Birth | Western Cape Government


Antenatal (Pre-Birth) Health Services

Pregnant girls and women are referred to maternity services or Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs) in urban areas and satellite or fixed clinics in the rural areas. MOUs are birthing units run by midwives in the community for primary healthcare patients. It's advisable for expectant mothers to book their first visit to the clinic before 20 weeks or as soon as possible thereafter.

Applying for a birth certificate in South Africa

A birth certificate will be issued for your child once you’ve registered your child at the Department of Home Affairs

Birth/Labour Services

Mothers can deliver at fixed clinics or Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs), which are run by midwives in the community for primary healthcare patients. If complications arise during birth then they will be transferred to a hospital up the line. Mothers who are HIV positive can join the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission service.

Exclusive Breastfeeding

(Public Information)
This brochure provides information to mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of their babies' lives. The pamphlet also answers some of the tricky questions about breastfeeding.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Prevention and Treatment

Give your baby the best start in life – No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.

Human Genetic Services (Birth Defects)

It is estimated that 150 000 children born annually in South Africa are affected by a significant birth defect or genetic disorder by the age of five years. The National Department of Health focuses on 10 conditions, with the most common conditions being: Albinism Downs Syndrome Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Neural tube defects (spina bifida) The Western Cape also focuses on these conditions (except for albinism, which has a low incidence), with FAS having the highest priority.

Post-Natal (After Birth) Health Care

Post natal services become available after the mother and her newborn have been discharged from the MOU or Clinic. This usually happens six hours after the birth if both mother and baby are in good health.  Visit your nearest clinic for postnatal care within 3 days after discharge from the birthing unit. After The Birth

Pregnancy Testing

Women and girls whose menstrual periods are one or more weeks late are advised to have a pregnancy test.

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)

Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the most common way young children contract the virus and happens when HIV is passed from a mother to her unborn baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.  An effective Prevention of Mother to Child Transmissions (PMTCT) programme requires mothers and their babies to:

Registering the birth of your child

Once you register your child, you’ll receive an unabridged/complete birth certificate free of charge. If you’re in South Africa you need to register your child at a Department of Home Affairs (DHA) office, and if you’re overseas you need to register your child at a South African embassy or consulate.