HSE cutbacks biting….

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    This is only a small incident, but I thought I’d bring it to your attention. Maybe members could help.

    During the week I contacted the public health nurse in advance of the birth of my next one (due very shortly).

    I was aware that she hadn’t come in contact with me before, as that nurse has moved, & that she might not know my history. As a third time mum, I reckoned I might get one flying visit & then be presumed to be ok.

    My doctor had advised me to contact her as I’d had post-natal depression with my first lad, & being a long way from family support & with hubby away a lot, & small kids, I could be vulnerable to getting it again – even though I was fine last time. Basically, she told me she was covering two areas as another nurse was out on sick leave & not being replaced, & that once was probably as much as I’d see her.

    My concern is that this kind of cutback could leave a lot of women very vulnerable, as PND can take weeks or months to take hold, especially when we consider the strains that many relationships are under for economic & other reasons. Also women often don’t really know what is wrong with them. At least, I didn’t for a long time. I fear there may be a tragedy at some stage.

    I’d just like to ask readers to consider paying extra attention to new mums they know (even just aquaintances) & to be proactive in getting them help if they are concerned, as officially they may not be on anybody’s radar.


    Thats awful, only one visit from the PHN?

    When I had my first baby I had an episiotomy and was in pain for weeks after the birth and I thought this was normal and it was my PHN, who having visited me a few times, noticed I was walking stiffly and asked me what was wrong. When I told her she said it sounded like an infection and I ended up in my GP’s office that day and on an anti-biotic straight away. The wound had not been stitched correctly and I had an infection and was very sick. If not for the PHN, I would have gone on like it was normal for longer and would have become much worse.

    Thats worrying and you’re right Pookie, it could mean things get missed. Do you have some good friends & neighbours you can lean on if you need some help when baby arrives?

    Is there a public health centre near you? there may be a feeding group or somewhere you can go regularly with the kids to chat with other parents and get some support.

    There are Mumstown get togethers each month in Dundalk & Drogheda you could come along to? there is also a breastfeeding group each Wednesday in Costa coffee in the marshes, with some lovely mums who are very supportive of each other.

    Hope you can make it some of these events, the children are welcome too and it will be a place for you to have some company, especially when your hubby is away.

    when is babs due? how are you feeling?


    I only ever had one visit as far as I remember…..they came out about a week after the baby was born or a few days after home with a csection. I wouldn’t have depended on them and certainly didnt get much advice, help.

    It should be better, especially for first time mums. I have seen mums leaving hospital a day after birth and how can you possibly be confident and know what to do…its a big change in your life. Mums need backup at home.


    Sabbi, I’m due in 2-3 weeks. I’m hoping to join that group in Costa’s & maybe finally get attend the mumstown meet in dundalk


    Please come along pookie, its such a nice bunch of mums and the Bagel bar are lovely to us, they give out free bagel bites and we get freebies some months too. sometimes there are elave and Irish Breeze samples, which are ideal for you with a new baby on the way!

    The breastfeeding group is great too, Jacqueline is brilliant and a great support to mums who want some support or just some companionship when feeding and the upstairs area of costa is very cosy with nice chairs that have arms and lots of privacy.

    highly recommend both events. The bf one is on each week and the monthly one, is the 1st Thursday of each month, so the next one takes place on Thursday 3rd feb….we’ll probably get some sort of chocolate goodies in advance of valentines day…nice!!


    i had 2 sections, on first baby phn visited day after i got home, on 2nd baby it was 3 days after i got home – after that i only saw them for baby’s checks in the centre – they do have a drop in – in the mornings but thankfully i only had to avail of this once when dd1 was 3.5weeks old. I do agree should be better


    With my DD the PHN called out once to do the heel prick test 3 days after I took her home. Other than that I only saw her when i brought DD to check ups. This was in Meath.
    This time around Im now back in Drogheda and have had two visits so far. Its only been 9 days since I took DS home from hospital. The PHN also gave me numbers to call 24/7 if i need help and they said that they usually call every week to see first time mums and phone 2nd and 3rd time mums every week to see if they are ok.


    didn’t realise you’d had your ds Susie – congrats


    Wouldn’t you know it, Sabbi, I’m due Feb 3rd!

    The last few meetings I missed coz of ob-gyn appointments in Drog. The only one I got to was the one that was cancelled because of the snow!!!!

    If I’m still waddling around or am home with a babby, I’ll certainly pop down.

    I moved to Mayo for a 8 months when DS2 was a week old. A nurse saw me before I left Dundlak & in Mayo the nurse visited me the very next day. She was brill. She basically rang every week to see did I want a visit & I was free to ring her if I was worried. Just the reassurance was fab.

    First time round, they missed the PND until I landed on their doorsteps in bits. I suppose you can just be lucky or unlucky


    Hiya Pookie2-

    In addition to the Costa Breastfeeding support group that I facilitate, there is the monthly Mumstown Event on the 1st Thurs of Every month upstairs in the Marshes Foodcourt.

    Also the following Parent/Baby Playgroups in Dundalk Area:

    Wednesdays @10am: Muirehavenamor Playgroup in bldg next to Dundalk Boxing Club. Free of charge

    Thursday’s @10:30 am: Redeemer Playgroup in Redeemer Resource Centre. Free of charge

    Friday’s @10 am: Blackrock Playgroup in Community Centre. €4 charge.

    I know from personal experience that having company is so important. All my family are in Vietnam/California so I can empathize at how isolating motherhood can be once the new baby visitors are gone!

    I also know there is a PND group in Drogheda:

    have pnd and intrested in coming to an informal support group? im holding peer to peer support sessions in my home with my friends with pnd. email me at dordormurphy2010@hotmail.com if you are interested in coming along. x

    Feel free to PM for additional resources as I have a few other contacts I am more than happy to put you in touch with 😉



    Many thanks, Caligal. Good to know all this!

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