What you need to know: Administration process for your pregnancy in France
France is one of the best countries to be pregnant in and to give birth. They have so many facilities for the pregnant mother and the newborn child. But at the same time, the french administration is notorious for their vigorous paperwork. At times, even the French find it difficult to navigate the arduous paths. Yes, it’s that confusing. So imagine if you don’t know French. Worse still if you are pregnant and have difficulty remembering all those to-do-by dates and innumerable papers. Let’s get a few basic “things-to-know” so that you have all the benefits of a smooth stress free pregnancy.
Tested and declared
Once you have a positive result, the next step would be to go to your ‘Medecin traitant’, ‘Gynaec’ or ‘Sage femme’ and get the ‘ordinance’ to confirm the pregnancy with various blood/urine tests. In France, usually you are scanned at the 12th week and after this is when your pregnancy is declared. It can be done online by your doctor or midwife using your ‘Carte Vitale’. This is the easy way and you are registered with your security sociale and the CAF. Alternately you are given a document of 3 pages called ‘Declaration de grossesse’ half filled in by the doctor or midwife. One page is pink and the other two blue. The pink one should be sent to the CPAM (social security) and one of the blue forms to the CAF and the other to your ‘Mutuelle’. You must fill in your personal details before sending this out.
- Important: This form must be sent to the respective agencies before you complete 14 weeks of your pregnancy so that you get full benefits. Tips: Make sure you have a CAF account and if you have online access, all the better. Open it in the Google Chrome browser which helps to automatically translate the pages into English
Registered and covered
Now that you are into the system, you will receive many letters from the CAF and CPAM based on your situation. Make sure that you fill and respond to all the letters so that you get your benefits. All your 7 monthly checkups with the doctor or midwife are 100% covered by social security. In addition, you are eligible for 7 sessions of prenatal classes with a midwife at the hospital or any registered midwife of your choice starting from the 7th month. All the medical tests and 3 ultrasounds in each trimester are covered.
Working women’s maternity
If you are working in a company, it is better to let your company know of your situation as soon as possible. You are eligible for 3 types of Maternity leaves: ‘Congé Maternité’, ‘Congé Parental’ and also ‘Congé Pathologique’ if you are employed by a company or self-employed too. Conge Maternite is the maternity leave that you are legally entitled to, that is a total 16 weeks for up to 2 kids. From 3rd child onwards, the maternity leave is 26 weeks. Usually divided into prenatal and postnatal leave, the advised number of weeks is 6 weeks prenatal and remaining postnatal. But in certain cases, you are allowed to work till 3 weeks before your expected date of ‘accouchement’. You would have to send a written application to the CPAM for the same and also get a certificate from your doctor saying that you are fit to continue work till the said period. Congé Parental is the complimentary leave you can take in association with CAF. For the 1st child, you can take up to 6 months after your maternity leave and are paid a complimentary salary until the end of this period. It can be extended till the child is 3, but without any payment. From the 2nd child onwards, you can be paid a complementary amount till the child turns 3. Congé Pathologique is allowed when you or the baby have a difficult postnatal condition and your doctor provides a certificate for the same. You can take up to 4 weeks of leave for the same. During this time social security will pay 50% of your salary and the remaining could be complemented by your employer.
Books and Benefits
You will receive a ‘Carnet de Maternite’ once your pregnancy is registered with CPAM. This book has a lot of details and can be helpful. Some doctors or midwives use this book to fill in details, but my doctor was least interested in it. After the baby is born, you get the ‘Carnet de Sante’ free of cost either from the ‘Marie’ or the hospital or from PMI. This book is very important for the child till the age of 18. ‘Prime de naissance’ is an amount of 923 € paid by the CAF latest by end of the 2nd month after the birth of the baby. To be eligible for this, you should have sent the following 2 papers to CAF: a)Cerf 11423*06 – Déclaration de situation b)Cerfa 10397 – Déclaration de resources.(These documents are sent usually in continuation with the attestation de grossesse). La Paje(prestation d’accueil du jeune enfant) could be paid by CAF if you are within the resource limits and number of children you have. This is a monthly allowance for childcare paid until the child is 3 years old.
Once the baby is here
No, it’s not over yet. The administrative work now is best handed over to the father or any other responsible person since you will be busy with the bundle of joy in your arms. Basically the birth of your baby must be made known to four organizations: The Marie – for registration of birth; the CPAM – for adding your baby into the social security system of both parents; your Mutuelle – so that all the medical expenses of the baby are reimbursed and last but not the least to CAF – for the processing of the various benefits. Important: Birth registration should be done within 5 days after the birth. This can be done at the Marie or at the hospital where the baby was born. It is best to keep the documents ready in your hospital bag for the registration. Documents required are:
- Certificate of delivery issued by the physician/midwife at the hospital or birthing facility.
- Identify proofs of both parents (Carte Sejour/Passports)
- Livret de Famille (you will have it if you have had a previous child in France) or the translated version of your Marriage certificate or ‘l’acte de reconnaissance’ if not married.
- To CPAM: You need to send a photocopy of the Livret de Famille or a copy of the Birth certificate along with the form ‘Cerfa 1444 – Rattachement des enfants’ duly filled and signed.
- To Mutuelle and CAF: You should send the copy of the Birth certificate without delay.
A midwife can come to your house until the baby is 12 days old to check you and your baby every alternate day. This is fully covered by social security. You are also entitled to sessions of ‘rééducation périnéale et abdominale’. These help in the rehabilitation after delivery in case of the weakening of the perineal or abdominal muscles. A postpartum visit to your Gynaec is mandatory at the end of 6-8 weeks after your delivery. This too is covered 100%.
Do you need some clarity on your paperwork? Let us know how we can help, or just drop us a line and share your experience!