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Every woman who is pregnant and ordinarily resident in Ireland is entitled to maternity care under the Maternity and Infant Scheme. Ordinarily resident means you are living here, or you intend to remain living here for at least one year. Ireland provides very high quality Maternity care, to both mothers and infants
If you are hoping to become pregnant there are a few things you can and should do to improve your general health and so help your pregnancy to progress smoothly. Most pregnancies are not planned, however, and still progress normally, resulting in a healthy mother and baby.
Rollercoaster.ie has a very useful article on pre-conception health
The first trimester (weeks 0-13):
The second trimester (weeks 14-26):
The third trimester (weeks 27-birth):
HSE - Maternity Services
Breastfeeding.ie - high quality breastfeeding support services
Rollercoaster.ie - Pregnancy & Parenting website
Mummyservices.ie - Irish pregnancy website
Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting your child against certain diseases. The risks from having these diseases are far greater than the risk of any minor side effects from immunisation
At 2 Months Free from your GP
6 in 1 DiphtheriaTetanusWhooping Cough (Pertussis)Hib (Haemophilus influenzae B)Polio (Inactivated poliomyelitis)Hepatitis B
PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
At 4 Months
Free from your GP
Men C (Meningococcal C)
At 6 Months Free from your GP
At 12 Months Free from your GP
At 13 Months Free from your GP
Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae B)
Yes. Most of these vaccines can be given at any age, and a child who misses one injection in a course of injections does not have to start again. The vaccines already given will still work and your child will still develop protection. Just ask your GP
Your child's immunisation - A guide for parents (English)
Your child's immunisation - A guide for parents (Irish)
Download a copy of the immunisation schedule in English, Irish, French, German, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak.
Children need to get booster doses of some vaccines in school to protect them against these diseases
While children are surrounded by injury risks, the good news is that 9 out of 10 unintentional injuries can be prevented by thinking safety and acting safely in everything we do. It is our responsibility, as parents, guardians and carers, to make sure our children's world is safe. Knowledge is power and action is key! If we know the dangers, we can do something about them:
HSE - Child Safety Programme
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice
On average, men go to their GP half as often as women. It's important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your GP immediately if you notice something that's not right.
In Ireland, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, after skin cancer. Each year about 2,500 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed. This means that 1 in 12 Irishmen will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Although there are many men with this disease, most men do not die from it.
These symptoms aren't always caused by prostate cancer but if you have them, see your GP.
Find out more about the symptoms, causes and diagnosis of prostate cancer by using the resources below.
Irish Cancer Society - Prostate Cancer
HSE - Prostate Cancer
Testicular cancer is quite rare, but it is the most common cancer found in young men aged between 15 and 34 years. Each year about 164 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer in Ireland. This number has been growing over the past few years.
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is swelling or a pea-sized lump in one of the testes (balls). There is no current screening test therefore it is important that you look out for the following signs and symptoms.
Irish Cancer Society - Information on Testicular Cancer
HSE - Testicular Cancer
Cervical screening is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb). Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix.
Most women's test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix.
In Ireland about 200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. It is the second most common female cancer in Europe.
HSE - Cervical Screening The why, when & how guide to cervical screening
Cervicalcheck.ie CervicalCheck - The National Cervical Screening Programme provides free smear tests to women aged 25 to 60. A smear test is a simple procedure that only takes minutes and is the most effective way to detect changes in the cells of the cervix.
The HPV vaccine will protect girls from developing cervical cancer when they are adults and is available free of charge from the HSE.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has extended the national HPV vaccination programme since September 2011. We continue to target all girls in 1st year of second level schools in a school based programme to ensure high vaccine uptake. In addition there is also a catch up programme for all girls who are in 6th year of second level school in September 2012. This will be repeated in September 2013 which will result in all unvaccinated girls in the senior cycle of second level schools being offered HPV vaccine.
Vaccines are in the most part given to girls in second-level schools by HSE immunisation teams, with some girls being invited to special clinics for their vaccine.
All girls require three doses of vaccine with a two month interval between the 1st and 2nd dose and a four month interval between the 2nd and 3rd doses.
The programme aims to achieve a high uptake of over 80% for a completed three dose vaccine course
What is Human papilloma virus (HPV)? Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the name of a family of viruses that affect the skin and the moist membranes that line your body, such as those in your cervix, anus, mouth and throat. These membranes are called the mucosa.
There are more than 100 different types of HPV viruses, with about 40 types affecting the genital area. These are classed as high risk and low risk.
How you get HPV? Types of HPV that affect the skin can be passed on by skin contact with an affected person. The types of HPV that affect the mouth and throat can be passed on through kissing. Genital HPV is usually spread through intimate, skin to skin, contact during sex. You can have the genital HPV virus for years and not have any sign of it.
How HPV can cause cervical cancer?Most HPV infections are harmless or cause genital warts, however some types can cause cervical cancer. Most HPV infections clear up by themselves, but in some people the infection can last a long time. HPV infects the cells of the surface of the cervix where it can stay for many years without you knowing.
The HPV virus can damage these cells leading to changes in their appearance. Over time, these changes can develop into cervical cancer. The purpose of cervical screening (testing) is to detect these changes, which, if picked up early enough, can be treated to prevent cancer happening. If they are left untreated, cancer can develop and may lead to serious illness and death.
Immunisation.ie HPV Facts and information about the HPV programme
HSE - HPVWhy, how and when is the vaccination given and what are the side effects
Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Ireland. About 2,700 women get breast cancer in Ireland each year. Most of them (8 out of 10) are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases men, can also get breast cancer.
BreastCheck is a Government-funded programme providing breast screening and invites women aged 50 to 64 for a free mammogram on an area-by-area basis every two years. The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage.
HSE - Breast Cancer Information Symtpoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention & screening information
Influenza – flu – is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organization decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.
Vaccination is strongly recommended for:
For more information on flu immunisation, including background information on the vaccine and how you can get the jab, see the links below.
HSE - Flu Vaccinations
Flu Vaccinations - Frequently Asked Questions
Immunise.ie - HSE Immunisation Website
These are lots of ways to help keep yourself well and healthy as you age. The HSE provides some useful resources on different topics to help you find out more about keeping yourself healthy as you age.
The http://www.getirelandactive.ie/ site was initially developed to promote the National Physical Activity guidelines. The site has been further developed to become a one-stop shop for physical activity information
Check out the section for older people and help improve your health with a little exercise.
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.