supportPublic Health Nurses in Ireland are employed by the Health Service Executive to provide a range of health care services (free of charge) in the community. They are usually based in your local health centre and are assigned to cover specific geographical areas.

If you have had your baby in hospital in Ireland, your first point of contact will be the Public Health Nurse, who will visit you shortly after you come home. They will have been informed of your baby’s birth, the type of delivery and any problems you may have experienced during your stay in hospital.

The PHN will normally visit your house within 24-48 hours to check how you and your baby are getting on and the number of subsequent visits she makes will depend on how well things are progressing with you and your baby.

The PHN plays a major role in the care of a mother and her baby during the postnatal period following discharge from hospital and throughout the pre-school years.

This involves working with mothers and parents on health education and health promotion issues with regard to the care of the new baby through until preschool age. This includes infant care, advice regarding nutrition, the promotion of breastfeeding, immunisation, infant safety and child development screening.

Your PHN is there to support you and will answer any queries you may have about your own or your baby’s wellbeing. They are a good first point of contact should you have any concerns.

For more information on the role of the Public Health Nurse contact your local HSE office.