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Hungary – Maternity and Giving Birth

Hungary is a European country located in the central part of the continent. It has a population of approximately 9.7 million people, and its capital city is Budapest. In Hungary, giving birth is generally done in a hospital, although home births with the assistance of a midwife are also an option. In this article, we will explore the most common options for giving birth in Hungary, how to register a birth, and the attitudes and legislation surrounding abortion.

Giving birth in Hungary

Hospital births

In Hungary, the vast majority of births take place in a hospital setting, with around 99% of births occurring in a hospital environment. The Hungarian government operates a system of public hospitals that offer maternity services, as well as private hospitals and clinics that provide similar services.

Pregnant women in Hungary can choose their preferred hospital for giving birth, although it is advisable to choose a hospital that is close to their place of residence, as the cost of transportation can be high. It is also recommended to register with the hospital in advance of the due date, as this ensures that there will be space available for the birth.

The Hungarian healthcare system provides free antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women, which includes regular check-ups, ultrasound scans, and blood tests. During labour and delivery, women are typically cared for by a midwife, with an obstetrician available for medical interventions if necessary.

Home births

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Although hospital births are the most common option in Hungary, home births with the assistance of a midwife are also possible. However, home births are not as common in Hungary as in some other countries, and there are relatively few midwives who provide this service.

It is important to note that if a woman chooses to give birth at home, she will not have access to the same medical interventions that would be available in a hospital setting, so it is important to carefully consider the risks and benefits of each option.

Registering a birth in Hungary

In Hungary, the registration of a birth is a legal requirement, and must be done within 15 days of the birth. The following steps are involved in registering a birth in Hungary:

  1. Obtain a birth certificate application form from the hospital or midwife who attended the birth, or from the local government office.
  2. Complete the application form, providing all required information about the baby and the parents.
  3. Submit the application form, along with any necessary supporting documents (such as the parents’ identification documents), to the local government office.
  4. Attend an appointment at the local government office to finalize the registration, and receive the baby’s birth certificate.

It is important to note that if the baby was born outside of a hospital or medical facility, the registration process may be more complex, and may require additional documentation or procedures.

Abortion in Hungary

The legal status of abortion in Hungary has changed significantly in recent years. Until 1992, abortion was legal and available on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, in 2012, a new law was introduced that restricted access to abortion, requiring women to undergo mandatory counselling and observe a waiting period before the procedure could be carried out.

In 2020, the Hungarian government passed a new law that further restricts access to abortion. Under the new law, abortions can only be carried out up to 8 weeks of pregnancy, and must be performed in a hospital by a doctor who has completed a special training course. In addition, doctors are allowed to refuse to perform abortions on the basis of their personal beliefs or conscience.

The new law has been widely criticized by human rights groups and women’s health advocates, who argue that it represents a significant step backwards for women’s reproductive rights in Hungary.

Giving birth in Hungary typically involves a hospital birth with access to both public and private healthcare options. Registering a birth in Hungary is a straightforward process that requires a few key documents and can be done in person or online. The laws surrounding abortion in Hungary allow for legal termination up to 12 weeks of pregnancy with restrictions, and attitudes towards abortion remain divided in the country.

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