Pregnant? A baby on the way? Don't miss out on these financial benefits!
During the course of your pregnancy, you’ll fortunately have several months to prepare financially for your little one's arrival. You can supplement your family budget with numerous financial benefits, both before and after your pregnancy. Discover which benefits and premiums you’re entitled to below.
1. Maternity Allowance, Starting Amount or Birth Premium
The main financial bonus is the Starting Amount, which is also known as the Maternity Allowance or Birth Premium. You can request this from the sixth month of your pregnancy. The amount may vary depending on where you live.
|Starting Amount in Flanders||Maternity Allowance in Brussels||Maternity Allowance in Wallonia|
|1st Birth||1214,49 euros||1314,61 euros||1.314,61 euros|
|Subsequent Birth||1214,49 euros||597,55 euros||1.314,61 euros|
2. Newborn baby gift or premium from your health insurance fund
Affiliated with a health insurance fund? Then you’re entitled to a package of newborn baby gifts or a premium, or both. CM, for example, allows you to choose either a premium or a newborn baby gift. Health insurance funds allocate a fairly large budget for this, so don't forget to keep it in mind. It’s also worth checking what your newborn baby gift will comprise, prior to creating your birth list. You can only apply for this benefit following the birth of your baby.
3. Additional premiums or reimbursements
In addition to the above birth-related benefits, many health insurance funds offer additional premiums or reimbursements, both before and after the birth of your baby. Keen to pursue pregnancy yoga or swimming classes during your pregnancy? Then you could be entitled to a refund. Following the birth of your baby, your health insurance fund will also reimburse the majority of the costs associated with perinatal physiotherapy. Alternatively, your baby might be entitled to a free baby massage! How wonderful!
4. Breastfeeding premium
Planning to breastfeed? Some health insurance funds provide a breastfeeding premium as an extra incentive.
5. Maternity Care
Maternity Care is yet another benefit that’s fully reimbursed by your health insurance fund. This provides for a maternity assistant who regularly visits your home in the first few months following the birth, to help with household chores. An extra pair of hands that’s more than welcome!
6. Childbirth Allowance for low-income households
Is your family on a low income? Some towns and cities will provide you with a financial boost. The City of Leuven, for example, provides a Childbirth Allowance of 214.78 euros (in 2020).
7. Hospitalisation insurance
If you’re planning to have a baby, then it’s best to take out hospitalisation insurance prior to conception. A good hospitalisation insurance will not only cover the additional costs associated with a single room in the maternity unit, but will also contribute to any other medical or pharmacy costs for you and your baby.
8. Rail travel
The financial benefits can sometimes come from unexpected quarters. Did you know that you can enjoy first class train travel at no extra cost during the last four months of your pregnancy? You must be able to produce a medical certificate in order to do so. As if that huge bump wasn’t evidence enough!
Whilst all those financial extras certainly come in handy; they may not be number one on your list of priorities. Spending time with your baby always comes first. Fortunately, you can also take advantage of various leave schemes tailored to your family circumstances, which enable you to free up that time without suffering the financial consequences. Maternity Leave, Birth Leave, Parental Leave and Time Credit are the most common.