All women who are pregnant and are resident in Ireland are entitled to free maternity care under the Maternity and Infant Scheme.

Resident means that you are living here or you intend to live in Ireland for at least one year.

The Maternity and Infant Scheme provides an agreed programme of care for an expectant mother. It is provided by your GP of choice and hospital obstetrician.You are entitled to the service even if you don’t have a medical card.

The GP provides an initial examination, if possible, before 12 weeks and a further 5 examinations during the pregnancy which are alternated with visits to the maternity unit or the hospital.

This scheme also provides for 2 post natal visits to your General Practitioner,  your 2 week check and your 6 week check (for baby and Mum).


The timing for the antenatal visits are usually first visit which is generally before 12 weeks. The other recommended visits are 24, 30, 34, 37 and 39 weeks. We will also be happy to see you between 14 and 16 weeks as this is a time when the fetal heart becomes apparent.

In the norm the hospital appointments take place at around 12 weeks. At this visit they will do some booking bloods and also do a detailed scan.
You can discuss the options of the 2 local hospitals which are University College Hospital Galway and Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway,  at your appointment.   They have slightly different schedules which we can review with you at your visit.At all times please don’t hesitate to contact the practice if you have got any concerns, we are always happy to see you at any point.
Visits for other illnesses which you may have at the time and are not related to your pregnancy are not covered by the scheme and it is required that you pay your GP for these visits should you not have a valid medical card.
  • If you have a medical card for yourself, you should apply for your baby’s card as soon as you get the baby’s PPSN number. You can do this via phone to your local health office.
  • The public health nurse will also visit the mother and baby at home during the first 6 weeks after delivery . This service is free of charge.  The contact number for the Public Health service is (090) 9741193 or (090) 9759031.
  • We have application forms for the maternity and infant scheme and if for some reason you haven’t completed one please advise us at one of your visits.
  • You should contact your antenatal clinic to enquire about ante natal classes as these are available through the hospital.