Before the birth

I am healthy and would like a natural birth. Is Hirslanden the right place for me?

Yes, certainly. Our midwives look forward to accompanying you on your journey to your birth of choice.

When should you meet the midwives for an antenatal talk?

If you would like to talk to a midwife, please make an appointment for a midwife consultation. We are at your service. We offer various options for you to get to know us before the birth. Information on our consultation hours is available on our website.

We definitely recommend a midwife consultation around the 36th week of pregnancy. You will get to know our midwives and ask any outstanding questions. You may have special wishes for the birth that you would like discuss with them.

How can I tell that the birth is about to begin?

Sometimes childbirth begins with the loss of amniotic fluid. If this happens, please contact our midwives in the delivery room for a check-up. Other women go into labour. A distinction is made here between early labour contractions and labour, but both can be painful. Especially with the first child, parents are often unsure whether the contractions are already strong and frequent enough. If you can still speak well during a contraction, it is usually early labour.  If you already have to breathe through the contractions and they come regularly every five minutes, call our midwives in the maternity unit. Even if you feel insecure at home or can no longer manage on your own, we are always at your service.

In case of bleeding as heavy as your period or stronger, please contact us immediately by phone in the delivery room.

Who can I call with questions or problems if my doctor is not available?

Our expert midwives in the delivery room are at your service 24 hours a day on T +41 44 387 35 61.

Do I need to bring clothes to the hospital for my baby?

No, Klinik Hirslanden provides your baby with everything for the stay. You only need to bring a set of baby clothes for the trip home.

During the birth

Can I eat and drink something during the birth?

You may eat and drink at any time, provided your birth proceeds without complications. During the day, you will receive meals from our hospital kitchen. Various snacks are available at night.

How long does a birth take?

In most cases, the birth of the first child takes around twelve to thirteen hours. This is calculated from a regular contraction and the beginning of the opening of the cervix. A normal birth is deemed to be one that lasts up to eighteen hours.  Things usually proceed faster for second births and later children.

How can I offer support as an expectant father during the birth?

You can support your partner in many ways during the birth. For example, she may like to be massaged or held. Sometimes touching can be too much, in which case encouragement or distraction in the form of music, walking around or breathing together during the contractions can help.

I am afraid of not being able to cope with labour; how can you help me?

Many women worry about whether they will be able to cope with the labour pains. Please be reassured that your body will release hormones to help you.

Our midwives have various options to support you if necessary. For example, heat, a relaxing bath, homoeopathy, aromatic oils, various medicines such as nitrous oxide, antispasmodic medication, but also epidural anaesthesia or a Remifentanil infusion are also available as options.

Can I request a PDA (epidural anaesthesia) at any time?

Yes, an experienced anaesthesia team is available around the clock. However, it must be clearly established that the birth has begun, with labour pains and the opening of the cervix.

Can I determine my birthing position myself?

Yes, it is important that you feel comfortable and can choose a birthing position that is feels right for you. Our midwives will support and advise you during the birth.

Can I also give birth at Klinik Hirslanden if my doctor is not an affiliated doctor?

You can also give birth at Klinik Hirslanden, but you will not be cared for by your current doctor during the birth. If you have supplementary insurance, you have the option of choosing an affiliated doctor at Klinik Hirslanden, who will then carry out the relevant preliminary examinations. As a patient with basic health insurance (without free choice of doctor), you will be cared for by the corresponding on-call doctor. In this case, the preliminary examinations will be carried out by your current gynaecologist.

Can I also give birth at your hospital as an outpatient?

Yes, that is possible. If you and your child are doing well, you can leave the hospital 6–8 hours after the birth.

However, it is important that you have organised a freelance midwife for outpatient postpartum care at home as well as another person to take care of your household chores and/or your baby's siblings.

What happens if my newborn is unwell?

In the event of difficult births or caesarean sections, the obstetric team of midwife and gynaecologist is supported by a paediatrician. Your baby may need some stimulation or respiratory support for a short time immediately after the birth. There could be mild adjustment difficulties that require additional monitoring and care during the postpartum period. It is also possible that we will monitor your baby closely for a few hours in our nursery. For more information please visit our website here.

If the adjustment difficulty is too pronounced or malformations or diseases come to light, your baby might need intensive medical monitoring and therapy. In such cases, we work with the nearby neonatology departments in Zurich. Most of the time, these transfers can take place calmly and with good consultation between the treatment teams, rarely as an absolutely time-critical emergency in which we need to rush.

After the birth

How long is the stay after a natural birth/caesarean section?

The average length of stay after a spontaneous delivery is around three to four days, and around five days after a caesarean section. However, the exact length of stay depends primarily on your personal well-being and is determined in consultation with your doctor and the nursing staff.

Can my partner or a companion also stay overnight in the hospital with me?

If you have private insurance, a companion can stay overnight with you at no extra charge. If you have semi-private insurance, you will be accommodated in a single room and a companion can stay with you at an additional cost of CHF 150 per night.

Further information on this topic is available in the flyer "Upgrades for mothers-to-be".

Is breastfeeding counselling guaranteed?

Our nurses are trained in breastfeeding.

From Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 16:00 , an IBLCL-certified breastfeeding counsellor is also available on the ward to answer your questions and concerns. In addition, our nurses will assist you at any time in all matters related to breastfeeding.

After you have been discharged, there is the option of outpatient breastfeeding counselling. More information about our outpatient breastfeeding counselling service is available on our website under the heading "after the birth".

Do I have to breastfeed my child?

We do our absolute best to care for you according to your needs. We do not want to force you to breastfeed. That is your decision. We are here to support you and advise you on feeding your baby.

Can my baby also stay with me in my room at night?

Yes, you are welcome to use the rooming-in option. Mother and child are not separated during the first few days. This helps you to get to know your baby’s needs better. You hear what kind of noises he/she makes and recognise faster when he/she is hungry.

Rooming-in makes it easier to breastfeed. Babies cry less, calm down more quickly, drink more milk and gain weight faster.

Where can I find a freelance midwife?

You can find a freelance midwife at the following links: or