The practice provides comprehensive pregnancy care, shared with ante-natal services in the local maternity hospitals.
All women are provided with free antenatal care for routine pregnancy related visits; you must register with the HSE to be covered for this. This should be done as early as possible in your pregnancy. Forms are available in the surgery.
Your first visit to us (called a booking visit) should be at about 12 weeks (or when you suspect you are pregnant) and subsequent visits are every 4 weeks until 28 weeks, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks and then every week until delivery. The routine visits can be either to the surgery or to the hospital – you do not need to attend both at every scheduled visit.
An ultrasound assessment for dates may be offered in the practice between 10 and 14 weeks. Other scans are carried out only if deemed appropriate by the doctor. It does not replace the need for a specialist hospital scan. You will be referred to the hospital by us after your booking visit.
Ideally, you should be on folic acid (400 micrograms daily) before you become pregnant until 12 weeks. Folic acid helps prevent NTDs (neural tube defects) serious birth defects of the spinal cord (such as spina bifida) and the brain (such as anencephaly).
After 12 weeks, depending on your blood result for haemoglobin (iron), you may be advised to take iron tablets.
Blood tests are normally done at about 10-12 weeks at your hospital to check your blood count, blood group and antibodies, your immunity to rubella and tests for HIV and syphilis. These tests are routine for all patients in Ireland. Blood tests are repeated for blood count and antibodies at 28 weeks. You may also be asked to undergo a test for diabetes called a GTT at 28 weeks either at the hospital or in the practice.
Ante-natal classes are organised by the public health nurses (PHNs) in varying locations in East Donegal throughout the year. Please contact your local PHN to arrange this. The number for Lifford’s PHN is 074 91 72860.
Please bring your maternity card and a urine sample for every visit. If you are due an ultrasound scan, please come with a full bladder. Your check up can be with a doctor or midwife.
All our deliveries are planned to take place in hospital. Shortly after discharge from hospital, the Public Health Nurse will call to you. The six week check for you and your baby is provided free in the surgery – when you are booking it, please let the receptionist know so that the doctor and practice nurse are booked.
Vaccinations for your child start at 2 months.
If you have any queries, you should contact the doctor, practice nurse or public health nurse.
For information on breastfeeding and breastfeeding support, click here.