The two main choices for giving birth are in hospital or at home.
In the case of a hospital birth:
- You can then stay there for 4-~7 days following the birth (Wochenbett). This way you can easily receive any necessary medical support during the very early days, and help is on hand for things like breast-feeding. You also don’t have to worry about the cleaning or cooking!
- There is also an outpatient (Ambulante Geburt) option, where you leave the hospital at some time between 3 hours and 2 days after the birth. To do this, you will need to engage a midwife (Hebamme), who will visit you for a few hours per day for about a week.
If you wish to have a home birth with your chosen Hebamme, make sure to give yourself lots of time to work out the arrangements beforehand and talk to your doctor.
Expectant mothers living in Vienna who want to give birth in a hospital that accepts public insurance have to register online at: https://geburtsinfo.wien/en/alles-zur-geburt/anmeldung-zur-geburt/. Up to 3 hospital preferences can be expressed. You can find an overview of those hospitals here.
If you choose to give birth in a private hospital, you should register directly with the establishment of your choice as early as possible.
When choosing a hospital in Austria, and particularly in Vienna, you have to take into account that some hospitals do not have a NICU ward. This means that if your baby needs intensive care after the birth and you have given birth in a hospital without a NICU department, your baby will be taken to the closest hospital that has one and you may be separated for a time. This also means that if you go into labor early (before week 37) and you have registered at a hospital without a NICU ward, you will be taken to the closest hospital with a NICU ward that has a free bed.