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Norway – Maternity and Giving Birth

Norway is a country that is known for its high standard of living, and its healthcare system is no exception. When it comes to childbirth, Norwegian women have access to a variety of options, including home births, hospital births, and birthing centers. This article will explore the most common options for giving birth in Norway, how to register a birth, and the attitudes and legislation surrounding abortion in the country.

Giving Birth in Norway

Hospital Births

The majority of births in Norway take place in hospital settings, with around 90% of births occurring in a hospital. In a hospital setting, women are supported by a team of midwives, doctors, and nurses. Women who give birth in a hospital have access to pain management options, such as epidurals, and medical interventions if necessary.

Norwegian hospitals are well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, and women who give birth in a hospital are supported by a team of midwives, nurses, and doctors. Most hospitals in Norway have birthing suites, which are designed to create a more home-like atmosphere for the birth.

Home Births

Home births are also a popular choice for women in Norway. Women who choose to have a home birth are supported by midwives who provide care throughout the pregnancy and are on hand to assist with the birth.


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Home births are seen as a safe and viable option for low-risk pregnancies. If complications do arise during the birth, the midwife will make the decision to transfer the mother and baby to the hospital.

Birthing Centers

Birthing centers are another option for women in Norway. These centers are staffed by midwives and provide a home-like environment for the birth. Birthing centers are a good option for women who want the support of a midwife but who do not want to give birth at home or in a hospital.

Registering a Birth in Norway

In Norway, births must be registered within three months of the baby being born. This can be done at any local tax office in the country, and both parents must be present. If one of the parents is unable to be present, they can provide a notarized authorization for the other parent to register the birth.

To register a birth, the following documents are required:

  • The birth certificate issued by the hospital, midwife, or doctor
  • Identification documents for both parents
  • The marriage certificate, if applicable

After the birth has been registered, the tax office will issue a birth certificate, which is a legal document that serves as proof of the child’s identity and nationality.

Attitudes to and Legislation Surrounding Abortion in Norway

Abortion in Norway was legalized in 1978 and is available on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy. After 12 weeks, an abortion can still be performed if two medical practitioners agree that it is necessary to save the woman’s life or prevent serious harm to her physical or mental health.

The decision to have an abortion in Norway is left up to the woman, and she is not required to provide a reason for her decision. Women who choose to have an abortion can receive counseling and medical care before and after the procedure.

Abortion is covered by the Norwegian public health system, and there are no age restrictions on access to the procedure. However, there are some restrictions on where and when abortions can be performed. Abortion can only be performed by a registered medical practitioner in a licensed facility, and there is a mandatory waiting period of at least one week between the initial consultation and the procedure.

In conclusion, Norway offers women a range of options for giving birth, including hospital births, home births, and birthing centers. The country’s healthcare system is designed to provide women with high-quality care and support throughout their pregnancy and birth.


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