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08th Mar 2018

More pregnant women are seeking homeless hostel accommodation

'It's appalling.'

Anna O'Rourke

in labour

New figures show that the number pregnant women accessing homeless hostel accommodation is on the rise.

The charity Depaul told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that there were 27 pregnant women sleeping in its homeless accommodation in 2017.

So far this year, nine pregnant women have stayed at its accommodation, which are ‘one-night-only’ hostels.

Those figures only represent the numbers of women who reveal that they are pregnant, Depaul CEO Kerry Anthony told RTÉ.

“It’s appalling to see a woman go into labour in a one night only hostel, to then go into hospital and to not know where she can come back to,” she said.

“Women are coming in at 6pm or 7pm and having to leave again the next morning and walk the streets.

More pregnant women are seeking homeless hostel accommodation

“We are trying to make sure that we are providing women with clinical support and getting them linked in with a GP,” she added.

There are no national statistics available on the number of babies born into homelessness.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive said that there are a number of dedicated homeless facilities for women with children.

A US study from 2011 showed that homeless pregnant women are less likely to receive prenatal care than others.

It also showed that babies born into homelessness had lower birth weights.