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Pregnancy & Parental Leave: HELP!

Finding a way through the maze

Newbie2017
post 13.Jun.2017, 08:12 PM
Post #1
Joined: 13.Jun.2017

Hello reader!

My husband and I have recently relocated to Sweden, and we are planning on starting a family soon. Without any friends or confidants in the country who have been through the same (I could have just stopped after in the country, but I digress..), here I am looking for answers. Most notably:
- as a pregnant woman, when did you go on leave prior to giving birth?
I cant seem to find anything which would indicate a mandatory leave period prior to the delivery. Is there one? If not, when do most people go on leave? As a first timer, I am not sure what to expect and coupled with learning the ways of a new country, I am a bit lost to say the least!
- what would the process be if you decide not to return to work following your leave?
Specifically, thinking about transitioning to a stay at home mom in the future, but not sure whether there is some requirement to go back to work after receiving certain employer benefits (i.e. additional pay by employer during leave).

And in case someone is feeling particularly like sharing...
- as a couple, how did you structure your parental leave together, to make the most of it financially? What other things did you consider? Did you save any leave?
- overall, how was your prenatal and antenatal care?
- is an in house nurse/ midwifery care provided to come and check on you and the baby for a certain number of hours in the days/weeks following the birth?
(In my previous country, this was standard for 40 hours in the days after the delivery, they would also help to clean your house, do your dishes, and cook meals for other small children, while helping with breastfeeding, and monitoring the baby, determining whether you were at risk for postpartum depression, etc)

Thanks for reading!
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mjennin2
post 14.Jun.2017, 12:53 PM
Post #2
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

Newbie - if you haven't already, you may find a great deal of help on the English Speaking Mums in Sweden facebook group. They are a very responsive and well-informed group <3

I can't answer all your questions as I never worked during my pregnancy or afterwards, but a lot of the women in my Swedish due date group on Facebook seemed to get early leave if granted by FK (for those who have laborious jobs or work with chemicals or whatnot). I know that you have to be working at a job for at least 8 months before receiving salary-level benefits (as opposed to the "minimum wage" ones) though not sure if you must return to work after your benfits are paid out. Personally, I think it would be a raw deal if you were forced to go back to work (and I don't know how they could even make you do that) considering as your 8 months of employment meant you paid into the system for the same amount of time as you would receive maternity benefits (8 months), so I think once you "earn" your benefits, you can just choose not to go back to work when they're over. But those are just presumptions. Speaking as someone who never worked, I'm still entitled to mat leave benefits (though the salary is quite low!) and I don't need to do anything except simply apply for them. I haven't, of course - I'm going to wait until I get a job and claim those days once I get decent pay for them - but in case that offers any insight, I would hope you don't get penalized for not returning to work after claiming your days!

As for us...
1. My sambo works full-time and then has his own side business. He took his first 10 days + 2 months of pappaledighet to be with me as this was our first baby and we had no idea what we were doing laugh.gif He then returned to work full time for a few months, and now he claims every friday off for pappaledighet so that he has 3 day weekends to spend with baby and I. I have my own savings and don't need the pay from FK right now, so I have not claimed any of my maternity leave. I will if I absolutely must, otherwise I am saving saving saving it! It is good until the child is 12 years old, so I saving it for once I'm employed and can make the most of the time (and use it to take extended holidays with my family each year once the kid(s) are a little older!)

2. Again - I have only my one baby so I have no experience to compare it to, but I have absolutely zero complaints. I had th ebest barnmorskas, I had the most incredible birth experience (every single one of the items on my birth plan was honored), I was seen quickly when I realized I had an internal birth injury that needed to be monitored (was not at the fault of the hospital - it just was simply an anomaly that happened), I found the amningsmottagningen to be extremely knowledgeable and quick to help, and I received top notch care for my baby when she turned out to become severely jaundiced. We had a full week's stay at the hospital and I could write a novel about the care we received there. Baby also had a case of torticollis and our physical therapist has been the best!

3. I don't know what the rules are, but our BVC nurse came and did the first check-up on us at our house when our baby was 1 week old. What a wonderful convenience! She talked over all kinds of things with us, but I don't know what the whole procedure is - because at that appointment, she immediately scheduled a time for us to go to the hospital the next day to have our daughter's jaundice checked out. Poor thing was as yellow as a sunflower sad.gif Anyway, the visit wasn't TOO long; she weighed and measured baby, discussed how breastfeeding was going, answered a lot of our questions, addressed safe sleep and other SIDS-preventative line items, discussed PPD/PPA... this was all 10 months ago so I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff.

But no - absolutely no help in terms of housekeeping/cooking/etc. The appointment is just about the baby, no particular care toward housekeeping and parents. I remember at some point postpartum (I want to say sometime between 6-12 weeks postpartum?) I was given a specific appointment with my BM to discuss how I was feeling and how everything was going, both physically as well as mentally. And based off of that appointment, I would have received additional care if necessary.
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Newbie2017
post 15.Jun.2017, 09:16 PM
Post #3
Joined: 13.Jun.2017

Thank you for your reply!

Did you go with the public or private care (or a mix)? Any extra things that you decided to do, outside of what is offered through public? Like extra scans or NIPT test?
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LLHope
post 15.Jun.2017, 11:14 PM
Post #4
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (Newbie2017 @ 13.Jun.2017, 08:12 PM) *
- what would the process be if you decide not to return to work following your leave? Specifically, thinking about transitioning to a stay at home mom in the future, but no ... (show full quote)

Sweden does not have the concept of stay-at-home-parent, it was removed in the 1970's by the Social Democrats as part of their policies to break family dependencies by transferring them to State, indoctrinate children in socialism, claim full employment and boost, naughtily, GDP by including child care.

You are expected at all times to be doing something, working, study, unemployed, sick, pension, on parent leave. If you are not doing anything, all entitled benefit levels are reduced to the absolute minimum (and some lost completely). No pension contributions are made (pensions are individual in Sweden), you will only gain the 1/40th per year resident which then is used to calculate your portion of the absolute basic minimum pension (100% of minimum = 40 years residency). Just make sure that you have private pension in order to top up for the time you are off doing the stay-at-home-mum thing.

Note: It will effect your chances of employment in the future, staying home is not the norm in Sweden, whilst official parent leave then returning back is accepted. You will be placed lower down the pile in job searches.

If you have quite a few (can't remember the number off-top-of-head) kids then there is help that can be made available to give both parents a break each week or so, where social services will provide someone to care for the children whilst you do something else.
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mjennin2
post 16.Jun.2017, 07:40 AM
Post #5
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 8.Mar.2010

QUOTE (Newbie2017 @ 15.Jun.2017, 09:16 PM) *
Thank you for your reply! . Did you go with the public or private care (or a mix)? Any extra things that you decided to do, outside of what is offered through public? Like extra scans or NIPT test?

I just did regular public care at the MVC nearest to where I live smile.gif And I chose to deliver at the hospital in Borås, which I cannot recommend highly enough (if you live anywhere near it!)

I did no extras - however, it is worth mentioning that I was already 14 weeks pregnant when I had immigrated to Sweden. So, I already had 4 scans (including a 3D NT scan) as well as the NIPT test and Counsyl genetic testing done as part of my routine care back in California before coming to Sweden. I hear the NIPT can be pretty expensive here - last I read, it was approx. 8000kr. My insurance back home reduced my liability for it to only about $80 ohmy.gif As much as I'd love to have it done here again when we try for #2, I think I won't bother. We want the gender to be a surprise, and even if the baby had Downs or Turner's, it's not like we would abort the pregnancy anyway. Those things usually can be detected at the anatomy scan at 20 weeks anyway, so I suppose it's worth waiting 10 extra weeks and save $1000 biggrin.gif
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Newbie2017
post 16.Jun.2017, 10:08 AM
Post #6
Joined: 13.Jun.2017

Thanks all!
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