Advice and assistance
Help With Your Baby: The Early Help Network (Netzwerk Frühe Hilfen)
If you are pregnant and need advice, you are in good hands with the Early Help Network (Netzwerk Frühe Hilfen). Even if you are already a mother or father of a baby or toddler, you can get support from the people who belong to this network. If you need and want help, you will even be put in touch with professionals who can give you advice and support over a longer period of time. Support for young parents should start as soon as possible. This is why there is talk of ‘early’ help. The support and advice is free of charge. You can use the offer during the first years of your child's life.
Pregnancy can bring up a lot of questions. Maybe you're feeling overwhelmed or worried that life with your child will be beyond you. Then you can get help at pregnancy counseling. The counsellors have a lot of experience and can help you find solutions to your problems. This service is available in many places and is free of charge. Every pregnant person has a legal right to it. You can make a single appointment as well as multiple follow-up appointments with your counselor as needed. It is also up to you whether you come to counselling alone or with your partner.
Pregnancy Conflict Counselling
Am I ready to be a mother? Can I provide for and raise a child in my current situation? Many people have all sorts of fears and doubts running through their minds when they find out they are pregnant. Some may decide that terminating the pregnancy is their best choice. No one needs to sort out such difficult questions on their own. You can get help. There are counseling centres you can turn to. In any case, counseling is free and you can remain anonymous if you wish. That means you don't have to give your name or address. Your partner can also take part in the counselling.
Marriage and Couples’ Counselling
Every pregnancy is life changing. It is a challenge for many expectant parents, whether the pregnancy was been planned for a long time or is a surprise. This long period of waiting is associated with strong feelings that can sometimes change quickly. If stress is added to this, it can lead to a crisis in your partnership. You may even find that conflicts you thought you had overcome start to resurface. If anxiety, grief, stress or arguments are constantly and repeatedly putting a lot of strain on your marriage or relationship, it's good to get help. This also applies to the time after your child is born, which also brings its own challenges. You can find support from independent therapists or at counselling centres.
Separation and Divorce
If a partnership is no longer workable in the long run, it may be better to go your separate ways. But this is rarely easy. This is because there are many things to consider when unmarried couples separate or when married couples divorce. This is all the more true if you are currently pregnant or already have children. Many questions must be answered. Who will stay in the apartment or house? Whom will our child live with? When, where and how often can my partner visit our child? Who will support our child? What will happen to our joint assets? When and how do I file for divorce?
The Early Help Specialists
You are pregnant and don't know what to do after the birth of your baby? Maybe the household is getting away from you and you feel like you just can't cope with everyday life with your baby. In all these cases and other emergency situations you can get help from an early help specialist. These are midwives, children's nurses and other healthcare workers who have undergone special additional training to be able to support you in difficult psychological and social situations. They are also called ‘family midwives’ or ‘family health and children's nurses’. Such a professional will come to your home and work with you to find out how best to support you and your family. They will help you and your family members grow into your new roles. They will also help you fill out applications, accompany you to authorities and to doctors' offices. Their support is free of charge. These early help specialists are usually there for you and your family until the baby's first birthday. They’re part of the The Early Help Network (Netzwerk der Frühen Hilfen) and therefore have contacts to other aide and support services.
Are you pregnant and no one can know? Are you desperate because you do not know where and how to deliver the baby safely without being found out? Perhaps you want to make sure the newborn is in good hands, but you don't want any contact with the baby after giving birth? Then you should know that there is protection and help. You can give birth with the help of a doctor or midwife without anyone even knowing your name. This is known in Germany as a ‘confidential birth’. It’s best to go to a counselling centre for pregnant women. They are familiar with these situations and can support you throughout the process.
You're pregnant and you don't want to be? Maybe it feels like the world is collapsing. But even if you can't imagine life with a child, that doesn't mean terminating the pregnancy is your only option. One choice is to give the baby up for adoption. While this may be a tough decision, it deserves respect. By releasing the baby for adoption, you are giving the child the chance to grow up safe and secure. However, this step should be well considered, because adoption is usually final. Therefore, it is best to take your time to get good advice. Your best bet is to contact an adoption agency. There they will help you with all questions around an adoption. Contact details for adoption agencies can be obtained from youth welfare offices (Jugendamt), pregnancy advice centres and on the Internet, for example at www.familienportal.de/adoptionsvermittlung.
Beratung und Hilfen für Alleinerziehende
Ein Kind allein großzuziehen, ist eine große Aufgabe, die viele Mütter und Väter Tag für Tag meistern. Auch als Alleinerziehende stehst du vor der Herausforderung, deinem Kind, dir selbst und eventuell auch der Arbeitsstelle gerecht zu werden. Um diesen Spagat hinzubekommen, kann ein Netzwerk von Unterstützenden hilfreich sein, die bei Bedarf helfen und einspringen können. Das können Verwandte oder Freund:innen sein. Aber auch verschiedene Ämter und professionelle Beratungsstellen können Teil des Netzwerks sein oder dich dabei unterstützen, ein solches Netzwerk aufzubauen.
Babies With Disability or Chronic Illness
A child's disability or chronic illness is often detected during medical check-ups. Sometimes this happens shortly after birth. If you find yourself in this situation, then the ideas you have about your future family life have probably been thrown off. This can be very unsettling. Suddenly your child is ‘different’ than the others. They may not learn as much or as quickly as other children of the same age. Maybe they will need aids to be mobile or will need general care. If they suffer from a chronic disease, then lifelong treatment with medication is most likely necessary. And as a mother, you are faced with great tasks. First, take your time to absorb the new information. Then you can gradually clarify the many questions that now arise.
Pregnant Without Health Insurance
Every person living in Germany is supposed to have health insurance. But if it happens that you still do not have health insurance, you should seek advice and support as soon as possible. This is especially true if you're pregnant. If you don't have health insurance, you'll have to pay for the ten recommended check-ups for pregnant people yourself. That can be expensive. However, these examinations are important in order to detect and treat problems during pregnancy in good time. Certain conditions, such as diabetes, that occurs during pregnancy, can be dangerous for you and your baby. Therefore, get advice as soon as possible on how you can get insurance coverage again and thus gain access to examinations and a safe birth. In many cases, a path to health insurance can be found.
Parenting With Disabilities or Learning Difficulties
If you are pregnant and have a disability or learning disability, you may need extra help once your baby is born. Even if you have been able to cope with everyday life on your own or with your partner, you may now need a little more support. Luckily, there are several types of help that you can take advantage of. It is good to make use of this support. It's better than overextending yourself.
Studies show that a quarter of all women in Germany have experienced domestic abuse. Pregnant women are especially at risk, as many conflicts may come to a head when a baby is on the way or has just been born. Thus, if you experience domestic abuse, you are not alone. There are many support services and contact points where you can find advice and protection.
Asylum and Pregnancy
As long as you receive social assistance (Sozialhilfe) as an asylum seeker, you will receive the necessary medical care and, if necessary, additional financial support during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, even if you do not have your own health insurance. You will also receive care and help from a midwife and necessary medication. Which documents you need and which authorities you have to contact depends on how long you have been in Germany and in which federal state you live.
Postpartum Depression and Low Spirits After Birth
You have made it through the birth of your child in one piece, you are both doing well, and yet you are very sad? Maybe you're disappointed or you feel like crying all the time? Don't worry, a lot of people feel that way. There are many reasons for this. One of them is exhaustion. After all, childbirth is physically and mentally very exhausting. It's also possible that the birth went differently than you imagined. You may have experienced severe anxiety and felt unsafe. Everyday life with a newborn also brings many new challenges. For example, because the baby might not drink well and cries frequently or because you hardly get any sleep. In addition, your body must completely readjust. The sudden end of pregnancy hormones can promote sad feelings, thoughts, and the urge to cry.
Miscarriage or Stillbirth
When a pregnancy ends with the death of the baby, it is a terrible experience for all those affected. Time is needed to process this event. Talk about your feelings with people you trust or get in touch with people who can help you professionally. Above all, know that you are not alone in this tragic experience.
Help With Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
Pregnancy can turn your life upside down. A lot of people who get pregnant feel that way. But maybe you have some particular concerns. For example, maybe you have been drinking alcohol or taking party drugs in the past few weeks and only now know that you are pregnant. Or maybe you are addicted to heroin or pills and are wondering what to do now. You probably know yourself that addictive substances such as alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy, speed, crystal meth, heroin or pills can harm your pregnancy. The important thing though is that you're not ashamed to get help. You don't have to deal with these problems alone, since there are many support options and places to go.
Female Genital Cutting and Pregnancy
Female genital cutting is a procedure practiced primarily in some African and Asian countries. In this procedure, the clitoris, parts of the clitoris or even the labia of female babies or young women may be removed. In some cultures, a so-called infibulation is also performed, in which the vagina is also closed. This procedure is often performed on babies, but it can also affect toddlers and girls just before adulthood. If you were cut and are now pregnant, you need special medical care. You should therefore let all the people who looked after you know as soon as you can. If you are in distress because your daughter is to be cut, please contact a pregnancy counselling centreor the Early Help Network (Netzwerk der Frühen Hilfen) counselling centre. If they can't help you there directly, then you can get in touch with aid organisations that have a lot of experience with women who have experienced genital cutting. If you need help quickly or do not dare to go to a counselling centre, you can also call the Violence Against Women helpline. Women can call 08000 116 016 for advice in 17 languages.
Es kann verschiedene Gründe dafür geben, dass du über einen Schwangerschaftsabbruch nachdenkst. Vielleicht bist du aus Versehen schwanger geworden und siehst für dich keine Möglichkeit, das Kind auszutragen. Es kann aber auch sein, dass dein:e Ärzt:in bei einer vorgeburtlichen Untersuchung festgestellt hat, dass die Schwangerschaft eine Gefahr für dein Leben oder deine Gesundheit bedeutet oder dass das Kind gesundheitlich stark geschädigt ist. Dann spricht man von medizinischer Indikation. Ein dritter möglicher Grund ist, dass die Schwangerschaft durch eine Vergewaltigung entstanden ist. Das nennt man kriminologische Indikation. Es gibt viele verschiedene Gründe, weshalb du dich für diesen Schritt entscheiden kannst. Wenn du dich für einen Abbruch entschieden hast, ist es wichtig, bestimmte Regeln und Fristen einzuhalten. Schnelle Beratung und Hilfe im Fall einer Vergewaltigung bietet das Hilfetelefon „Gewalt gegen Frauen“ unter der Telefonnummer 08000116016. Die Beratung kann rund um die Uhr stattfinden und ist mithilfe von Dolmetscher:innen in Deutsch oder einer von 18 weiteren Sprachen möglich.