Birth In Tenerife - information on pregnancy, birth and paperwork

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birth in tenerife

This page will attempt to deal with all aspects of having a baby in Tenerife, covering the pregnancy, the birth and the paperwork involved afterwards (but omitting the conception - you can deal with that yourself).

If you're an immigrant to the island (or even just on holiday) and are faced with having the birth there, you may, understandably, be a little apprehensive about what to expect. Will the procedures be different from your home country? How will you communicate, if you can't speak Spanish? Well, read on; this may help.

birth in tenerife


If you discover that you are pregnant, you must first visit your doctor. He or she will initially perform some tests (probably involving a blood and/or urine test) to determine how far gone you are.

It is likely, for prenatal care, if you are using the public service offered by Spanish social security, that you will be referred to the gynaecological department at a hospital.

In the south, this will be Hospiten Sur (aka "Green Hospital") in Playa de Las Americas; in the north, it will be the large hospital at Candelaria. On average, you will have three scans during the pregnancy.

If, however, you are "going private", you will be able to have scans on a monthly basis.

At Hospiten Sur, many of the doctors speak reasonable English and, if they don't, the hospital will provide an interpreter.

It is quite a good idea to regularly attend prenatal classes, to prepare your pelvic area for the actual birth, for reasons that will become clear further down the page. I've managed to find one centre offering this service. If I find anymore, I'll add them.

Polercise is a general fitness centre situated within Club Flamingo in San Eugenio, Las Americas. It offers pregnancy exercise classes every Tuesday at 6pm. You can phone them on 626 505355.

birth in tenerife

The Birth

When I first wrote this part of the page, I must admit it ended up reading a bit like a horror story for mums-to-be. I based a significant amout of the information I gave on a thread appearing in the Tenerife Forum, where ladies who had been through the Tenerife birth process detailed their experiences (all the posts dating from 2010). Unfortunately, it is no longer available to view, but there were some bad experiences, but also some reasonable ones.

One of my site's visitors, who was about to give birth, read this information and admitted it scared the life out of her. She subsequently gave birth (in Hospiten Sur, Las Americas - the "Green Hospital") and her experience appeared to be one of the more reasonable ones.

Special Cases
Private clinics are not an option for premature births, as they haven't the facilities to offer 24-hour care Older mums-to-be may have to have an amniocentesis, in which case they will have to go to the hospital in Candelaria

She therefore suggested my page's information was out of date and, based on what she told me, some of the old information was indeed incorrect. Here's the updated info.

The Spanish system tends to favour "natural" childbirth and, to this end, gas and air is still not an option. However, you can now get an epidural in the south (at the "Green Hospital" at least) if you request one and don't need to transfer to Candelaria for it. This is available at any time.

Contrary to what I said, in most cases, the baby's father is allowed in for the labour and subsequent birth and may even be invited to cut the umbilical cord.

Finally, the baby is not removed from the mother as soon as it is born, although it will be taken away periodically for short periods of time for routine tasks, such as measuring (height and weight), tests and bathing.

I still feel, judging from that forum thread, that it's a bit like pot luck how well you are treated. It probably depends very much on which hospital you attend.

There is an English midwife operating out of Las Americas.
Jane Goldman is affiliated with Perfect Health in FaƱabe and she can be contacted on their number:
686 746970

birth in tenerife

After The Birth

Paperwork for a birth is a lot more straightforward than the equivalent for marriages and deaths; you merely need to register the birth at an official registry office.

Ideally, this should be done within eight days of the birth, but you have an absolute limit of 30 days to do this, if you can supply a satisfactory reason for the delay. If you miss the deadline, be prepared for a lengthy and expensive adventure in the Spanish courts before a birth certificate is issued.

Registration with the appropriate authority in Tenerife is essential if the child is to be eligible for state schooling and other benefits of social security.

You will be given a yellow form by the hospital where the birth took place and you should take this in person to the local Registry Office in the area.

In the case of married parents, either the mother or the father may do this (plus the option of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or brothers/sisters-in-law). Your NIE card will be required.

In the case of non-married parents, both of you must be present, with your respective NIE cards. You must also provide proof of the mother's marital status (if divorced, for example, a copy of the divorce certificate).

To find the address of your local Registry Office, try this website. It's in Spanish and comes up as Santa Cruz, by default, but there's a clickable list down the left of the box of different municipalities, so you can access details of your local one.

Information entered onto the certificate includes:

  • Name of the new baby
  • Date, time, location of birth
  • Gender of baby
  • Name of parents (if married); mother (if not)
  • File number of birth (official stuff)
  • Time of registration

birth in tenerife

For British Citizens

UK nationals living in Tenerife may also like to register the birth of their baby in their home country. This is possible through the British Consulate-General in Madrid.

Full details of how to do this, plus the documentation required, can be found here.

There - at long last, everything done! So, finally, congratulations!

birth in tenerife

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