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HSE funding home births

Wednesday, 21st October, 2020 2:55pm

Giving birth in a hospital is probably the first choice for mothers to be but giving birth at home is something well worth considering too.

The HSE says its home birth service is a safe, high-quality and free maternity care package for all healthy, low-risk women who choose to give birth at home. It says mothers to be will receive the best care with continuity from their midwife throughout pregnancy, birth and for two weeks after. Completely funded by the HSE, it provides one-to-one antenatal appointments, develop a trusting relationship, and a safe, supported birth at home, followed by regular postnatal visits to help with feeding and parenting.

A spokesperson said: “All midwives working in Cork and Kerry are experienced, committed, and passionate about the safety of you and your baby and keeping birth interventions to a minimum. We are trained to recognise any deviation from what is normal, and in those circumstances, we will safely transfer you to hospital. The majority of women who transfer are first-time mums, who mainly transfer for pain relief.” All midwives carry the drugs needed to deal with the most common problems during childbirth, including oxygen for the baby. A second midwife is in attendance for the birth and an ambulance back up is provided for every birth.

The HSE’s home birth service has been available in Cork for over 25 years, with satisfaction ratings are around 99 per cent.

“When we discharge women at two weeks after the birth, 98 per cent of them are successfully breastfeeding. During these challenging times we provide the service under strict Covid-19 guidelines, keeping mothers, fathers and babies safe at home.

“We do wear protective equipment for every birth but everybody knows it is the midwives in the space suit because we have already established a relationship with our clients and their families,” added the spokesperson. Email HomeBirth.South@hse.ie, phone 021 4923483 or visit hse.ie/eng/services/list/3/maternity/homebirth-services.html.

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