Pregnancy in Ireland

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    Hi, I am originally from Uk and am currently livin in ireland.. I just found out I am 8 weeks pregnant :) I am curious to know what is the level of care in Ireland? what scans.. gp visits.. exams and all that stuff happens? I am first time mum and am very anxious and excited !!! any help would really be appreciated :) is there any website or links that tell me all this information.. my gp is not very helpful :(


    Well, first of all, CONGRATS on your pregnancy! and welcome to Mumstown! You’ve come to the right place to get all your info!

    First of all, where are you based? Normally what would happen is that your GP would confirm your pregnancy, and advise the local hospital. Then you would be sent out a letter from the hospital with your booking appointment…. which would be when you’d be go and get checked out for the first time…. (this would be how it would work on the public system)

    If you are going to go private, with a preferred consultant, then you would contact the consultant and go from there…. they’ll advise when you’d have your first appointment etc…

    If you are lucky enough to live in an area where there is a Midwife Led Unit…. you could investigate that route, as all your care is under the midwifes (who would typically deliver your baby anyway, unless there were difficulties)…. I personally would have gone down this road, had I had the option at the time! 😉

    And then of course, you’ve got the homebirth option, and I know a couple of Mums on this site that have been down that road, and could give you advise….

    I think thats it…. no doubt others will come on and clarify if I’ve left something out. I had both of mine in Donegal, and the first option is how it worked for me…. 😉

    I came to the country 7 months pregnant… and was blown away by the whole midwife system…. as in S Africa, you would always be under the care of a gynae from the outset, through to delivery…. So it was all very very strange for me. But I can’t fault Donegal, they were brilliant with me and my two! 🙂


    Congrats Clareflan,

    I think chewie made some excellent points there. I had two hospital births, one semi-private and one private. For me, I was not entirely happy with my hospital experiences, so i had baby number 3 at home and that was totally fab!

    Currently expecting number 4 and going down the home birth route again.

    My sister lives in UK and she had two babies there and from speaking with her, it seems one of the main differences is active management of labour, which is more common in certain hospitals here than over there.

    A great book, specifically written for women having babies in Ireland, is called ‘The Better Birth Book’. I would thoroughly recommend this, it gives details on the poslicies of every Irish maternity hospital at the back, its brilliant information and a very good book for mums-to-be in Ireland to read.

    Thats is a good one to start with. Also, check out the banner on top there that says ‘Gentlebirth’ I did that on baby number 3 and was able to manage my labour much better than with the other two, it was great.

    Hope some of that helps, there is a good mum-to-be section on here and there is an ‘ask the expert’ birth & pregnancy too so you can pop any questions you have in those sections too.

    Again congrats, so exciting!


    Hi Clareflan,

    i am also from UK as well & i have to say that i cant fault the maternity care here in ireland…you do get very well looked after and for a change it can be free if you go down public route….

    first step go to doctors & get them to refer you to your chosen hospital…& make decision whether you want to go public or pay privately….

    the big difference here is care of the mum…so make sure you speak up for yourself with any issues or worries you may be experiencing..

    afterwards in Uk you get home visits from a midwife each day after you leave unless you choose a Midwife Led unit you will be left pretty much on your own once you leave …which i found a big family in uk couldnt believe I was just sent home from hospital….

    but I would say you should have no worries at all..even with the awful stories in past from OLOL…everything has changed so much since those days so enjoy your pregnancy & know you are in safe hands with the Irish system….



    just read yr GP is not helpful…once you get to the ante natal clinic you will get much more info on your pregnancy…but I would also say if you get any worries before you get that appointment each maternity hospital has an Early pregnancy unit so if you get any worrying signs or you are very anxious you should be able to be seen before this date & possibly have an early scan to set your mind at rest…

    i think you can refer yrself by going to the A&E department or get yr doc to write a note & you should be able to go same day….which is a very good service…


    Hi i am in the same boat as you, i am from England but have been living here for a few years now. Where as at home you meet a midwife at the beginning you visit throughout your pregnancy here your appointments vary between visiting your own doctor and visiting the hospital. My experience is that at the hospital i never saw the same midwife or doctor and wont meet the midwife who will deliver my baby until i am going into labour.!!!!

    I cant help but feel jealous of my friends at home who get to know their midwife threw their pregnancy .

    When you go to your doctors first to tell them you are pregnant they will ask if you want to go public or private. If you go public you get a round 10 free doctors appointments plus all your hospital appointments are free. If you go private i think the only difference is you get to see the same doctor at hospital each time. Also after you have given birth you have your own room. But this is only there is one avalable. So public all the way for me!
    I am now 28 weeks, so just in the 3rd trimester. Where are you living? I am in cork, let me know if you want any more advice its nice to chat to someone in the same situation as me.


    Congrats Bexter, I am 25 weeks so just behind you!

    We are having our second home birth, with the same midwife and it is very easy and comfortable. Feel very well looked after and cared for and excellent continuity of care.

    I have heard the MLU’s in Cavan and Drogheda are fantastic, it is all midwife led care, no consultants or doctors. Is there any MLU type options in Cork where the care is midwife led?

    Seems to me the midwives are the ones who know it all, I would much rather a good midwife than the most expensive consultant available.

    Hope you are feeling well and enjoying your pregnancy 😉

    Clare – hope some of this is helpful for you.

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