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. Ireland provides very high quality Maternity care, to both mothers and infants. You can access a list of public hospitals that provide Maternity Care below. Private hospitals also provide Maternity Care in some areas, but details of these services are not listed here.
The following Irish public hospitals provide Maternity Care services:
South and South East
Cork University Maternity Hospital | Kerry General Hospital, Tralee | South Tipperary General Hospital | St Luke's General Hospital Kilkenny | Waterford Regional Hospital | Wexford General Hospital |
Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar | Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise
Maternity Service Developments
In January 2016 Ireland’s first National Maternity Strategy Creating a Better Future Together was published. The strategy is a road map for the improvement of services over the next ten years and identifies four priorities:
- Developing a bespoke Make Every Contact programme to support women accessing maternity services across the full range of health and well-being issues, including smoking cessation, alcohol and drug awareness, lifestyle, domestic abuse, and critically perinatal mental health. Also there is a big focus on supporting breastfeeding in both hospital and community settings.
- Implementing a model of community midwifery in each maternity hospital/unit, to provide access for women to the supported care pathway.
- Focusing attention on the most serious incidents in maternity services: maternal deaths; hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy; and intrapartum deaths. Developing a new process for reviewing and learning from these events.
- Implementing a governance model with the establishment of maternity networks within each hospital group; and maternity leadership in general hospitals with maternity services.
Home birth can be a safe option for low risk healthy women. Research shows that a planned home birth is an acceptable and safe alternative to a planned hospital birth for some pregnant women. For more information and support please visit the National Home Births Services section.
For information and support on Breastfeeding, see the HSE's dedicated Breastfeeding Support website.
For information on how to register a birth, visit the HSE's Civil Registration Service section on this site. You can also purchase copies of Birth Certificates, once the birth is registered, on Certificates.ie.
If you have a medical card, you should apply for your newborn baby to be added to your medical card as soon as they have been assigned a PPSN. Read more about Medical Cards here.
Maternity Patient Safety Statements
Maternity Patient Safety Statements are published for each of the country’s 19 maternity hospitals and units, providing an updated statement each month. These Statements provide public assurance that maternity services are delivered in an environment that promotes open disclosure. Each maternity hospital and unit reports on 17 metrics covering a range of clinical activities, major obstetric events, modes of delivery and clinical incidents.