Pregnancy and childbirth in Sweden

Graviditet og fødsel i Sverige
Here you can read about how to choose a maternity care centre when you are having a baby in Sweden, and how you can apply to give birth abroad. You can also find information about how to register your child in the Swedish Population Register and obtain a personal identity number, and what applies regarding your child’s citizenship and name.

In Sweden, you generally give birth in a hospital. Children born in Sweden have the same citizenship as their parents. If the child’s parents are citizens of a country outside the EU or EEA, the parents must apply for a residence permit for the child.

Midwives in Sweden

When you become pregnant, you should contact a maternity care centre (mödravårdscentral, MVC) and arrange a time for a registration discussion (inskrivningssamtal). You can choose to be listed in any maternity care centre in your regional health authority. You can find information about pregnancy and childbirth on the website of your regional health authority.

At the registration discussion, you meet a midwife (barnmorska) and discuss the pregnancy, your health, and any expectations and worries you may have concerning the pregnancy. Together with the midwife you draw up a care plan (vårdplan) for the pregnancy. If you need to see a doctor, you should book an appointment as soon as possible. In consultation with your midwife, you also choose a maternity hospital. If you are registered in the Swedish population register, or covered by social insurance in Sweden, you do not pay anything for your visits to the midwife or the doctor at the maternity care centre.

Pregnancy certificate

You are given a pregnancy certificate (intyg om graviditet) by your midwife. Send the certificate to Försäkringskassan in good time before the birth, as it serves as an application for parental benefits. You may also need to show the certificate to your employer or in other situations where you need to prove that you are pregnant.

Pregnancy checks

In Sweden, all pregnant women are entitled to free checks during the pregnancy. The checks are voluntary. The first check usually takes place in weeks 8-12 of the pregnancy.

You can choose which maternity care centre you want to go to, and you may switch maternity care centres during the pregnancy.

You can find information about pregnancy checks on the website of your regional health authority.

Childbirth in Sweden

You can choose a maternity hospital, but sometimes you may be referred to a different one if there are no places available at the hospital you choose. Some regional health authorities offer financial support for home births, providing certain conditions are satisfied.

When you come home after the birth, you should contact the child care centre (barnavårdscentralen, BVC) to arrange a meeting with a children’s nurse, who will monitor your child up until the age of five.

Personal identity number and naming the child

If you live in Sweden and give birth in Sweden, the midwife issues a birth certificate (födelseanmälan) and sends it to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). The child’s birth is then registered in the Swedish Population Register, and the child is assigned a personal identity number.

When the child has been registered and assigned a personal identity number, you will receive a confirmation by post. You will also receive a form for registering the child’s given names and surname, and information about the regulations that apply when you are choosing a name for the child. In Sweden, the name of the child must be registered within three months of the birth. The child’s name is registered with the Swedish Tax Agency.

If the child is to be baptised in a Swedish church, you should contact your parish. If you want the child to be baptised in another Nordic country, you should contact a parish where you want the child to be baptised in that country.

Giving birth abroad

There can be various reasons for giving birth in a different Nordic country to the one you live in. The birth may be unplanned and occur while you are traveling abroad, or it may be planned because it is your home country or because you plan to stay temporarily in another country in connection with the birth of your child.

Unplanned childbirth while travelling in another country

The European health insurance card covers all medical checks and treatment in connection with your pregnancy, including unplanned childbirth if you, for example, give birth during a trip to another country.

Planned childbirth abroad

If you are planning to give birth in another country, you should contact your national social insurance agency and ask for an advance decision to ensure that your expenses will be covered.

If you live and work in Sweden and want to give birth in another Nordic country, you can apply for an advance decision (form S2) from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) regarding the financing of planned medical treatment in another Nordic country.

If you live in another Nordic country and want to give birth in Sweden, you should apply for this in your home country. The social insurance agency in the country in which you are covered by social insurance can issue the necessary advance decision.

If you are covered by social insurance in Denmark or Finland, you should apply for the S2 certificate.

If you are covered by social insurance in Iceland or Norway, you should apply for the E112 certificate, which confirms that the costs of the planned medical treatment in Sweden will be met.

If you live in one Nordic country and commute to work in another Nordic country, you can choose whether you want to give birth in the country in which you live or the one in which you work. However, you cannot demand that your child receives any treatment after the birth in the country in which you work.

Pregnancy checks when you are having a baby abroad

If you are staying in another Nordic country for less than 6 months, you are entitled to essential healthcare services while you are there. You pay the same patient fees as patients living in the country.

Pregnancy checks are an essential service. It is the healthcare professional responsible who decides what is regarded as essential health care, so you should contact the clinic where you wish to be treated.

Registration in the Swedish Population Register and personal identity number when you give birth abroad

If you give birth in another Nordic country and you have an address registered in the Swedish Population Register, when you return to Sweden you should contact the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) where you live to ensure that your child is registered and assigned a personal identity number. If your child is born in another Nordic country, this is not done automatically. Take the child’s birth and name certificate from the country in which the child was born.

However, if you live in another country and give birth there, and the child becomes a Swedish citizen, your child is not entitled to be assigned a Swedish personal identity number. Your child will not be assigned a personal identity number until you move to Sweden and satisfy the registration requirements in Sweden.

Citizenship and naming the child

The citizenship(s) of your child depends on the law in the country where the parents are citizens.

A child whose parents are both citizens of Nordic countries is always given the same citizenship as the mother. Whether the child also gets the citizenship of the other parent can depend on which country the child was born in and whether the parents are married.

In Sweden, the name of the child must be registered within three months of the birth. The child’s name is registered with the Swedish Tax Agency.

If the child is to be baptised in a Swedish church, you should contact your parish. If you want the child to be baptised in another Nordic country, you should contact a parish where you want the child to be baptised in that country.

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Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.