First Steps

So you're pregnant....now what?! Follow these steps to cover everything you need to know about declaring your pregnancy in France and accessing the appropriate healthcare and support.

Image by John Looy
1. Declaring your Pregnancy

Following a positive pregnancy test, it is recommended that you see a general doctor who will prescribe a laboratory blood test to confirm that you are pregnant. 

If you are covered by the French social security, you will then need to submit the 'Déclaration de grossesse' to the Securité Sociale which can be done online:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F968

If you are being looked after by a healthcare professional (a doctor, gynaecologist or midwife), they will submit the declaration on your behalf.  A copy of the declaration will be sent to the Caisse d’Assurance Maladie (or your insurance advisor, Conseiller de l’Assurance Maladie, CAM) and the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF) respectively.

The pregnancy must be declared before the end of the 3rd month in order to benefit as soon as possible from the public maternity insurance cover. 

2. Choosing a Healthcare Provider

It's important to make sure you are registered with a doctor, gynaecologist/obstetrician-gynaecologist or midwife, and a hospital, well in advance of your due date.

Gynaecologists and obstetrician-gynaecologists have a more medicalised approach to pregnancy and birth. Obstetrician-gynaecologists are specialists for more high risk pregnancies and management of potential complications.

Midwives are specialists in pregnancy and birth. They tend to support more natural births, and will refer to specialists in the case of complications. Midwives may also provide birth preparation classes and postnatal support.

Deliveries are generally overseen by midwives with obstetrician-gynaecologists on call in case of emergency. It is possible to have a gynaecologist deliver a baby when there are no complications. 

3. Insurance

Public health care cover is universal for French residents and those working in France via social security. You may also be covered if you are married or a partner to someone with health cover, or if you receive the universal health coverage; Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU), or State medical aid; l'Aide Médicale de l'Etat (AME). If you are not sure whether or not you are covered, you can contact l'Assurance Maladie.

If you have public health insurance in France (following the submission of the Déclaration), the majority of costs associated with pregnancy and birth will be covered. You will benefit from Tiers Payant which means that you won't need to pay for pregnancy-related expenses upfront.

However it should be noted that  social security does not reimburse 100% of pregnancy-related medical expenses until the 6 month. For example, the first two ultrasounds are covered by 70% of the total cost. After 6 months, all costs are fully covered. The public insurance system only covers government set rates, therefore all rates will only be refunded in line with these tariffs, even if the healthcare provider charges more. Private insurance is very popular in France, and is an option for those who want a higher level of coverage. Many people choose a mutual over a commercial health insurer for complementary health insurance, because they are non-profit and respect the solidarity principle in that they do not request the applicant's medical history or base premiums on a person's current health.