If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant it can be a busy, enjoyable and occasionally stressful time!
We strongly encourage those who may be experiencing difficulties in conceiving to contact us if they feel they would like advice or assistance
Maternity and Infant Care Scheme
Every woman who is pregnant and ordinarily resident in Ireland is entitled to maternity care under the Maternity and Infant Scheme. Ordinarily resident means you are living here, or you intend to remain living here for at least one year.
The Maternity and Infant Care Scheme provides an agreed programme of care to all expectant mothers who are ordinarily resident in Ireland. This service is provided by our family doctors (GP) of your choice and a hospital obstetrician. You are entitled to this service even if you do not have a medical card. Virtually all GPs have agreements with the Health Service Executive to provide these services; they do not have to be part of the GPs and medical cards system. The Scheme also provides for two post-natal visits to the general practitioner.
The combined medical services are provided by your family doctor (GP) and a hospital obstetrician.
Four of our doctors at the D2 Medical have a higher diploma in obstetrics and Gynaecology making the D2 Medical a Centre of Excellence for Maternity Care.
Dr John Ryan has two Diplomas in Obstetrics. He is an associate member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in London.
Dr Noelle Casey Diploma in Obs and Gyn
Dr Caoimhe Daly Diploma in Obs and Gyn
Dr Meave Cummins Diploma in Obs and Gyn
On your first pregnancy the GP provides an initial examination, if possible before 12 weeks, and a further 5 examinations during the pregnancy, which are alternated with visits to the maternity unit/hospital.
The schedule of visits may be changed by your GP and/or hospital obstetrician, depending on your individual situation. For subsequent pregnancies you will have an initial examination and a further 6 examinations.
If you have a significant illness, e.g. diabetes or hypertension, you may have up to 5 additional visits to the GP.
Care for other illnesses which you may have at this time, but which are not related to your pregnancy, is not covered by the Scheme.
After the birth, the GP will examine the baby at 2 weeks and both mother and baby at 6 weeks.
Mothers are entitled to free inpatient and outpatient public hospital services in respect of the pregnancy and the birth.
Please follow these links free maternity care and the Maternity and Infant Scheme.
You do not need to have a medical card or doctor visit card so it is open to ‘private’ patients too. This service is provided by your GP of choice and a hospital obstetrician that your GP refers you to-you do, of course, have the choice of what hospital or consultant you attend. Many patients enjoy this ‘shared care’ approach as we know our patients, we can offer them flexible appointments and we have all their medical information at our fingertips.
It is possible to apply for the scheme and to attend your GP visits with us as well as paying for private consultant maternity care if that is what you prefer. You have lots of options that we can go through with you in detail.
Some postnatal visits are covered also-at 2 & 6 weeks for your newborn baby and at 6 weeks for new mothers
So how do I apply?
You should attend us when you discover you are pregnant, i.e. after around 6-7 weeks and usually before 9-10 weeks. It is worth mentioning this when you are making your appointment.
You should have your PPS number with you at this visit-this is used to register your pregnancy with the HSE. We will also give you a letter for your chosen hospital and you will need to contact the hospital out-patients to arrange your first antenatal visit (see below).
It is worth noting that visits not associated with your pregnancy are not covered by the scheme and if you do not have a medical card or doctor visit card then there will be a charge for these visits
Immunisations in Pregnancy
We also offer the seasonal flu vaccine to our pregnant patients and we strongly advise that they avail of this service.
The flu vaccine is advised for pregnant women (at all stages of pregnancy) and is safe to administer. It does not cause harm to your baby.
It is also recommended that pregnant women should be given a pertussis vaccine between 16-36 weeks. It will not cause you any harm and it is essential to protect your baby. If you or your baby are in contact with whooping cough the antibodies will attack these bacteria and will protect you and your baby from whooping cough. The antibodies you pass to your baby in the womb decline rapidly in the first six months of life so it is important your baby gets the routine childhood vaccines (which include whooping cough vaccine) on time at 2, 4 and 6 months.
(There is a 10-euro administration charge to administer the flu vaccine)
Care under the scheme is very popular as it gives you the advantage of scheduling your appointments at a time that suits you and with someone with whom you are already familiar. This is internationally recognised as the best and most convenient form of ante-natal care. Ideally you should visit one of our doctors as soon as you discover you are pregnant. We will then refer you to your local maternity hospital where you will be seen before 20 weeks for assessment, blood tests and a scan. Subsequently your visits will alternate between the hospital and the D2 Medical Clinic and become more frequent as your pregnancy progresses. An approximate schedule of visits would be as follows:
- As soon as pregnant Visit G.P.
- Week 20 Hospital
- Week 24 G.P.
- Week 28 G.P. (Hospital if first pregnancy)
- Week 30 G.P.
- Week 32 Hospital
- Week 34 G.P.
- Week 36 Hospital
- Week 37 G.P.
- Week 38 Hospital
- Week 39 G.P.
- Week 40 Hospital
All babies should be seen by the G.P. at two weeks and six weeks. The mother should be seen by the G.P. at six weeks.
For Your Baby:
The scheme provides for two designated visits to the general practitioner for your baby
(i) within two weeks of birth
The visit helps re-establish the link between you and the general practitioner. It enables the general practitioner to check on your health status to review your hospital care experience and to discuss any difficulties you may have in managing your baby.
(ii) at six weeks of age
This visit is to review general health, to conduct another developmental examination, to review feeding practice and the overall management of the baby and to finalise immunisation plans.
The scheme also provides for the GP to carry out a postnatal examination of the mother six weeks after the birth, although by arrangement it may be carried out by the hospital.
Your Babys Health
Breast milk is an ideal food for infants. It is easily digested and it contains all the nutrients babies need for growth and development. It contains antibodies which protect your baby against infection.
While you are still pregnant you should consider breastfeeding your baby to give him/her the best start in life. Your GP, public health nurse or maternity hospital will be happy to give you advice and support.
Immunisation against a certain number of infectious diseases is provided free of charge. Vaccines are administered at varying ages by the general practitioner.
- Breast feeding is best for your baby.
- Not earlier than 72 hours and not later than 120 hours after birth your baby should be screened for metabolic disorders ( the Guthrie or heel prick test).
- Always place your baby on his/her back when you put them to sleep.
- Never smoke or allow anybody else to smoke in the presence of your baby.
- When your baby is 2 weeks of age, you should visit your GP to discuss the baby’s health and to discuss immunisation plans for your baby.
Your Health During Your Pregnancy
It is important that you take full care of yourself during your pregnancy for both your own and your baby’s sake by following your doctors advise and adhering to the following:
- Do not smoke.
- Take one folic acid tablet (400 mg) daily, ideally two months before conception and for the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy. Consult your pharmacist for details.
- Do not take medication unless advised by your doctor.
- Do not take alcohol as it can harm your baby.
- Do not eat liver, pates unpasteurised soft cream cheeses, or unpasteurised dairy products. Ensure that raw fruit and vegetables are thoroughly washed before eating. Ensure that meat is cooked through until the juices run clear.
- Eat a normal well-balanced diet and maintain good physical condition throughout your pregnancy.
- Your doctor may prescribe iron tablets which you should take as prescribed.
- During the last twelve weeks of your pregnancy you should attend ante-natal classes, ideally in the hospital where you plan to deliver your baby.
- If you have any bleeding during your pregnancy, you should contact your GP.
- Avoid coming into contact with cat faeces and avoid handling cat litter.