Antenatal and Pregnancy Care

ante-natalWe provide full pre-pregnancy counselling and screening, antenatal care and postnatal care. We provide pregnancy testing and vaccination in pregnancy.

Antenatal appointments are arranged by your GP here with a referral letter to your hospital of choice. Usually in this area patients choose Waterford Regional Hospital, South Tipperary General in Clonmel or Cork University Maternity Hospital. Patients can choose to be referred privately or publicly.

Your booking visit in all these clinics is at 12-13 weeks gestation and includes bloods, urine, blood pressure check-up and a booking ultrasound scan. We operate a shared care system where every alternate check-up is with us at High Street Medical Centre and at the hospital. We have sonic-aid dopplers to check foetal heart rates, usually from 15 weeks gestation onwards.

When you book an antenatal appointment at High Street, be sure to let the receptionist know as it involves booking you to see the nurse prior to the doctor’s visit.

General Dos and Don’ts

Do eat a balanced diet with fresh fruit, vegetables and protein e.g. fish/meat and calcium milk/cheese

Do take folic acid 400ug a day if not before conception, as soon as you know you are pregnant and right up to 15 weeks gestation.

Do take Vitamin D supplements 10mcg /day thought-out the whole of the pregnancy and whilst you are breastfeeding. The folic acid and vitamin D can be in some of the pregnancy multivitamin packs e.g. Pregnacare.

Don’t eat too much liver as it contains too much Vitamin A which can be harmful to baby

Don’t eat food that may contain listeria e.g. soft cheeses, pate, under cooked meat, unwashed salad

Don’t over eat; the average weight gain is about 2 stone in pregnancy.

Don’t eat large amounts of nuts especially peanuts as this could increase the risk of nut allergy in your baby, but there is no conclusive evidence on this as yet.

Don’t smoke and try to persuade the babys father or close family to quit as well. Smoking increases the risk of miscarriage, premature births, low birth weight and stillbirth. If you smoke it increases the baby’s risks of having a cot death, glue ear and asthma. Please ask us to prescribe you something to help you quit if necessary.

Don’t drink alcohol as there is no known safe limit

Avoid contact with sheep especially at lambing time due to transmission of infections that could increase the risk of miscarriage. Avoid contact with cat litter

Do keep active with walking, swimming but have a discrete word with your gym instructor before any training.

Immunisations

Influenza – it is now recommended that pregnant women had the flu vaccine at any stage in pregnancy, this is usually given from approximately September to May.

Pertussis – this is recommended in pregnancy from 27 to 3 weeks, to help prevent newborn babies developing whooping cough. The baby will not get his or her own pertussis vaccine until after 2 months old and this will protect them in those first 2 months.

These vaccines can both be given at the same time. Please make an appointment with the nurse for these.

Care schedule

Usually you will have 10 appointments for your 1st pregnancy and 7 for subsequent pregnancies.

Please make sure you have a fresh urine sample already with you for each appointment – ask reception staff for a sample pot.