Under Bulgarian law, if you are pregnant, you belong to а vulnerable group. Thus, you have a right and need to receive special care and proper medical help.
Monitoring your pregnancy
Immediately inform a social worker or an aid worker at your reception center that you are pregnant. They can help you get a referral to a gynecologist from your general practitioner (your doctor). The gynecologist can monitor your pregnancy.
An unmonitored pregnancy poses a serious risk both to your own health and the health of your baby.
Because you are an asylum-seeker, the State Agency for Refugees pays your health insurance. As a pregnant woman, you don’t need to pay any medical fees. All your exams are free of charge in Bulgaria.
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy
Here are some useful tips on how to take care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy:
- Eat regularly and as nutritiously as possible. Consume food rich in protein such as eggs, beans, and dairy products. Fish is also full of protein, vitamin D, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the development of your baby’s nervous system.
- Fasting for Ramadan during pregnancy may pose a challenge for pregnant Muslim women. If you plan to fast you should meet with your health care provider before Ramadan to discuss if it is safe for you and your baby.
- Be careful about food hygiene. Thoroughly wash utensils, fruits and vegetables, as well as your hands.
- Drink water regularly. The amount of water in your body increases during pregnancy to help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
- Unless your doctor advises you to the contrary, do moderate exercise regularly. It has many benefits for you and also for your baby.
- Decrease the level of caffeine you consume.
- Get enough sleep and rest. Avoid lifting heavy items.
- Try to stay calm and avoid stress because it can put the health of your unborn baby at risk.
- Do not consider taking long and unsafe journeys, especially during the final months of your pregnancy.
- Immediately inform your doctor if you think there is something wrong with your unborn baby.
Rights of a pregnant working mother
Learn more about employment conditions and your worker rights in Bulgaria:
If you are employed under an employment contract, you have certain rights as a pregnant woman:
- Your employer should create a safe working environment for you and your baby.
- It is forbidden for pregnant women to work night shifts (from 10 p.m. till 6 a.m.) and more than your regular working hours.
- You have the right to refuse to fulfill a work duty if it is dangerous for your and/or your baby’s health.
- You have the right to maternity leave. In Bulgaria, you can get 410 days for maternity leave, 45 of which you can use before the birth. When the child reaches 6 months, you can transfer maternity leave days to the father. If you have worked at least 12 months prior to taking maternity leave, the National Health Insurance Fund will pay an allowance of 90 percent of your gross salary during these 410 days.
- At the end of your maternity leave, you have the right to parental leave to raise your child until he or she reaches the age of 2. The amount of allowance you should get during this leave is equal to the minimum monthly wage in Bulgaria.