Birth Plan
Birth Plan

So the little blue line has confirmed your pregnant – but what happens next? ARLENE HARRIS reports on a new independent Irish service that can make choosing your birth plan and hospital that little bit easier.

When Aoife Corrigan was expecting her first baby last year, she and her husband Paul were naturally nervous about the whole procedure. They wanted to avail of every service open to them but were unsure about what they were entitled to and what was available to them.  “The pregnancy was planned and very much wanted but we hadn’t really thought much beyond seeing the blue line on the stick. So when my doctor gave us confirmation and a due date, the next question was where would I give birth and what sort of labour should I aim for.”

Not knowing what to do, Aoife made an appointment to see her doctor. “She assured me that the public maternity services are fantastic and the midwives were likely to be the most capable and understanding professionals I would encounter throughout my pregnancy so, on her advice, I signed up for the closest hospital to me “.  

For others who are confused as to where to start planning, is a new online service that provides a comprehensive list of information about every maternity hospital in the country.

Co-author Niamh Healy says the service is a vital tool for every would-be parent in Ireland. “Bump2babe is the consumer guide to maternity services across the country,” she says. “It is a free information resource to help parents become familiar with their local service and aid them in making decisions about their care.

Topics which are covered on the new website include:

  • Services and statistics for individual hospitals.
  • Practical information, like location of antenatal clinics, pain relief available during labour, visiting times etc.
  • Details on practices, such as what happens if a mother’s waters break but contractions do not start, ways of monitoring babies during labour, skin-to-skin contact for mothers and babies after birth etc.

Information about policies in relation to the number of birth partners, what is offered if a baby is in the breech position, eating and drinking in labour, birth plans etc.