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.
During the first 18 months of your stay in Germany, doctors are obliged to treat you if you are acutely ill. This is what the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) stipulates. In some federal states you need an authorisation certificate or treatment certificate from the Social Welfare Office (Sozialamt) for visits to the doctor and dentist. You can get the form from the responsible authorities or from your initial reception centre. The treatment certificate is often only valid for a limited time. Therefore, as soon as possible after you have received the certificate, you must make an appointment with a doctor who is licensed to treat refugees. Sometimes the offices issue treatment certificates for a calendar quarter. In some federal states, such as Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg, you will instead receive health card for refugees (Gesundheitskarte für Geflüchtete) as soon as you are accommodated in a municipality. With the card you can go to your doctor and you don't need a treatment certificate from the authorities anymore.
If you have already lived continuously in Germany for 18 months and your stay is legal, you are entitled to more comprehensive health care. About the same as you get from public health insurance. You choose a health insurance company from which you then get a card. With this you can go to your doctor. You won't need a sick note from the authorities. If your asylum application has already been decided positively and you are employed, you are covered by statutory health insurance. However, this does not apply if you have a mini-job. If you have been granted asylum and are unemployed or earn too little money, you are entitled to financial support from the Jobcenter or the Social Welfare Office (Sozialamt). At the Jobcenter, you are usually covered by health insurance. With the Social Welfare Office, you are not automatically covered by health insurance, but you get almost the same care as with statutory health insurance. The same goes for your child once they are born.
As soon as you know that you are pregnant, you should inform your asylum officer. If you have questions about pregnancy, various local agencies offer advice and support. Contact the pregnancy counselling centres or the Early Help Network (Netzwerk Frühe Hilfen) in your area. Often there are also interpreters there who can help you with the conversation. If you know you're pregnant, you should find a midwife as soon as possible. They can care for you during pregnancy and the postpartum period. You can discuss everything that concerns your pregnancy with your midwife. You should also make appointments with your gynaecologist or midwife for the necessary check-ups.
As a pregnant person, you often have higher costs for food and personal care. If you are on social assistance (Sozialhilfe), you can get more money for this each month starting from the 13th week of pregnancy until you give birth. You have to apply for these ‘additional requirements due to pregnancy’ at the Social Welfare Office (Sozialamt) or the Jobcenter. It is best to present your maternity record (Mutterpass) to the office or to submit the application in writing with a copy of the maternity record The prerequisite is that you have already lived in Germany for more than 18 months. Sometimes the Social Welfare Office pays the additional needs even if you have not been in Germany that long. You can also get help for the basic equipment for you and your baby from the Social Welfare Office, either as a grant or in kind. You can apply for maternity clothes, baby clothes and equipment such as a baby cot, changing table, playpen or pram. If you receive benefits from the Jobcenter, you have to apply there.
If the asylum procedure has already been completed and you have a residence permit, you can receive certain financial assistance even after the birth. For example, if you are single and the child's father does not pay child support, you can apply for an advance on child support at the Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt). In addition, you will receive social benefits for your child from the Social Welfare Office (Sozialamt) or job centre and are entitled to child benefits (Kindergeld) and parental allowance (Elterngeld). The best way to find out about the exact requirements is to go to an advice centre for pregnant people. If you have money problems and need further help, you can also contact the advice centres.
Before and after the birth, depending on your personal situation, you will need to obtain some documents, such as a paternity recognition (Vaterschaftsanerkennung), a declaration of custody (Sorgeerklärung) or a official birth certificate (Geburtsurkunde). To do this, you must present original documents such as your passport and the documents showing your residence status. Important documents include your birth certificate or marriage certificate. For this purpose, you must provide a notarised translation. Depending on which country you are from, it may take a while for documents to be issued and for all documents to be translated and notarised. It is best to find out as early as possible what other documents the authorities want from you so that you can get them in time. Also find out exactly who has to certify the documents. You can get advice and support from the nationwide refugee network Pro Asyl and the refugee councils in each federal state and the initiatives in your place of residence.
Often there are communication problems because no one can translate exactly what you want to say or express. Often relatives or friends try to help. But sometimes that doesn't work, or it's not enough. Then you should try to get help from professional interpreters or language mediators, especially if you need an accurate translation. Unfortunately, there is no uniform regulation in Germany for the payment of translation services. It is always best to ask in advance who can translate and who will cover the costs. In the Jobcenter at the employment agencies it is possible that an interpreter can connect to your interview via telephone. These costs are borne by the Jobcenter. Even if you want to get information and advice at a pregnancy counselling centre, you can ask for an interpreter to translate the conversation. Hospitals are required to cover the cost of translation services. You have to pay the costs yourself if you require a translator with your medical doctor.