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Growing your family

Fertility to maternity care and beyond

Maternity care options


        

To help you choose the care that’s right for you, we’ve summarised the different options. When making your decision, you should consider the care available in your area, continuity of care, cost, and the type of accommodation available when you’re admitted to hospital to have your baby.

 

If you give birth in a maternity hospital, this will be in a public hospital (no private hospitals provide maternity services), but you can choose to be seen in one of three different ways, as outlined below. You can talk to your GP about the best maternity care option for you.

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Public Patient

Every pregnant woman living in Ireland is entitled to free public maternity care under the Maternity and Infant Scheme.

If you choose public maternity care, your care throughout your pregnancy and the birth of your baby will be managed by your GP and a team of obstetricians in a public maternity hospital. You’ll be admitted to a public ward after you have your baby. 

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Private Patient

Continuity of care is one of the main reasons for choosing to be treated as a private patient.

If you choose private maternity care, your care throughout your pregnancy will be managed by the same obstetrician. You can expect to have increased scans and visits throughout your pregnancy and your obstetrician is usually present at the birth. You’ll be admitted to a private room after you’ve delivered your baby, if one is available.

The cost of private care can vary, but the average cost you may be liable to pay can range from €2,500 to €5,000. Depending on your Vhi plan you may be able to claim some of these costs, using your pre and postnatal benefits - see MyVhi for full details of your cover. 

Although the benefits vary by plan, they generally include full cover for up to 3 days hospital accommodation in a public hospital and full cover for your doctor’s fees associated with the birth. This includes the Obstetrician, Anaesthetists & Paediatrician. We also provide full cover for the costs associated with a c-section. 

 

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Semi-Private Patient

If you choose semi-private maternity care, your care throughout your pregnancy will be managed by a dedicated consultant’s team.

You can expect shorter waiting times per visit and, if a bed is available, you’ll be admitted to a semi-private ward after you have your baby. The cost of semi-private care varies, but the average cost you may be liable to pay is approximately €1,000. Depending on your Vhi plan you may be able to claim some of these costs using your pre and postnatal benefits.*

Although the benefits vary by plan, they generally include full cover for up to 3 days hospital accommodation in a public hospital and full cover for your doctor’s fees associated with the birth. This includes the obstetrician, anaesthetists and paediatrician. We also provide full cover for the costs associated with a c-section. You can check your benefits in MyVhi.

Alternative maternity care options


        

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right maternity care for you. For example, you may be interested in exploring some alternative care options. Most alternative care options are only available for low-risk pregnancies and not all hospitals will off er them. In most cases, they’re only available if you choose public care, so check with your GP and maternity care provider if you’re interested in investigating one of these options.

Depending on where you live, there are various options available, including the following: 

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Domino Scheme

Under the Domino Scheme your care throughout pregnancy will be shared by your GP and a community midwife.

You will give birth to your baby in the hospital with the support of a midwife, and they’ll visit you regularly in your home for the first seven days after you leave hospital. You’re usually discharged from hospital within 6-12 hours after the birth of your baby. The Domino Scheme is free of charge.

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Midwife Led Care

If you choose this option, a team of hospital midwives will look after your entire pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. This option is only available to women with normal or low risk pregnancies. Midwife led care is free of charge.

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Home Birth

Home birth can be an option for low-risk healthy women, and only some maternity hospitals offer these services. If you’re interested in having a homebirth you should discuss it with your GP and local maternity care provider.

If your home birth is organised by the HSE, a community midwife will come to your home and make regular visits to you for the first seven days after your baby is born. Home births organised by the HSE are free of charge.

  • Private Home Birth Cover with Vhi Healthcare

You can arrange a home birth privately using the home birth cover available on your plan*. A qualified midwife must oversee the birth and have their own indemnity insurance. *You can check the benefits covered by your plan through MyVhi.

Regardless of the care you choose, as a Vhi Healthcare member you can rest assured that you will have access to a range of clinical services and supports at all stages throughout your pregnancy and when you arrive home with your new baby.