you are pregnant and planning to give birth in Greece, you may have some questions about the available options for giving birth, the process for registering a birth, and the attitudes and legislation surrounding abortion. This article will answer these questions in detail.

Giving Birth in Greece

In Greece, the vast majority of births take place in hospitals, with only a small percentage taking place at home. The healthcare system in Greece is public, which means that all citizens and legal residents are entitled to free healthcare, including maternity care.

Pregnant women in Greece receive prenatal care from an obstetrician-gynecologist, known as a “gynaecologist” in Greece. The gynaecologist will monitor the pregnancy, provide guidance on healthy eating and exercise, and perform routine tests such as ultrasounds and blood tests.

When it is time to give birth, the woman will go to the hospital where her gynaecologist is affiliated. Most hospitals in Greece have a special department for childbirth, called a “delivery room”.

The delivery room is equipped with all the necessary medical equipment, including fetal monitors, birthing beds, and emergency equipment. The woman will be assisted by a team of healthcare professionals, including a midwife, a nurse, and the gynaecologist.

In Greece, it is common for women to have an epidural during labour if they choose to. This is a type of anaesthesia that numbs the lower half of the body, making the birth process more comfortable.


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After the birth, the woman and her baby will stay in the hospital for a few days for monitoring and postpartum care.

Registering a Birth in Greece

In Greece, registering a birth is a straightforward process that can be completed at the local “dimarxeio” (municipal office).

To register a birth, the following documents are required:

  • The child’s birth certificate, which is issued by the hospital where the birth took place
  • The parents’ identity cards or passports
  • The parents’ marriage certificate, if they are married

If the parents are not married, additional documentation may be required. The birth must be registered within 40 days of the baby’s birth.

Once the birth has been registered, the parents will receive a “mitroo egenniseos”, which is a document that confirms the registration of the birth. This document is important for obtaining other documents such as a passport or identity card.

Attitudes to and Legislation Surrounding Abortion in Greece

Abortion is legal in Greece up to 12 weeks of pregnancy for any reason. After 12 weeks, abortion is only allowed in cases of rape, fetal abnormalities, or risk to the woman’s life or health.

The decision to have an abortion must be made by the woman, with the guidance of her doctor. There is no waiting period, and the procedure can be performed in a hospital or clinic.

Despite the legality of abortion, it remains a controversial issue in Greece. Some conservative groups oppose abortion, while others argue for the right of women to make their own reproductive choices.

In recent years, there have been efforts to improve access to contraception and sex education in Greece. However, there is still work to be done to ensure that women have access to safe and legal abortion services.

In conclusion, giving birth in Greece typically occurs in hospitals, with midwives and doctors providing care throughout the process. Pregnant women have access to a range of prenatal care services, including routine check-ups, ultrasound scans, and screening tests. Registration of a birth in Greece involves several steps, including the submission of the necessary documents and registration at the local registry office. Abortion is legal in Greece up to 12 weeks of gestation, with exceptions for cases where the woman’s life is in danger, fetal abnormalities, or instances of rape or incest. The legal framework surrounding abortion is controversial, with opposing views among the public. Nevertheless, the availability of legal abortion services ensures that women in Greece have the option to access safe and legal procedures when needed.


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