Find out about antenatal classes and the schedule of prenatal examinations and scans under the Spanish healthcare system…

As soon as a pregnancy is suspected, contact a CAP (Centro de Asistencia Primaria) to make an appointment with a midwife (comadrona/llevadora). This visit is to confirm the pregnancy, examine the expectant mother and organise routine blood tests and an early ultra sound scan. All the information about scans, blood tests and your pregnancy will be recorded in a pregnancy booklet (cartilla de embarazo), which should be brought along to all visits.

Generally (although this may vary), pre-natal examinations will be given by a doctor or midwife. The schedule of examinations is as follows, but may vary from clinic to clinic:

  • Every 4 weeks up to 32 weeks. The mother is seen by the midwife and attends the hospital for scans
  • Every 2 weeks after 32 weeks (in most regions in Spain). If there are complications with the health of the mother or baby, visits will be weekly, with a second scan at 36 weeks
  • Between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, the midwife does a compulsory group B streptococcus test (Note, this applies to state hospitals only; in most private hospitals it must be requested – one in four pregnant women have the bacteria Strep B)

Regular pre-natal care is required in order to continually monitor maternal and foetal well-being, to monitor the progress of pregnancy and for early detection of deviations from normal. A scan is normally carried out every trimester.

Prenatal Education

Some clinics, both public and private, provide a complete pre-natal education programme. The course should include preparation for labour (what to expect), breathing and relaxation techniques and preparation for infant feeding.

In most cases the education or prenatal classes start in the 25th week. Most classes invite partners as well.

With contributions by Dawn Blythe S.R.N. R.M. (UK), a British trained midwife who has worked with expatriate communities worldwide. Currently with The English Medical Clinic, Albir Tel: 966 868 013 / e-mail