Maternity Services

Maternity Services

All pregnant women who are ordinarily resident in Ireland are entitled to free public maternity care.

The entitlements include:

  • Antenatal care
  • Care during the birth of the child
  • Care after the birth of the child
  • Hospital stay for mother and baby in a public ward

Make sure you visit your GP if you think you are pregnant. Your GP will confirm your pregnancy even if you have already done a pregnancy test. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, the GP will discuss your antenatal care. Your GP will also ask you which hospital you’d like to go to and write a referral letter for you.

During your pregnancy, you will have numerous visits with your midwife. You have the choice of sharing your antenatal visits between the hospital and your GP.

At each visit, your blood pressure will be taken, you will be asked to provide a urine sample and you will be examined.

Antenatal classes held at your local public maternity hospital are free of charge.

You are entitled to choose whether you want a hospital birth or a home birth. Hospital births are the more popular option in Ireland.

Mothers and babies are cared for after the birth too. You will have two free post-natal visits to your GP. You will be notified of the vaccinations your baby needs at various points after their birth. All vaccinations are free of charge and provided by your GP.

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