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Indonesia – Maternity and Giving Birth

Indonesia is a country located in Southeast Asia, consisting of thousands of islands. The country is known for its diverse cultures and traditions, and this extends to the area of childbirth. In this article, we will discuss the most common options for giving birth in Indonesia, how to register a birth in the country, and the attitudes and legislation surrounding abortion.

Options for giving birth

In Indonesia, giving birth in a hospital is the most common option. According to the World Health Organization, in 2019, 95% of all births in Indonesia took place in a health facility. Private hospitals and clinics are widely available in major cities, while public hospitals and clinics are more common in rural areas. In addition, traditional midwives, known as “dukun,” are still widely used in some parts of Indonesia, particularly in rural areas.

Services available to pregnant women

Pregnant women in Indonesia have access to a range of services, including antenatal care, delivery care, and postnatal care. Antenatal care is typically provided by midwives or doctors in health facilities, and includes regular check-ups, blood tests, and ultrasound examinations. Delivery care is also provided in health facilities, and women have the option to choose between natural childbirth and a caesarean section. Postnatal care, including check-ups for both the mother and the baby, is also provided in health facilities.

In addition, Indonesia has implemented a national health insurance scheme, called Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN), which covers maternal and child health services. This scheme aims to improve access to health services for all Indonesians, including pregnant women and children.

Registering a birth

In Indonesia, registering a birth is mandatory, and should be done within 60 days of the baby’s birth. The process can be done at the local civil registration office, known as “Dinas Kependudukan dan Catatan Sipil.” The following steps are required to register a birth in Indonesia:

  1. Obtain a birth certificate form from the civil registration office or online. The form should be completed by the parents and signed by witnesses.

  2. Prepare the required documents, including the baby’s birth certificate, the parents’ identification cards, and their marriage certificate (if applicable).

  3. Submit the completed form and documents to the civil registration office. The office will then process the registration and issue a birth certificate.

  4. The birth certificate can be collected from the civil registration office or delivered to the parents’ home address.

Attitudes and legislation surrounding abortion

Abortion is illegal in Indonesia, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or in cases of rape or incest. The penalties for having an abortion can range from fines to imprisonment. However, despite the illegality of abortion, it is estimated that around 2 million unsafe abortions are performed in Indonesia each year.


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The attitudes towards abortion in Indonesia are generally conservative, and the issue is often associated with religious and cultural values. However, there are growing calls for the government to reconsider its stance on abortion, particularly in cases where the mother’s health is at risk or in cases of sexual violence.

In conclusion, giving birth in a hospital is the most common option in Indonesia, and pregnant women have access to a range of services, including antenatal care, delivery care, and postnatal care. Registering a birth is mandatory, and can be done at the local civil registration office. Abortion is illegal in Indonesia, except in limited circumstances, and the attitudes towards abortion are generally conservative.


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