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Have you had a baby in Dublin? Confused about system!

(14 Posts)
AppalazianWalzing Tue 02-May-17 17:12:48

Just found out I'm pregnant - between 4 and 5 weeks so v early days, but v excited.

DH and I moved back to Ireland a year ago, but have spent most of the last decade in the U.K. and I've realised all the knowledge I have about how things work is based on the NHS. I have acquired all this knowledge about NICE guidelines and anomaly scans based on Mumsnet and loads of friends with babies in England that I realise doesn't actually apply, and I don't want to ask Dublin-based friends with babies until I'm a bit further along.

I am failing to figure out what I'm meant to do next based on googling- I have had two positive pregnancy tests, clear blue one said 2-3 weeks. So.... do I go to GP now? Do they then refer me onto hospital?

Do all hospitals in Dublin not do 12-week scan as standard?- have been reading Irish sites like and boards but it seems like it's different in different hospitals, which might depend on if you're public/private. We'll be public.

Can I switch gps midway through? I'm still registered at the GP near my parents house as I didn't get around to moving but it's miles away from where I live/work, I do want to get recommendations before I switch though so will probably get the ball rolling with them.

Any thoughts on Coombe vs Holles st as a public patient? Would like to go with Domino scheme and midwife-led care- also like the idea of a water birth, I think the Coombe are the only ones who offer and they're also closest to my house and work but I don't know anyone who has had their baby there. Friends have all gone rotunda or holles st, but they've also all gone private so not sure that experience will apply.

I feel so weird about the fact that I know everything about the process in the UK (or at least in England) and there are huge gaps in my knowledge about how it's done at 'Home'. Any advice would be much appreciated.

ToElleWithIt Tue 02-May-17 20:44:31


You usually go to GP first. They'll do a test and write a letter for the hospital. You usually contact the hospital yourself to book in. All GP appointments that are pregnancy related should be free of charge

Domino is meant to be excellent but check the catchment area online.

If Coombe is handiest then I'd go there. I think they're all much of a muchness.

You should get a 12 week scan and a 20 week scan as a public patient in Dublin (others if indicated). I'm not sure that a 12 week is guaranteed but everyone I know got one. Be aware that nunchal fold test is not offered as standard to public patients in Ireland. You may not even be told about it. You can get it done privately.

If you do combined care then you will alternate between your GP and the hospital.

AppalazianWalzing Wed 03-May-17 11:27:18

Thanks so much- have made GP appointment.

Lots to think about, unfortunately it looks like DH won't be eligible for paternity leave (just about to start new job) and I'm sad that Ireland doesn't have the option of shared leave but I feel pretty confident my care will be good. I had a feeling tests for downs etc wouldn't be on offer here.

Another quick q, in the light of the current scandal about the new maternity hospital- I know holles st is under catholic patronage, and the rotunda under Protestant- what is the history of the Coombe? Is it secular? I've tried to find out and failed. I know it won't affect care (at least I hope not) but curious to know and would probably have a preference for a non-religious hospital on principle.

Rareshopkins Thu 04-May-17 13:40:34

Had my babies in the Coombe. You will be well looked after. I was private so can't advise on booking in. Ask your GP about shared care. This is a system where you have some appointments with your GP and some with your Gp. There should be no problem with changing GP, not all GPs offer shared care, so lots of people change during pregnancy.

tazzy73 Sat 06-May-17 08:01:21

Appalazian- no matter what you read, none of them are secular. Both mine born in Holles St. My SIL had hers in Coombe while another had theirs in the Rotunda.
Congratulations on your new bump! flowers

Rinceoir Sat 06-May-17 08:08:35

All the Dublin hospitals are great and offer 12 week and anomaly scans as standard. They don't offer screening for trisomies at 12weeks but you can opt to pay for this if you wish. None of them act based on religion at all.

MrsDustyBusty Sun 14-May-17 18:14:43

Be aware that nunchal fold test is not offered as standard to public patients in Ireland. You may not even be told about it. You can get it done privately.

You don't need to go privately. Your GP can order them for you.

wiltingfast Mon 29-May-17 21:48:19

I got my 12w nuchal scans public in the Coombe.

My sis had her baby in holles st.

I get the impression the catholic hand is a bit heavier there.

Plus they only let the dad in mostly to visit and the grandparents for a couple of hours in the evening. It was madness. She was struggling with bfing and my mum couldn't go into her. It seemed to beyond their imagination that there might be family set ups beyond the traditional hmm

MrsDustyBusty Tue 30-May-17 19:08:06

Holles St isn't a hotel. The visiting hours for fathers are 10am to 8pm. That's plenty.

wiltingfast Tue 30-May-17 21:40:20

I am not complaining about the times, but the severe restrictions on who can visit.

It certainly added to my sister's distress.

The visiting times for fathers are longer than for gps.

Another totally unnecessarily definitive restriction.

macnab Fri 02-Jun-17 22:48:54

Congrats OP. My own experience was first baby at Holles Street (semi private) horrendous experience so second baby at The Coombe as a public patient via the midwife led unit and it was an amazing experience! My sisters have since had their babies there, one 2 weeks ago, and are very happy with the care they received. Best of luck with it all!

dementedandsadbutsocial Sun 04-Jun-17 09:45:16

I would reccomend the Rotunda over Holles St or the Coombe . Go midwife led public in Rotunda, don't bother with private for the sake of shorter waiting times. If complications arise you will see a specialist consultant anyway. And believe me when I say that religion plays a massive part in your maternity care. The Rotunda is the least likely to allow religious ethos to dictate your care.

NaturWilde Sun 04-Jun-17 09:58:18


You can self refer to the hospital of your choice from now! And see your GP at around 6 weeks unless an issue. For free, as covered under your antenatal care.

I had first at Holles Street with Domino/Community Midwives. Amazing care.

Now 14w with second and live close to Coombe so going there, again with midwives. Plus only hospital with a pool. Great care so far and heard great things about the public care with Coombe.

Heard great things about all three, to be honest. We're very lucky to have three dedicated maternity hospitals in one city.

Public midwife care is great, if you prefer (or have to have) public consultant care you can sometimes expect a long wait in the waiting room before each appointment, but nothing too bad.

12 week scan and 20 week scan normal at the Coombe. You can ask for Nuchal Fold scan too when you send your self referral booking in form (print out from the hospital websites). If you fancy Domino then do self-refer now, Holles Street have turned people away from Domino as no space.

Evie in Sandyford great for private early reassurance scans/non invasive testing should you wish. Cheaper at the moment as doing a study on genetic screening.

No religious undertones or overtones in Holles Street or Coombe at all - old perceptions of people hanging on but no one I know in past decade has experienced that.

Oh, and the so-called restrictive visitor rules at HS were bliss!!! So wonderful to have time with just you and baby, and partner!

NaturWilde Sun 04-Jun-17 10:09:07

If you look at this it tends to support overall good averages/results for the Coombe in comparison to the others:

This is from 3 years ago and regards common interventions. However, I honestly think they are all excellent!

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