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Old 06.05.2012, 17:57
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Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

I am an EU citizen with B permit and I just found out that my girlfriend is 2 month pregnant. As she lives in the UK we are discussing different ways of giving birth in Switzerland. I have looked around on this forum and not found very different answers to this topic. I would be very grateful if you had any experiences to share:

1. I understand EU15 citizens can stay in Switzerland provided that they register at the canton and have health insurance. This is what all "Welcome to Switzerland" publications say. Is this also the case for pregnant women?

2. Can the insurance companies refuse her health insurance due to the fact that she was already pregnant when she arrived in Switzerland?

3. Is there a difference to 2) above if we get married? We are thinking about it anyway so I may just be more practical now.

4. If you are granted basic health insurance in Switzerland, does this cover giving birth or will there be additional costs for the specialists, hospital stay etc etc?

thank you
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Old 06.05.2012, 18:11
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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I am an EU citizen with B permit and I just found out that my girlfriend is 2 month pregnant. As she lives in the UK we are discussing different ways of giving birth in Switzerland. I have looked around on this forum and not found very different answers to this topic. I would be very grateful if you had any experiences to share:

1. I understand EU15 citizens can stay in Switzerland provided that they register at the canton and have health insurance. This is what all "Welcome to Switzerland" publications say. Is this also the case for pregnant women?

2. Can the insurance companies refuse her health insurance due to the fact that she was already pregnant when she arrived in Switzerland?

3. Is there a difference to 2) above if we get married? We are thinking about it anyway so I may just be more practical now.

4. If you are granted basic health insurance in Switzerland, does this cover giving birth or will there be additional costs for the specialists, hospital stay etc etc?

thank you
Insurance companies have to accept any resident for basic insurance & child birth is covered.

Being married makes no difference.
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Old 06.05.2012, 19:01
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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Insurance companies have to accept any resident for basic insurance & child birth is covered.

Being married makes no difference.
It won't make a difference for insurance, but it will if you want the baby to take the father's name. IIRC, the baby will take the mother's name. Anyway, something to look into.
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Old 06.05.2012, 19:36
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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It won't make a difference for insurance, but it will if you want the baby to take the father's name. IIRC, the baby will take the mother's name. Anyway, something to look into.
Hi MiniMia

This is not necessarily the case - it depends on the nationalities involved.

I came to Switzerland 8 months pregnant to join my partner here. I am a British citizen as is my partner. In order for our daughter to have his surname, we had to do a declaration of paternity (which should be done before the birth but can be done afterwards). The Swiss will allow the children of unmarried parents to take the father's surname if it is possible in their home countries.

I would say that being married will make things a lot simpler like the registration of the birth in Switzerland, not having to go through the official setting up of a custody arrangement due to you not being married, not having to get an official statement of your marital status!

I always say that if I had known how expensive and complicated it is to give birth in Switzerland unmarried - I would have done it in the UK or got married before coming here.
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Old 06.05.2012, 19:47
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

To take each point in turn as it applied to me when I arrived: -

"1. I understand EU15 citizens can stay in Switzerland provided that they register at the canton and have health insurance. This is what all "Welcome to Switzerland" publications say. Is this also the case for pregnant women? "

You may need to sign a document and accept you will financially support your girlfriend as she will not be working.

"2. Can the insurance companies refuse her health insurance due to the fact that she was already pregnant when she arrived in Switzerland?"

All insurance companies have to offer basic insurance for pregnant women. You will not be able to get supplementary insurance to pay for a private room etc as she is already pregnant.

"3. Is there a difference to 2) above if we get married? We are thinking about it anyway so I may just be more practical now. "

This will not make a difference to insurance but will remove a lot of extra paperwork needed when registering the birth, not having to arrange a custody agreement, not having to prove marital status, etc

"4. If you are granted basic health insurance in Switzerland, does this cover giving birth or will there be additional costs for the specialists, hospital stay etc etc?"

The basic health insurance will cover giving birth.

There may be additional costs if there are complications with the pregnancy. The rules seem very complicated. If you are ill due to the pregnancy then this may not be covered by your insurance.

The insurance will cover the hospital stay in a public ward (at the University Hospital I was in a public ward with 3 beds - all I can say is this is better than the NHS!) .

I have attached a brochure about being pregnant in Switzerland

Hope that helps
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Broch_Anglais.pdf (279.0 KB, 455 views)
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Old 06.05.2012, 20:44
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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I am an EU citizen with B permit and I just found out that my girlfriend is 2 month pregnant. As she lives in the UK we are discussing different ways of giving birth in Switzerland. I have looked around on this forum and not found very different answers to this topic. I would be very grateful if you had any experiences to share:

1. I understand EU15 citizens can stay in Switzerland provided that they register at the canton and have health insurance. This is what all "Welcome to Switzerland" publications say. Is this also the case for pregnant women?

2. Can the insurance companies refuse her health insurance due to the fact that she was already pregnant when she arrived in Switzerland?

3. Is there a difference to 2) above if we get married? We are thinking about it anyway so I may just be more practical now.

4. If you are granted basic health insurance in Switzerland, does this cover giving birth or will there be additional costs for the specialists, hospital stay etc etc?

thank you
From the standpoint of British nationality law, one could argue that giving birth outside of Britain is a bad idea since the child, while British, will not be able to pass on British nationality to a child also born outside of Britain (unless, of course the spouse or partner is British "otherwise than by descent").

That said, if the pregnant woman arrives in Switzerland with a EHIC and with travel insurance and has a return ticket or can show intent to return to Britain within 30 days, all medical costs ought to be covered. One of my daughters, who had travel insurance bought at the (UK) Post Office had a pregnancy emergency and all the substantial costs were covered, including first-class air return once she was well enough to travel, with limousines to and from the airports.

I can't say for sure that would be the case in the event of travel during the 8th month.

EHIC and travel insurance are not valid once a person has abandoned UK residence for another country, and P.O. travel insurance is valid only for journeys of 30 days or less, unless a long-trip policy is bought.
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthc...-the-ehic.aspx
http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travel/travel-insurance

There are any number of ways to justify establishment of residence in Switzerland. Even trivial self-employment can work if living expenses are otherwise met. Quite apart from simply being EU-citizen unmarried partner of an authorised resident.

As others have said, EU and your (and girlfriend's and child's) UK personal law will apply to naming, legitimacy and other status issues. ECJ jurisprudence, not otherwise directly applicable in Switzerland, has ruled on baby names: Carlos Garcia Avello v Belgium, http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.j...n&num=C-148/02
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Old 07.05.2012, 00:12
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

Thanks for all replies. Seems like we'll go ahead and do it. Although I am a bit worried about the costs linked to complications.
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Old 07.05.2012, 00:15
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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I always say that if I had known how expensive and complicated it is to give birth in Switzerland unmarried - I would have done it in the UK or got married before coming here.
Hi f1fan,

Could you give an example of the costs related to giving birth that you experienced? I assume you had basic health insurance? What wasn't covered by the insurance? Thanks
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Old 07.05.2012, 00:31
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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I have attached a brochure about being pregnant in Switzerland
The brochure was great, thank you!

Am I correct in assuming that all for services not listed as included with full coverage (ie postnatal care after day 10 and other check-ups) you don't pay "full price" but rather 10 % the cost? I'm thinking that with a low franchise of like 300 chf, and paying 10 % of everything that is not included in the full coverage, you shouldn't be able to end up with scary five figure amounts? Or am I wrong?
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Old 07.05.2012, 08:07
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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From the standpoint of British nationality law, one could argue that giving birth outside of Britain is a bad idea since the child, while British, will not be able to pass on British nationality to a child also born outside of Britain (unless, of course the spouse or partner is British "otherwise than by descent").

That said, if the pregnant woman arrives in Switzerland with a EHIC and with travel insurance and has a return ticket or can show intent to return to Britain within 30 days, all medical costs ought to be covered. One of my daughters, who had travel insurance bought at the (UK) Post Office had a pregnancy emergency and all the substantial costs were covered, including first-class air return once she was well enough to travel, with limousines to and from the airports.

I can't say for sure that would be the case in the event of travel during the 8th month.

EHIC and travel insurance are not valid once a person has abandoned UK residence for another country, and P.O. travel insurance is valid only for journeys of 30 days or less, unless a long-trip policy is bought.
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthc...-the-ehic.aspx
http://www.postoffice.co.uk/travel/travel-insurance

There are any number of ways to justify establishment of residence in Switzerland. Even trivial self-employment can work if living expenses are otherwise met. Quite apart from simply being EU-citizen unmarried partner of an authorised resident.

As others have said, EU and your (and girlfriend's and child's) UK personal law will apply to naming, legitimacy and other status issues. ECJ jurisprudence, not otherwise directly applicable in Switzerland, has ruled on baby names: Carlos Garcia Avello v Belgium, http://curia.europa.eu/juris/liste.j...n&num=C-148/02
The children will be British, whether you are married or not. We have had a baby here, it takes British nationality when born here if you are British yourself.
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Old 07.05.2012, 08:08
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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The brochure was great, thank you!

Am I correct in assuming that all for services not listed as included with full coverage (ie postnatal care after day 10 and other check-ups) you don't pay "full price" but rather 10 % the cost? I'm thinking that with a low franchise of like 300 chf, and paying 10 % of everything that is not included in the full coverage, you shouldn't be able to end up with scary five figure amounts? Or am I wrong?
Yes this is correct.
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Old 07.05.2012, 10:49
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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The brochure was great, thank you!

Am I correct in assuming that all for services not listed as included with full coverage (ie postnatal care after day 10 and other check-ups) you don't pay "full price" but rather 10 % the cost? I'm thinking that with a low franchise of like 300 chf, and paying 10 % of everything that is not included in the full coverage, you shouldn't be able to end up with scary five figure amounts? Or am I wrong?
I suggest you read a bit about how health insurance works generally...

But to give you a basic overview:

You choose your franchise (e.g. 300 chf)

You pay your monthly premiums.

You pay for your medical treatment up to the cost of the franchise. (I'm talking generally here, I have no experience of what is or is not covered in pregnancy).

Once you have passed your franchise, you pay 10% (the quote-part, here in French-speaking Switzerland) of any further medical costs up to a cap of 700 chf. If you have a run of bad health and you go over that cap, your medical costs are fully covered.

So if you go for a 300 chf franchise, the most you will pay on top of that (i.e. your 10% quote-part) will be 700 chf. So 1000 chf. Plus the monthly premiums, of course.

So no, you shouldn't end up with scary five figure amounts, for this pregnancy or for any other illness!

However be aware not all bills come promptly. I took a late night trip to A&E in February. I'm still waiting for the bill.

Oh, and ambulances are another kettle of fish. Expensive... and your health insurance may only cover 50% of the cost of the trip. Not sure if that applies to pregnancy or not... perhaps someone can shed some light on this?

Last edited by Vlh22; 07.05.2012 at 10:51. Reason: Thought of something else
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Old 07.05.2012, 11:34
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

There is no franchise for childbirth, regardless of the actual franchise you have agreed!

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I suggest you read a bit about how health insurance works generally...

But to give you a basic overview:

You choose your franchise (e.g. 300 chf)

You pay your monthly premiums.

You pay for your medical treatment up to the cost of the franchise. (I'm talking generally here, I have no experience of what is or is not covered in pregnancy).

Once you have passed your franchise, you pay 10% (the quote-part, here in French-speaking Switzerland) of any further medical costs up to a cap of 700 chf. If you have a run of bad health and you go over that cap, your medical costs are fully covered.

So if you go for a 300 chf franchise, the most you will pay on top of that (i.e. your 10% quote-part) will be 700 chf. So 1000 chf. Plus the monthly premiums, of course.

So no, you shouldn't end up with scary five figure amounts, for this pregnancy or for any other illness!

However be aware not all bills come promptly. I took a late night trip to A&E in February. I'm still waiting for the bill.

Oh, and ambulances are another kettle of fish. Expensive... and your health insurance may only cover 50% of the cost of the trip. Not sure if that applies to pregnancy or not... perhaps someone can shed some light on this?
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Old 07.05.2012, 11:46
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

I just arrived from the US and am going to be giving birth here. As long as she's a resident, getting health insurance here is absolutely no issue. And as far as arranging everything with doctors appointments, there have been no hassles except for our current lack of German.

As far as getting married goes, I would say it would be much easier. Even though in the US, the child can have the father's last name, the canton we live in has been somewhat challenging to navigate. Make sure you have all the required documents to prove paternity (for me, I have to prove that I am not married in the US, we both need birth certificates less than 6 months old, passports, residency cards, etc).
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Old 07.05.2012, 11:49
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

Let me explain what happened with me:

I had a franchise of 300chf on my medical insurance, I became pregnant and had a very complicated pregnancy.

My initial DR's appointments were all fully covered by my insurance - i didnt pay anything

When I needed hospital treatment for severe sickness this was classed as illness and as such was subject to my franchise. The bill came to 2500 for 5 days - of that i needed to pay 300 (leaving a balance of 2200) and then a further 220 chf (the 10%)

I needed additional stays in hospital and again I only paid the 10% until i had reached the 700 chf limit.

When it came to the birth - I didnt need to pay anything at all.

So - even with a complicated pregnancy and with lots of dr visit and hospital admissions I paid 1000chf in total for my medical care (plus the monthly fee)

Hope that helps
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Old 07.05.2012, 11:53
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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There is no franchise for childbirth, regardless of the actual franchise you have agreed!
Hiya, it depends on what happens. For regular childbirth everything is 0 franchise definitely. However if there are any complications, or tests you have which are outside what is considered normal childbirth, then these are considered sickness and will go on your franchise.
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Old 07.05.2012, 12:37
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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The children will be British, whether you are married or not. We have had a baby here, it takes British nationality when born here if you are British yourself.
Of course they will. But the child's progeny, born outside of Britain, if the other parent is not "British otherwise than by descent" would not usually be British at birth (there are exceptions for Crown and EU servants) and some fancy footwork and residence in Britain would be needed to register the child as British. See 4.2.3. at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/si...r4?view=Binary

Not necessarily a concern, except that the son of an old friend, born in Ivory Coast, married a Danish woman (also born in Africa I think; her father is a business rep for a shipping firm) and while working in Tunisia they had a baby there. The baby is not British but Danish, with the right of abode in the UK fixed by EU, not UK law. There are arcane rules for registering the child as British. See para. 3 here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61

It is possible for the child of two British citizens to be stateless at birth where both parents and baby were born abroad. Registration as British may be possible but requires careful planning since it makes a difference whether that registration takes place inside the UK or outside it.

Years ago there was no exception for Crown servants and I am aware of offspring of serving soldiers where, because the father was irish and not British, notwithstanding the British nationality of the mother the child did not acquire British nationality.

Britain and the USA are two countries notorious for allowing the offspring of their citizens, born abroad, to be stateless. Switzerland, unlike Britain, fully implements the Convention for the Reduction of Statelessness and so long as a baby born in Switzerland could have no other nationality, that no foreign consular office or government would accord nationality to that child upon request, the child may be Swiss. http://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDet...pter=5&lang=en (the USA is not a signatory; Britain is)

There is a bunch of case law on this. I haven't looked at the details in some years, and the British Nationality Act 1981 is constantly being tweaked. The above is correct AFAIK and with just a few minutes of online checking just now.
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Old 07.05.2012, 13:07
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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I suggest you read a bit about how health insurance works generally...

But to give you a basic overview:

You choose your franchise (e.g. 300 chf)

You pay your monthly premiums.

You pay for your medical treatment up to the cost of the franchise. (I'm talking generally here, I have no experience of what is or is not covered in pregnancy).

Once you have passed your franchise, you pay 10% (the quote-part, here in French-speaking Switzerland) of any further medical costs up to a cap of 700 chf. If you have a run of bad health and you go over that cap, your medical costs are fully covered.

So if you go for a 300 chf franchise, the most you will pay on top of that (i.e. your 10% quote-part) will be 700 chf. So 1000 chf. Plus the monthly premiums, of course.

So no, you shouldn't end up with scary five figure amounts, for this pregnancy or for any other illness!

However be aware not all bills come promptly. I took a late night trip to A&E in February. I'm still waiting for the bill.

Oh, and ambulances are another kettle of fish. Expensive... and your health insurance may only cover 50% of the cost of the trip. Not sure if that applies to pregnancy or not... perhaps someone can shed some light on this?
My daughter's travel insurance company (the UK Post Office contractor) told her that the total costs of her hospitalisation and return to Britain in connection with her pregnancy were as much as 20,000. Between EHIC and the insurer virtually everything was covered.

My cantonal health insurance office told me that one has 90 days from arrival with intention to change domicile/residence (in the Swiss legal sense, not the British) to register with an approved Swiss insurer, and that the purchase of insurance is retroactive to the first day. Anyone failing to buy insurance is "force-placed" with an insurer, and not necessarily the one s/he would have chosen from the approved list.

The basic law is here (French version):
http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/8/832.10.fr.pdf
I've looked for the regulation concerning retroactive insurance and force-placement, for example here: http://www.vd.ch/themes/sante-social...rance-maladie/ but don't see anything specific reaffirming what I was told. On the other hand, the law clearly states that insurance begins at birth or taking up of domicile. An inquiry to the OCC should yield the answer to how this works.
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Old 07.05.2012, 13:07
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

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There is no franchise for childbirth, regardless of the actual franchise you have agreed!
Hi,

Yes, I am aware of that... but as others have said, there can be costs which aren't covered.

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Hiya, it depends on what happens. For regular childbirth everything is 0 franchise definitely. However if there are any complications, or tests you have which are outside what is considered normal childbirth, then these are considered sickness and will go on your franchise.
And as the OP seemed to be worried about what would happen in that case...
I thought he might find it useful to get an overview of how the health system works generally. I was just trying to reassure him that if there were complications not covered by basic insurance, or if another medical issue came up, that the 10% is capped, so he could work out a 'worst case scenario' of potential medical costs, by calculating premiums + franchise + 10% up to 700 chf.

My apologies if I confused anyone, especially the OP!
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Old 07.05.2012, 20:54
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Re: Girlfriend in UK pregnant - giving birth in Switzerland?

Very informative thank you.

So with 300 chf franchise I understand that worst case, even if you end up with a super complicated pregnancy and/or have postnatal doctor ad midwife check-ups twice a day for 6 months, worst case damage is 300 + 700 chf?
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