You're reading

Denmark’s state-funded ‘hotels’ for new mums


In Denmark, a state programme enables mothers access to two days of care to get their new-born babies healthy and ready for life. Mothers at Copenhagen's Hvidovre Hospital, regardless of income or social status, have access to the care to give their children an equal start to their first days.

The public programme is among Denmark’s generous public childcare policies; new parents staying at Hvidovre Hospital are offered a combined 52 weeks of leave, during which a mother is guaranteed 18 weeks at full pay.

People in other countries who don’t have money to get access to childbirth care might not be able to offer their children “the same possibilities or the best start in life”, says Sara Vang Ipsen, who recently gave birth to her first child, a baby boy, at Hvidovre. “It would kind of divide society, whereas here it is for everybody.”

To comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Capital, please head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.

If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter called "If You Only Read 6 Things This Week". A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Around the bbc