Expectant mothers may give birth in any hospital, regardless of their place of residence
In accordance with the hospital's procedures and as long as the physical conditions of the hospital allow, women giving birth are entitled to have someone accompany them in the delivery room
Expectant mothers have the right to choose in which hospital they would like to give birth.
- The National Insurance Institute covers hospitalization costs for childbirth.
- Transportation by ambulance for a woman in labor to the closest hospital is covered by the National Insurance Institute.
Who is Eligible?
- Any woman giving birth in a hospital.
How to Claim It?
- Women in labor must simply go to the hospital they have chosen in which to give birth. It is recommended to register with the hospital's office in advance.
- Some births must be scheduled in advance (such as a scheduled Caesarean section).
- According to Ministry of Health guidelines, every woman in labor entering the delivery room must be examined by a midwife and a doctor.
- Upon arriving in the delivery room, she will be under the supervision of a midwife until her release from the delivery room.
- Upon arrival, all women in labor must at least undergo the following:
- Anamnesis (patient's account of his/her medical history) and a review of medical documentation related to the pregnancy.
- Full physical examination including blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature readings.
- Urine protein test.
- Completion of laboratory tests (such as blood type, Rh, HBsAg, Coombs' test).
- Full blood count.
- Fetal monitoring (NST).
- In accordance with the hospital's procedures and as long as the physical conditions of the hospital allow, women giving birth are entitled to have someone accompany them in the delivery room.
- All women in labor coming to the maternity ward will be examined by a doctor before being admitted to the delivery room; before being released to go home; and before being transferred to the maternity ward or other medical department/facility in the hospital after birth.
- A doctor from the neonatal department must be present throughout childbirth if there is concern regarding the baby's medical condition.
- The medical/nursing staff present in the delivery room at birth provides initial routine care for the baby.
- Management of new mother and newborn baby records - Upon arriving in the delivery room, the woman in labor should receive an informational sheet regarding her care and care of the newborn; additionally, a medical and nursing record will be opened in which various details will be recorded including the following, among others: personal details, date, admission date, consent form with the mother's signature, medical and obstetric history, summary of current pregnancy, monitoring of the birthing process. In the delivery room, a record will also be opened for the newborn which will include relevant details.
- According to Ministry of Health guidelines, in the delivery room area, there must be an area where families of the women giving birth may wait, which includes places to sit, a public telephone, available cold water, as well as somewhere to buy cold and hot beverages, and light food.
- At all times, there must be the proper number of certified midwives for the delivery rooms according to the number of births in the hospital.
Mother's Consent to Treatment
- According to the Patient's Rights Law, medical care may only be provided after informed consent has been given by the patient.
- Moreover, the care provider must give the patient the medical information necessary for an educated decision to be made regarding consent to the proposed care. Medical decisions during birth must be made in full cooperation with the expectant mother; the doctor and midwife must include her in management of the birth, explain to her the medical options related to birth and obtain her informed consent.
Before giving any form of anesthesia to a woman in labor (such as an epidural), her signed consent must be obtained.
Identification of Newborns
- According to Ministry of Health guidelines, a newborn may not, under any circumstances, be separated from his/her mother without the proper forms of identification. Newborns are identified by means of hospital identification bracelets with the mother's identification number on them.
- Due to the fact that it is difficult to provide a permanent national identification number (teudat zehut) to the newborn immediately in the delivery room, there is a temporary identification process for the first two hours after birth until a permanent number is issued.
- The initial identification process is undergone in the delivery room immediately after birth. The midwife immediately places the relevant identification stickers into three bracelets and places one around the newborn's ankle, one around the newborn's wrist and the third around the mother's wrist.
- Minimum hospitalization for a regular birth - The mother and newborn stay in the hospital for 48 hours following the birth and are released according to the decision of a maternity ward doctor and a neonatal department doctor.
- Rooming in - An arrangement allowing the mother and child to room together in the hospital. According to a Ministry of Health circular regarding the encouragement of breastfeeding, there are guidelines for hospital directors as well as obstetric and maternity ward directors to encourage breastfeeding throughout the entire period a mother and newborn are hospitalized, including providing a rooming in option. Nonetheless, different hospitals have different policies related to rooming in, as some offer a full rooming in option, while other offer it partially and others have flexible procedures regarding this issue. It is recommended to clarify which options related to rooming in are available when choosing a hospital in which to give birth.
- Prior to release, the medical staff must at least provide information to the parents regarding the following topics: medical situations where they should bring the newborn in for an examination; care of the newborn; referral to a medical care framework such as a family health center (Tipat Halav) or pediatrician for follow up. If the newborn's bilirubin level is higher than the norm, the importance of monitoring the level of bilirubin in the blood must be explained to the parents.
Medical Malpractice During Birth
- There are cases of medical malpractice during birth, which harm the mother and/or the newborn.
- Wrongful birth - A claim of medical malpractice against a doctor or third party which, as the result of malpractice, caused a child with a birth defect to be born.
- For a list of organizations providing assistance during pregnancy and childbirth
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
Laws and Regulations
- "Pregnancy and Childbirth" on the Ministry of Health's English website
- Medical Administration Circular 21/98 from 16.03.1998 - Guidelines for running a delivery room
- Medical Administration Circular 4/2011 from 19.01.2011 - Identification procedures for newborns
- Original information provided by the IMA.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.