State-sponsored Pregnancy & Maternity Care Programme

The HSE Mother & Infant Care Scheme provides an agreed programme of care free of charge to all expectant mothers (ordinarily resident in Ireland) using a combination of your own General Practitioner (GP) and a midwife/hospital obstetrician. Under this scheme your GP provides about half of your ante-natal care and you only visit the hospital early in your pregnancy and for a reduced number of visits after that. This "combined care" programme provides 6 to 7 ante-natal visits during which you will be monitored to ensure your pregnancy is progressing as it should and that any problems relating to the pregnancy will be attended to.

Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your GP will provide you with an application form which both you and your GP should complete and then return to your local health board where it will be processed for inclusion in the scheme. Typically, your schedule of maternity care will be divided up as set out in the table below but this may be modified by your GP and / or Obstetrician if indicated.

At each ante-natal visit, you will provide a urine sample, your blood pressure will be taken and you will be examined. Any concerns or anxieties you might have should be discussed at these visits. Most maternity hospitals run courses of ante-natal classes which you and your partner can attend. These classes allow you to learn about what to expect at the birth, pain relief options available, breastfeeding and support and advice on looking after your health during pregnancy. You are entitled to take paid time off work to attend ante-natal appointments and ante-natal classes under the Maternity Protection Regulations 2004. Ante-natal classes held by your local public maternity hospital are free of charge but you will need to book your place. It is usual to start your ante-natal classes from about 30 weeks.

This care programme also extends to your newborn baby for six weeks after birth. It includes a 2-week post-delivery baby only check and a 6-week post-delivery check for both mother and baby. These post-delivery visits ensure that your baby is developing normally and give you an opportunity to discuss any problems you may have.

Click on this link for more information on Cork University Maternity Hospital's maternity care service: www.cuh.hse.ie/Cork-University-Maternity-Hospital/Maternity-Care/Antenatal-Care/

Number of weeks pregnant Visit to GP Visit to maternity Hospital / Obstetrician
Before 12 weeks
*
 
Before 20 weeks  
*
24 weeks
*
 
28 weeks * Unless 1st pregnancy * (in case of first pregnancy)
30 weeks
*
 
32 Weeks  
*
34 Weeks
*
 
36 weeks  
*
37 Weeks
*
 
38 Weeks  
*
39 weeks
*
 
40 Weeks  
*
After The Birth of Baby
2 Weeks post natal
(for baby only)
*
 
6 weeks post natal
(for both mum and baby)
*
 

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