Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Family Support Centre

Maternity Protection

Since 1 January 2018, the Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz) also applies to students and trainees. The aim of this law is to protect the health of expectant and nursing mothers and their children at the mothers’ place of work or study during pregnancy, the postpartum period and the first year of the baby’s life. The law aims to ensure that students can continue their studies without facing any health risks during this period. It is thus essential for you to notify the university of your pregnancy.

Furthermore, Humboldt University is required to notify the relevant supervisory authorities of any pregnancies immediately. Hence the importance of promptly notifying the university when you are pregnant.

The Maternity Protection Act protects women in particular during the six weeks before the due date and eight weeks following the birth (in exceptional cases it may be 12 weeks). The general assumption is that you will not be pursuing your studies then. However, students can opt out of this protection period. Even if they do, they are still fully covered by the accident insurance of the HU as well as their health insurance during this time.


Maternity protection process

For more information on the process as well as the corresponding paperwork, please see the Student Service Centre (SSC) website.

Your pregnancy notification, questions about the risk assessment procedure, and the result of the risk assessment should be sent to or by post to:

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Referat Studierendenservice


- vertraulich -

Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin.

Nursing during the first year

In the first 12 months after the birth of your child, nursing breaks are stipulated by the Maternity Protection Act. If you bring your child with you to the university, you can use the various family rooms for nursing, taking breaks and changing nappies. To see where the rooms are located, see the “On Campus with Kids” page.

Compensation for disadvantage

If you are unable to meet the minimum attendance requirement of 75% of the lectures due to pregnancy or maternity, you can lodge a request with your lecturer for compensation for disadvantage (Nachteilsausgleich). You may do the same if you are unable to sit exams for the aforementioned reasons. For more information on this subject, see the “Study Organisation” page.


Leave of absence/Part-time studies

Students have the opportunity to take a leave of absence or switch to a part-time study programme. For more information on this subject, see the “Study Organisation” page. If you are a BAföG recipient and are considering taking leave for one or more semesters or switching to a part-time study programme, please inform yourself of the ways in which it may affect your funding. For more information, see the “Financial Support” page.


Maternity protection and teaching semester (master’s in teaching)

If your maternity protection period overlaps with your teaching semester, you must notify both your academic department as well as the site (the school) where you are doing your teaching semester. The latter must produce a special risk assessment certification. For more information, go to the Professional School of Education website.