Whether you’re a first-time mama or are adding to your brood, your pregnancy is an exciting time.
It’s also a busy time with a lot to get your head around, so we’ve rounded up exactly what you’re entitled to from the state.
First things first
Every mum-to-be who is ‘ordinarily resident’ in Ireland is entitled to maternity care under the Maternity and Infant Scheme. Ordinarily resident just means you live here now or intend to be here for at least a year.
The scheme applies to all, regardless of whether you have a medical card. Your care will be carried out by a GP of your choice and a hospital obstetrician. The scheme also provides for two post-natal visits with your GP.
A first-time mum will have an initial examination with her GP, ideally before the 12 week mark.
She’ll then have a further five examinations throughout the pregnancy, which are alternated with visits to the maternity unit or hospital, though doctors may change this schedule depending on her situation.
For pregnancies other than the first one, she will have an initial examination and a further six examinations.
Pregnant women with certain health issues like diabetes or hypertension may have up to five additional GP visits throughout the pregnancy, but the scheme won’t cover care for all illnesses so it’s best to check with your doctor if you have an ongoing illness.
After baby is born, the GP will examine him or her at two weeks and then both mum and baby at six weeks.
Mums are also entitled to free in-patient and out-patient public hospital services in respect of the pregnancy and the birth.
Will my child get free GP visits?
With the GP Visit Card Under 6s children will get free GP visits, specific cassessments at age two and five and care for children with asthma.
If you have a medical card your child will automatically be registered for this service. If not, you can register for it via the HSE here. You’ll need a couple of details, including your PPS number and your child’s PPS.