???? Prenatal care

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    I found out i was pregnant at 7 weeks and went to my GP at 8weeks. She told me that it was likely that I would not get an appointment at the maternity hospital until 16weeks. However when i got the letter from the rotunda my first appointment is not until 26 weeks. I phoned the hospital, who said theywere very busy and not to ring unless it was an emergency or going into labour. I then contacted the GP, the most the GP can offer me is an appointment at 20weeks to check my blood pressure and urine, and not my bloods.

    I’m very excited about being pregnant with my first baby, but feel that nobody is looking after my prenatal needs, the books i have read indicate that more should be being done. Is this what i am to expect or is there another avenue i can explore. Please help.


    Hi Alison,

    I am so sorry to hear this is the experience you are having. The hospitals are so busy nowadays that they find it hard to give appointments – however, 26 weeks does sound far too long to have to wait.

    Is there a practice nurse at your GP’s office you can go and see? You should be able to book in with her and not just your GP. The practice nurse will be able to take your blood pressure and check for the baby’s heartbeat from around 12-13 weeks

    I would also suggest that you ring the hospital again and explain you are a first time mum and that you would really appreciate being seen before that appointment. If you are not happy or are feeling at all anxious, that is not good for you or baby and you can tell them that.

    I’m sure you have all sorts of questions and concerns and must feel that you are not being taken care of properly.

    I’m glad you’ve found Mumstown, this is a great forum to get support and advice so feel free to ask any questions you have on here for starters.

    The birth expert is really very good and can help with any pregnancy related queries you might have. Also, you can read some good pregnancy books such as ‘The Better birth book’ which will give you some information about what to expect as your pregnancy progresses.

    If you feel really strongly about this issue, why not contact your local TD? It is their job to look out for his/her constituents and he/she may be able to give you some advice about getting a better appointment time.

    Hope that helps a little bit.

    Oh and most importantly, Congratulations!!!


    hi alison,
    firstly, congratulations on your pregnancy.
    secondly, i’m sorry that you are having this problem with your appointments. its been three years since i was pregnant and i cant believe the difference in waiting times for the hospital. i was scheduled for my first apt. in the rotunda at 14weeks back then, i ended up going private( and was seen for my first appt at 11weeks) as like you i was concerned about the number and frequencey of appointments i would get. i know that this is not an option for everyone, but i really did gieve me peace of mind throughout my entire pregnancy. if i had any questions at anytime i could phone or visit my consultant at very short notice. i swore if i ever got pregnant again i would beg, borrow or steal themoney so i could go private the next time too. its terrible to think that you have to fork out big bucks just to get some decent level of care these days. i think sabbi is right, contact your local td, department heads in the hospital, anyone you can think of as a matter of fact. Additional letters from your gp may help too. if its one thing i’ve learnt its that the louder you are about these issues the more attention you get. hopefully you will get a good result. good luck.



    I know exactly how you feel. I’m on my third child and my first appointment was for 26 weeks with the rotunda. If you can, try phoning the other hospitals to see if you can get one sooner. I did this and got an appointment with holles street 3 weeks later.


    Hi Alison,

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    Is it an option for you to go to another maternity unit – even the Lourdes? There are some great midwife led programs in Dublin such as the Community Midwives at H.Street and the Coombe have a new midwife led run scheme with very little waiting time.

    Although it’s also a busy unit the hospitals outside of Dublin city do not experience the numbers and pressure the city hospitals do. I know it’s early days yet but consider that this is your first encounter with a hospital that seems to be very stretched for resources….is this really going to be the best place for you to have the best birth experience possible?

    Hope you get an appointment soon and can put your mind at rest and enjoy this wonderful time in your life.



    Hi Alison,

    I hope you feel a bit better after some of the suggestions on here.

    Please let us know how you are getting on, hopefully you’ll get a better appointment time.

    Take care and try not to worry…


    Thank you so much ladies for your replies

    After reading your replies I got onto Holles street and eventually managed to secure an appointment by going part private, and so had my first appointment today at 13 weeks. It was exciting when i got to see on scan that there really was a baby growing in their. its good to have visual confirmation.

    I think the wait to recieve prenatal care in the public system is truely awful and I think i will take sabbi’s advise and go to my local councillor but also i am going to send an e-mail to a newspaper. The politicans have a lot to answer for in not providing basic care for pregnant women or for the children when they are born.

    Thanks again


    Hi Alison35,
    i’m so glad that you got sorted, and had your first scan. it really is amazing isn’t it? i think going semi private will help put your mind at ease a bit as you will generally have more access to appointments etc throughout your preganancy if u need them. i know its terrible that it has to be done this way and i think you’re dead right to write to the powers that be in terms of getting someone to take notice.
    hope to chat to you more in the future and good luck with the pregnancy!


    Ah thats great news, Sabbi was telling me about your post, its just shocking… If you didnt attend the hospital (by choice) until 26 weeks the midwives and doctors would take the flesh off your bones, but if fine for them to leave you waiting…….. Glad you got your scan, there is nothing like it, its great for the men as it becomes real and for the mammies too 😆 😆 😆

    Let us know how your getting on and enjoy your private care


    Hi Alison,

    Congrats on your scan – so glad you got sorted and were able to see your little baby growing happily away in there, all snug!!

    It is so comforting to get a visual on the baby – it really gives great peace of mind!! Delighted for you.

    It is awful you had to go through what you did and if you want to pursue the matter do try your local TD and also, contact ‘Patients together’, they are a group who work to get better hospital services for everyone, including mums to be.

    The most important thing for you now is to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. If you fee like reading some pregnancy books, try ‘The Better Birth Book’ which has great information about the services at the maternity hospitals in Ireland and lots of tips for a happy pregnancy and birth.

    Thanks for letting us know you’re doing ok and keep us posted about things, you have lots of support on here and I’m sure many of the mums would happily sign a petition or do something to help raise awareness of the lousy services being offered to mums to be.

    Take care – it won’t be long before you’re feeling little kicks!! 😀 😀

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