Menu
Menu

Spain Flag Spain

Country Overview

Business Culture

Clothing Size Guides

Communications

Cost of Living

Culture and Society

Demographics

Driving and Autos

Economy and Trade

Education

Educational Resources

Environment

Export Process

Food Culture and Drink

Geography

Government

Health and Medical

History

Holidays and Festivals

Import Process

Language

Kids' Stuff

LGBTQ+

Life Stages

Maps

Media Outlets

Money and Banking

Music

Names

National Symbols

Points of Interest

Quality of Life

Real Estate

Religion

Security Briefing

Social Indicators

Travel Essentials

Life Stages: Birth

Roman Catholicism is Spain’s predominant religion and, even though few Spaniards visit church regularly, lavish Catholic rituals mark the life stages of almost every Spaniard. The birth of a baby is an important occasion in Spanish society, and it calls for a large social event at which the family displays its generosity and economic status. The Roman Catholic baptismal ceremony, or christening, takes place in the church and is essential for every newborn baby. This rite signifies the new spiritual life that the baptized child is entering. After this ceremony the parents sign the baptismal register and receive a baptismal certificate, which is required later if the child enrolls in a Catholic school.

Spanish society considers having children to be the chief purpose of marriage, and a woman’s life is thought incomplete if she does not bear children. Spaniards are doting parents who look after their babies with the utmost love and care. Infants of both sexes are treated equally, apart from the fact that female infants’ ears are pierced in their first weeks of life. It is common to shave the infants’ head in the belief that it will make their hair grow stronger. Infants usually sleep with parents at first and then move in with their older siblings.

Maternity and infant care is available through the national health care system. Their outstanding performance has given Spain some of the lowest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. Women generally opt to give birth in private hospitals. Home births are usually not available in Spain, although community midwives often help with antenatal issues.

Abortion requires permission from the Ministry of Health and is only allowed with the approval of two physical examiners and only in cases of rape, fetal deformation, or endangerment of the pregnant woman’s life.