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anyone with experience of giving birth in Ireland and the UK?

(14 Posts)
HardCheese Tue 11-Oct-11 16:27:01

I'm trying to choose between having my baby in Ireland or in London. An English nurse at my Irish GP's office told me unofficially that in my position she would choose London, as she felt there were far fewer options (water birth, midlife-led birth centres etc) available in my part of Ireland, at least. On the other hand, she had been living in England when she had her own children, so had no personal experience of Irish ante-natal care and birth practices.

Would love some input from anyone who has had experience of birth in both countries, please.

PamBeesly Tue 11-Oct-11 17:02:31

Hi HardCheese I haven't had my baby yet so I can only speak aout the antenatal care I have received so far in Ireland (I live in the West)
It has been brilliant, I am a public patient and I'm on a combined care scheme where I see my GP and hospital alternately every (4-6 weeks)
I also have access to the public health nurse for any worries I may have, and a breast feeding support group.
From being on mumsnet it seems like there are more birthing options in the UK, water birth etc but as this is my first baby I don't want a water birth anyway, I just want any pain relief they can give me grin
Good luck with your baby smile
It would also be worth checking out your local maternity hospital and how it scores compared to other maternites nationwide.

SuperSesame Tue 11-Oct-11 17:12:34

Hi HardCheese,
I also only have experience of Irish births, but I know if you want a waterbirth you can have one at a homebirth. But I know homebirths aren't for everyone, including me.
I gave birth in CUMH using the public system and spent most of the labour in a bath in the labour ward. They don't allow you to give birth in water though.
I had gas and air and a great birth there.
I only ever dealt with midwives throughout the whole birth as I opted for a midwife led scheme rather than go with consultants. So in that sense I think it can be like a UK midwife led centre if you chose.
In all, I'd recommend it based on my own experience.
Ante and post natal care was fantastic.

PenguinsAreThePoint Tue 11-Oct-11 17:49:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HardCheese Tue 11-Oct-11 19:26:18

Thanks, everyone. I'm only 16+1, did all my earlier pregnancy stuff in the UK, so feel I have had no real contact with ante-natal services in Ireland yet. I got a GP referral to my local maternity services hospital unit several weeks back, but it's for an appointment still two weeks away - it seems as if the 18 week scan is combined with seeing a midwife and a consultant in one long single appointment....? Does that sound normal to you, Pembeesly? I haven't seen a consultant or a midwife yet, no one but the initial GP visit. (I was expecting the equivalent of a booking-in appointment on the UK model, but it doesn't seem to happen here.) At what point in your pregnancy did you start your alternate visits to the midwife and GP?

So, if I decide I would like midwife-led care, I can opt for that after the eighteen-week appointment? I'm told a home birth is impossible where I live, as the only independent midwife who did them had insurance problems and no longer practices. The practice nurse also appeared to think a water birth wasn't possible at my local hospital which is the one thing that's really concerning me, as I was pretty sure I wanted one. And obviously, I can't have a home water birth either. Supersesame, I envy you!

Penguins - have you had experience of UK ante-natal care to compare yours with?

PamBeesly Tue 11-Oct-11 19:42:59

Where are you located HardCheese? I am booked into Portiuncla hospital in Co. Galway. After my initial GP appointment at 5 weeks I had my first hospital appointment with scan at 12 weeks, I have been back to my GP twice and the hospital once. My next hospital appointment is at the end of the month, I am 20+4. It seems like a lot compared to the care some of the other women (in the UK) on my ante natal thread have had.

You might find this link helpful its a consumer guide to the different services available in each maternity in Ireland.

PamBeesly Tue 11-Oct-11 19:44:28

I should also add that my friend, who is also pregnant, is booked into the University Hospital Galway (in the city) and she wasn't offered a scan until 20 weeks, Portiuncla hospital offers it much earlier

HardCheese Tue 11-Oct-11 23:35:15

Pam I would be giving birth at the same hospital as your friend. My 18 week scan will be there, but I've had no contact with it at all so far, as my 12-week scan, combined test etc were all done in the UK, and I've only had a single GP visit in Ireland so far, which just resulted in the referral to the GUH. It sounds as if you have had far more contact in your pregnancy so far...

Having said that, I wouldn't have had anything but a single midwife visit between the 12 week scan and the 20 week scan in the UK, unless there were complications, but the norm seems to be more visits in Ireland, and I wonder if I'm missing out...?

PamBeesly Wed 12-Oct-11 15:45:28

HardCheese I'll PM you as I used to work at that hospital

Doobydoo Wed 12-Oct-11 15:56:38

Hi Hardcheese.Don't know if I am helpful but,,,I had my first 2 children in UK and 3rd in Ireland inWaterford.The care I received in Ireland was fantastic and if I were to have another which I won't I would want to be back there[we are in UK now].

galwaygal Wed 12-Oct-11 21:37:39

I will pm you.

I have given birth once in the UK. planned homebirth that ended up in hospital
and twice in Ireland, one hospital and one homebirth.

PamBeesly Wed 12-Oct-11 21:39:41

<waves at GalwayGal>
Delighted there is another Galway person here smile

chipmonkey Wed 12-Oct-11 22:32:42

Friend of mine gave birth to her first 3 children in the UK and her last in Ireland ( Holles St) She felt that the birth was too "managed" and medicalised in Ireland compared to the UK.

galwaygal Thu 13-Oct-11 09:53:03

Wow, I am amazed at the number of Galway folks here!

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