Pregnancy & Birth in the Republic of Ireland - Samanda's Story
My name is Samanda from the Instagram account @motherinireland. I am originally from Brazil, but I have been living in Ireland for the last 7 years. I came to Ireland as a student to learn English, I found my love here (he is from Venezuela) and we got married a few years after I arrived on this island. Last year 2020 we had our baby girl Bella. It’s been an amazing experience. She is such a happy baby!
So, I didn’t know anything about maternity here or what I should do before I get pregnant. I started to read and check a few instagrams from Brazilian’s mom that had their babies in Ireland as well.
Everything starts with your GP, I had a GP doctor already (It’s like your family doctor) so after I took a pregnancy test I had my first consultation with her to confirm the pregnancy. She explained what was going to be the next steps. She asked me if I knew where I wanted to have my baby and after asking around with a few Irish friends I decided to go into The Coombe Hospital in Dublin because it was only 12min driving from my house and there was where they referred me and had their babies.
It’s very different than in Brazil here, for what I know it’s pretty the same in Australia about the public care for mummies and babies. I can’t complain about anything. My next appointment after my consultation with my GP was when I was 12 weeks pregnant, so this is where everything is beginning is your first appointment at the hospital/maternity. After that all the following bookings are between the hospital and your GP. It’s easy to understand and follow.
They took very good care of me. Here in Ireland they encourages all the moms that are in good health to have their babies with a vaginal birth. They only do C-section if the mom’s life is in risk or baby’s (so far as I know), unless if you have health insurance and want to pay for a C-section (I have a friend that did that in her second child, but the insurance do not cover 100%, you will have to pay for part or all the procedures, like if you choose to go private or semi private all the expenses with doctors, hospital, exams and etc is paid by the patient and insurance).
Anyway, I can’t complain about the public service here, I had a very good experience. I have only positive things to share about the maternity that I choose. I have family with diabetes so they watched me very close to see if I didn’t have high glucose in my pregnancy. Also because I have RH negative Blood type they gave me all the antiD injections I needed to make sure me and baby were going to be ok. They have a team with physio that you can talk with your midwife and book appointment if you need, like I did after birth, I had diastase and a bit of perineal problems that I think is very common for must of the mothers after giving birth, so they helped me with advice and exercises.They have dietitians, psychologists and a lot of professionals that you can get help if needed.
After I had Bella, I have to confess that it wasn’t easy because we were in lockdown and I couldn’t really get any help from my cousins that lives here or anyone else. On the other hand, the Public Health nurse that came to my house for a few weeks, she was very helpful with information and everything, and as my husband was at home he helped me a lot! And we both alone learned how to take care of our baby and we both grew together as a parent. Which was very good for us and I am not sure how it was going to be if we had a third person in the house with us.
In the middle of my pregnancy I found an institution that helped us a lot. It is called Gianna Care, they were supporting us during my pregnancy. They helped us when we were short of money and they were always here for us when we needed it. I will talk a little bit about them, maybe if someone is reading it who is in Ireland, it might help.
Gianna Care services:
“If you’re facing an unexpected pregnancy, we can provide you with free services and reliable information. We know that every pregnancy is different and are dedicated to providing you with the support you need”.
They also offer: Pregnancy Test, Family support, Baby equipment and Materials, Pregnancy Counselling, Financial Support and Etc...
After the lockdown loosen a bit, my mom came to visit us with my aunts when Bella was 4 months old and they could stay for 2 months, so we had Bella’s routine working already and it was amazing to have family here with us after a long time.
I have to say that it is very hard to be alone and far away from your home, but I think you should take this as an opportunity as I did, to learn and grow together as a family. And if you need support, go for it! Do your searches, try to find some mothers groups (the hospital normally has a few), talk to your midwife, also on Facebook there are lots of mothers groups that you can find from people from your country as well, it is good to exchange experiences and talk.
I hope I could help someone by sharing my experience. I also have some news, I am pregnant again and we will be having another baby girl in August this year. We are very happy that our family is growing and that Bella will have company as well, so I will be sharing more of my experience and my day a day with a baby and being pregnant on my Instagram @motherinireland because every pregnancy is different!!!
Bye bye XoXo