Public or Private or MLU

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    Hi all, im a newbie, just found out that I`m pregant, only a few wks gone. Haven`t seen doctor yet, will get it confirmed on Monday. Its all new to me. Wondering what cover ye went for and what experience ye had in the Lourdes Drogheda for childbirth, tnx


    Hi Penelope and congratulations on your pregnancy. Such an exciting time 😀
    You are going to hear so many different opinions on this topic as everyone has such a unique and personal experience in hospital and especially while in labour and giving birth.
    As far as I know OLOL does not have a semi-private option and I have heard nothing but positive feedback regarding the mlu. I attended the Lourdes as a public patient on reccommendation from friends and my gp who had their babies publicly and had no untoward experience.
    How-ever, I am not attending the Lourdes for my second pregnancy and have booked an appt with the Rotunda instead (for which I have heard both negative & positive feedback), but I would not feel safe in attending the Lourdes for either myself or my baby again and feel it was down to luck more than anything else that we were both ok after the birth.
    As a nurse myself, I feel the standard of care was not what it should be. I feel that my admissions with high blood pressure and odema were an inconvenience and when in labour I feel that I was dismissed and patronised, my pain not believed and really there was no one looking after me.
    But, as I say everyone will have an opinion, so really once you have heard them all, try and go with what feels right for you.
    Best of luck with it all 🙂


    Hi Penelope, as Newmomma said there are good and bad stories about every hospital in the country. Assuming you are having a normal healthy pregnancy the Midwife Led Unit would be a great option for you – no waiting times….private birth suite…labour pool….one to one midwifery and your hubby can stay over 🙂 There are only 2 of these units in the country so we’re very lucky to have both of them in the local area (Louth and Cavan)

    NewMomma – please get in touch with the Director of Midwifery about your experience we have a very active consumer group in the Lourdes and are working with the staff to improve maternity services in the Lourdes. It’s the only group of it’s kind in Ireland.



    Hi Newmomma/ Tracy, thanks for your replies.
    I am going to loook into the MLU when I have my first appt and see if Iam eligible. This is my first baby and I am absolutely clueless and as I am not 12 wks yet I dont wan tto ask advice fro friends family etc. So far I have had pregnancy confirmed with doctor and will have to go back at 14 wks to get bloods checked.
    I got a appt in OLOL for early October (first antenatal) when I will be about 19wks. Is this normal as far as Im aware I will only get one scan done throughout pregnancy compared to a friend who has 3 scans already at 6months. I just feel a little uneasy because its first time round….dont want to miss out on something important!
    Also if you go public can you pay for a consultant to be present at the birth regardless of complications (peace of mind). Thanks again x


    Hi Penelope,
    I have a 10-month old and had all my care at the Lourdes from the beginning of my pregnancy till birth. Because mine was a classic ‘normal’ pregnancy I was eligible for the MLU and it was really fantastic. Only thing was I had a slight infection towards the end of my pregnancy (at nearly 9 months) so i had to be switched to the regular maternity unit (consultant-led), and gave birth there. I received good care there as well. I felt lucky to have spent the 9 months of pregnancy with the MLU coz I didn’t have to queue/wait during those months, except for the initial checkup and also for the ultrasound scan. I also had only 1 scan for my entire pregnancy – so I think that’s quite normal. You’re only given more scans as they see fit. But some who opt for private care also ask for more scans.

    It’s a most wonderful time being pregnant and expecting the first child. I felt really special. At the same time I was nervous too especially during the first three months and we didn’t tell friends until that period was over (we only told immediate family and 1 or two friends). Anyway, I wish you all the best for your pregnancy and birth experience!!!!!!!!


    Hi I went private in the Lourdes and couldn’t fault them in any shape or form – we got absolutely 100% brilliant care and won’t hesitate in going back again (if get pregnant again) but will most likey (even though we’re skint) go private again.


    I have a 4yr old daughter now. Myself and my husband went private in the Lourdes.See How I said my husband, cause I actually, really, thought HE was having our daughter. 🙄 The medical staff were excellent and my consultant, was fantastic. He couldn’t have done enough for me. Unfortunately, I felt the nursing staff were very unsympathic. However, I did find out later, that They were overstretched. ONLY two nursing staff on some nights in post natal, 15 mothers and 15 babies. Unreal! I feel going private, is not necessary as you’re put in a private room and being a first time mam myself and having an emergency c-section was very frightening. I think you need the support of other mothers and it’s important too, to have the company of other mothers, unless you were very very ill, like I was. If I’m having another, it will be public, cause the medical team are excellent, pity there’s not enough nurses, for the high volume of deliveries. I do have private insurance, but its’ extra for a consultant to be present at the birth. Alot extra.!Although, if its’ complicated, they have to be there anyway!, Haven’t they.!


    Hi Penelope, I just had a baby girl 5 weeks ago in the Lourdes hospital in Drogheda and despite my expectations, I had a brilliant experience there… the staff were brilliant! They were so caring and really did everything possible to make life easier 4 me… even the doctors were very thoughtful. I applied to the MLU but got turned down due to my medical history and I was really disappointed as I heard its fantastic, but I went public then and I really couldn’t fault it…

    I’m sure you’ll have just as agood a labour as I had thanks to the wonderful staff!

    Best of luck and don’t worry, it’s not nearly as painful as you’d expect!


    Congrats on the pregnancy. One bit of advice is get your appointment with OLOL booked asap, dont delay as there is a bit of a boom on at the moment
    I went public on my two boys, cant fault the hospital. on my second i was in for over a week and the care and staff are brilliant. Its a very clean hospital, or maybe i was just lucky when i was in, food is very good, tastes much better then it looks or smells 😆 😆 😆 (well i liked it and the ladies in my ward liked it)
    I have health cover and could well afford to go private but i chose not to, my reasons.
    1 couldnt see what you got for you private fees, okay quicker appointments and own room, but not much else.
    2 Its the only bloody time in your life you can walk into a hospital and get FREE medical care, im sure with the cut backs we will have to start paying.
    3 All the private doctors are on the public list aswell

    If i could of had the birth of my dreams it would have been the MLU, but not to be for me


    I would have eaten off my left hand for the chance to birth in the MLU – if its an option for you, seriously consider it! It is like another realm to a CLU – which is the care model you will get in the rest of Ireland. MLU is midwifery led – so very focused on normal birth practice and women-centred care. You will have access to a small team of midwives – so you get to know the faces. Not entirely continuity of carer, but pretty close! In your pregnancy you will have intimate appointments with one of the team of midwives in the MLU – so away from the masses of the ante-natal clinic. Its pretty chilled out and the midwives are fantastic! In labour, you will have a private suite with a couch, telly, tea making facilities, radio, private bathroom with shower and best of all – a pool! And, ITS FREE!

    My own children born in Drogheda were born 05, 06 and 09 in the CLU of OLOL. I have gone public and private. I also went public in Dublin in 03. Personally, the only difference I saw to going private (and the reason I chose to) was continuity of carer in pregnancy. I was very nervous after a bad experience in dublin (public) and really needed that extra reassurance in pregnancy to answer questions I had from my previous experience. It helped seeing the same person. Saying that, I never had a consultant at any of my 4 births – just me, dh and midwife – which was my preference but I know some women find this upsetting to not see their consultant at the birth. For me though, it was reassuring that I didn’t need consultant as I felt if all was going well then there was no need for anyone but the midwife.

    My OLOL experiences varied greatly. I had one absolutely amazing experience (3rd) – good support through the pregnancy and labour/birth with a gem of a midwife. I had one OK experience and I had one experience in which I was very disappointed with my ante-natal care and chose to transfer out of OLOL but then ended up birthing in OLOL as we didn’t think we’d make the other unit (arrived at 9cm to olol which is only 10 min away). Again, I was disappointed with my initial care in assessment and in labour but this was mainly to do with the midwife. I had a change of midwife and ended up having a fantastic birth. This was very recent – Dec – and the midwife I had was the best I’ve ever seen. She made such a difference to me and I even wrote a note of thanks to OLOL regarding this woman. To me, it all depends on who you get on the day…if your midwife is supportive and encouraging it will make things much easier! I would encourage all women to ask for a change if you aren’t feeling the love (!!!) as it can make all the difference in your labour.

    ante-natally is the biggest difference between public and private care. My personal experience was I found the public clinic a very lonely and frustrating experience. This was partially made worse however as last year there was a ban policy in place for partners at ante-natal appointments – so I was on my own. Postnatally – public and private are the same. I know very few women who get the private room after going private…personally this would not be a factor for me in decision. Statistically, you have a much higher chance of having intervention as a private patient. This for me would be the deal breaker and is why I chose to go public again.

    Best of luck and congratulations!

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