First Antenatal Appointment
Your first visit to hospital can be at any time from 12-20 weeks of pregnancy. The purpose of this visit is to get a full picture of your health and the health of your baby. You will be asked a range of background questions about your health and medical history, including your own personal medical situation and the medical history of your family.
You will be asked for a urine sample, have your blood pressure taken and undergo a number of blood tests. In some hospitals you may also have an ultrasound scan on your first visit, at others you will have this scan at around 20 weeks.
The Maternity and Infant Care Scheme
This scheme provides an agreed programme of care to all expectant mothers who are ordinarily resident in Ireland. This service is provided by a family doctor (GP) of your choice and a hospital obstetrician. You are entitled to this service even if you do not have a medical card. Virtually all GPs have agreements with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide these services. You do not need to pay for any of your visits to your GP for antenatal care – not even the first one to confirm your pregnancy.
Your GP will perform the initial examination, if possible before 12 weeks, and a further 6 examinations during the pregnancy, which are alternated with visits to the maternity unit/hospital.