Maternity Care Services
Every woman who is pregnant and ordinarily resident in Ireland is entitled to free 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. Ireland provides very high quality Maternity care, to both mothers and infants
Preparing For Pregnancy
If you are hoping to become pregnant there are a few things you can and should do to improve your general health and so help your pregnancy to progress smoothly. Most pregnancies are not planned, however, and still progress normally, resulting in a healthy mother and baby.
Rollercoaster.ie has a very useful article on pre-conception health
Stages of pregnancy
The first trimester (weeks 0-13):
- The baby's development is greatest during this stage. By the end of week 13, it will be fully formed.
- Some of the common discomforts of pregnancy, such as nausea, fatigue and breast tenderness, will be most pronounced during these early weeks.
The second trimester (weeks 14-26):
- During this time, the baby continues to grow and develop and the mother starts to gain some weight as extra fat is laid down as energy reserves.
- The baby's movements in the womb can be felt and they may begin to develop patterns of activity.
The third trimester (weeks 27-birth):
- The baby will start to lay down its own fat stores, going through rapid growth phases in preparation for birth.
- The baby's lungs will mature and senses such as hearing, taste and sight will develop.
- You may find it more difficult to get comfortable at night and you will need to urinate more often.
- Practice contractions, known as Braxton Hicks, can be a regular feature.
HSE - Maternity Services
Breastfeeding.ie - high quality breastfeeding support services
Rollercoaster.ie - Pregnancy & Parenting website
Mummyservices.ie - Irish pregnancy website