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Mütterpflege - what Is It, Anyway?

The term "Mütterpflege" (also know as postpartum doula) is unfortunately not yet very well-known in Germany, and it does sound somewhat old-fashioned. However, there's something truly wonderful behind this concept. You can find out more in this blog post.

A mother and father holding their newborn baby
Family with Newborn

Unlike some other European countries, Mütterpflege is not yet a recognized profession in Germany. Nevertheless, there are several institutes and facilities that provide training for women in this "occupation," preparing them for assisting families during pregnancy, the postpartum period, and beyond. A Mütterpflegerin is a helping hand in the household and supports the family with tasks that require assistance.

This can include traditional tasks like cooking (breastfeeding-friendly meals), grocery shopping, laundry, or looking after siblings. Additionally, the Mütterpflegerin is a point of contact for the mother if she needs someone to talk to or has questions about the baby. These tasks were traditionally taken on by extended family or women in the village. However, in today's society, many families don't have extended family or a village community readily available for support, which is why a Mütterpflegerin now assumes these responsibilities. They "mother" the mother, allowing her to fully embrace her new role as a mother, focus on her baby, and experience a restful postpartum period.

However, it's important to note that a Mütterpflegerin does not replace a midwife. Unlike a midwife, a Mütterpflegerin does not have the responsibility of monitoring the medical health of the mother and newborn.

Many people think that hiring a Mütterplegerin is a luxury reserved for those who can afford it. However, the services of Mütterpflege during pregnancy, the postpartum period, and beyond can be billed through health insurance as professional household assistance. This means that either it's entirely free under §24h SGB V or it comes with a maximum daily co-payment of €10 under §38 SGB V. To access these services from your health insurance, only three requirements need to be met: you have a child under 12 living in your household, the woman has statutory health insurance, and there is no other adult in the household available to take on these tasks during that time (i.e., no partner's vacation or parental leave).

If you have any general questions about Mütterpflege or specifically about the possibility of me serving as a Mütterplegerin for you, please feel free to reach out to me.

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