A prescribed time-out for mothers, fathers, families, if everything gets too much.


Especially after childbirth, one in seven mothers have the feeling that everything is overwhelming  them. The work at home, the new child, the life as a wife, the other children and then there is their own body, which has changed and is still changing.
Sometimes the feeling is so heavy and dark that it threatens to swallow everything - an indication for postpartum depression or burn-out.
It is important to have a network, to find partners who can help.

When the diagnosis has been made, the therapy has started there is often the question on  how does one get back into everyday life after all this being stable and capable?

Mutter/Vater-Kind KUR

can be the answer - this concept is not widely known, although even anchored in the German law (Sozialgesetzbuch): every four years - in special cases even more often - mothers and fathers are entitled to this three-week time-out.
The prerequisite is a doctor's prescription and approval from the health insurance.

But am I entitled to such a cure?

A health stay is granted as rehabilitation for chronic illnesses, but also after a special personal trauma such as bereavement, separation from the partner and more.
Postpartum depression or stressful situations are also reasons for a time-out on prescription.

First Steps

First of all, you should see your family doctor (Hausarzt), who will determine the reason for the stay and fill out the application form.

The doctor can download it from his or her practice software. It may be that further diagnoses from other specialists have to be added. Especially if the child is also to be treated, an additional form must be filled out Form 65.
This is filled out by the paediatrician. The health insurance must approves the treatment.
Finally, the health insurance will approve and offer you more information on what, where and when.

Next steps

Once you have submitted your application, you should look for a suitable clinic.
Everyone has the right to choose and can name their wish to the health insurance.
However, the request should be well-founded.

There are clinics with different specialisations. Especially if you have several diagnoses, you should try to find a clinic that covers all of them. Of course, the location and leisure facilities are also important. The concepts also vary: many clinics focus on relieving the mother, and so the children are looked after during meals, among other things. Others, however, see your stay as an opportunity to strengthen the bond between mother and children and thus place an emphasis on spending time together.

There are also clinics that have English-speaking staff. For international mothers/fathers, it is definitely recommended to call the selected clinic. This way you can get accurate information about the language barrier.

Is there any help with this?

There are organisations that offer their help in applying for and choosing a clinic/SPA.
Some of them are listed below for your reference, but the homepages are all in German.

We would recommend to call them as most of them so speak English.


Who pays for the cure?

The health insurance company pays for the treatment. You only have to pay a small daily contribution.

You do not have to apply for leave. The approval is valid as a certificate of incapacity for work, but of course you need to inform you employer.

What about the children?

Children are allowed to travel with you up to a maximum of 12 or, in exceptional cases, 14 years of age, even outside of holidays. Some of the clinics even offer school lessons. However, schoolchildren must be granted leave of absence.

How long do I have to wait for a Mutter/Vater-Kind Kur?

It takes a few weeks from the time you apply to the health insurance fund until you are approved. 

How does a stay look like?

A stay lasts at least 3 weeks. Everyone receives a therapy plan on the first day, which is usually well-filled. A wide variety of holistic therapies are combined. There is a sports program, discussions, creative activities and nutritional counselling. The children usually have their own program adapted to their age. There are also institutions that are specialized in babies.

And after the time out?

The challenge is to take the experiences and resolutions home and implement them in everyday life. The family situation should be stabilised and life should become easier.
A time-out is like a new start in everyday family life - as a team.


October 2021 - Dr. Christine Krämer
This blog post has been prepared with the greatest possible care and does not claim to be correct, complete or up-to-date.“ Picture credit: Adobe Stock licensed

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