As an expectant expat in Monaco, you have a variety of options when it comes to maternity care. If you are registered with the national healthcare scheme (Caisses Sociales de Monaco or CSM), you will be able to access public maternity care.You will also be able to have your baby with a private healthcare provider, if you have a policy that covers maternity provision.
How to decide on a birth plan
A birth plan is a list of what you would like to have happen in labor and beyond, written so that your doctor know what your wishes and expectations might be.
Options to consider include:
• where do you want to give birth?
• who do you want to have with you (e.g. your partner)?
• what kind of birth do you want (e.g. vaginal birth or a Caesarian)
• do you need any birthing aids?
• do you want pain relief, and if so, what kind?
• what kind of birthing environment would you prefer?
You will be able to discuss this plan with the public or private hospital of your choice in Monaco.
Monégasque maternity care
If you suspect that you are pregnant, make an appointment (premier examen prenatal) with your GP. They will then confirm the pregnancy, and issue you with a declaration of pregnancy: the déclaration de grossesse, which is in three parts and which you must allocate as follows:
• 1 x pink sheet must be sent to the CSM
• 2 x blue sheets must be sent to the family allowances fund (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales)
The CSM will issue you with a booklet about your pregnancy but you can also obtain a comprehensive range of information from Ameli (l'Assurance Maladie en Ligne), the French National health insurance organization.
You will also be sent a maternity record book (carnet de santé maternité) from the CSM: this will contain details of your medical history throughout pregnancy. You are, for example, entitled to three free sonograms and these will need to be recorded. You will need to make sure that all your treatment details are filled out correctly, otherwise you may not be able to gain reimbursement from the CSM.
However, although you need to contact the CSM and the CAF, you are not legally obliged to inform your employer immediately: you can inform them about your pregnancy at any stage. Once you have decided when you want to start your maternity leave, you can inform your employer then, and you also need to give an indication of the date of your return to work. It is illegal in Monaco to terminate someone’s employment as a result of her pregnancy.
You should also get a transport pass from the CAF office entitling you to seats on public transport.
You will be eligible for maternity allowance under the CSM: Monaco permits 16 weeks of maternity leave, with 26 weeks for your third child. It is calculated on a daily basis.
Paternity leave is also available. If you are in employment, your job must be kept open. Once your maternity leave ends, you may choose to leave work or go part time, in which case you will be entitled to a further payment, congé parental d'éducation, up until the child’s third birthday.
If you have more than one child and have worked for two out of the five previous years, you will be eligible for another type of parental allowance, the allocation parentale d'enfant. Note that adoption benefits are also available under certain circumstances.
Labour itself is likely to take place in the Princess Grace Hospital if you are covered by the CSM. This is where Princess Charlene of Monaco recently gave birth to twins. The hospital has three delivery rooms, with a birthing bed in each. You will be registered with a midwife and an obstetrician who will assist you throughout delivery. The hospital is also able to deliver babies by Caesarian section should this be required.
Facilities at the Princess Grace are good, but note that if there are any complications with the birth you are likely to be sent to Nice, which has world-class maternity care: for instance, to Lenval hospital or the Clinique St George.
If this happens, remember to check whether your insurance covers these healthcare providers: they may not be covered by the CSM and expats report that Clinique St George is expensive. If you anticipate problems with the birth then it is advisable to take out private insurance and make sure that it covers you for treatment in France as well as in Monaco itself.
Once the baby is born, you must declare the birth at the Mairie de Monaco (Town Hall) within four days, and also at your home embassy or consulate if you are not a citizen of Monaco.
The Mairie will also be able to advise you about childcare: the Department of Social Services has an Early Childhood section and runs clubs for children from two months to three years.
Will the baby be a Monégasque citizen?
Your baby will not automatically be a Monégasque citizen. Citizenship of the principality is based on:
• if you are born in Monaco or abroad of a Monégasque father
• if you are born in Monaco or abroad of a mother born Monégasque, who still had this nationality at the time of the birth, and of an unknown father
• if you are born in Monaco of unknown parents
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