- Public service
The purpose of the clinics and the group activities in connection with them is to support and promote the mental and physical well-being of new parents, so that they can feel happy about the baby they are expecting and so that the birth will be a safe and positive experience. It is also important to help couples maintain a healthy relationship, so that children can grow and develop in a supportive family environment.
Clinic appointments monitor the health and well-being of the mother, the unborn child and the entire family throughout pregnancy and immediately after childbirth, until the mother has had her post-natal health check. Where necessary, the clinic will refer the mother/family to special health services.
It is recommended that you contact the maternity clinic when your menstrual periods have stopped and a pregnancy test gives a positive result.
Pregnant women and their families are entitled to use the services provided by maternity clinics. The clinic monitors the progress of the pregnancy and the health of the baby and mother after childbirth. Maternity clinics also offer support in becoming a parent. You should make your first appointment with the clinic as soon as you know you are pregnant.
During the maternity clinic visits, the necessary examinations are carried out, the foetal heart beat is monitored and the pregnant woman’s physical and mental well-being is looked after. If problems occur during pregnancy, the doctor or nurse will refer the pregnant woman for a follow up appointment at the maternity outpatient clinic at a local hospital. It is possible for a pregnant woman to have two ultrasound screening tests during the pregnancy.
The maternity clinic aims to identify as early as possible what level of support a pregnant woman and her family require. Pregnant women and their families will be offered other support they may need, for example, social or substance abuse services.
The maternity clinic also provides guidance in applying for maternity, paternity and parental benefits, and issues the certificates needed for these. If a child is to be born outside of marriage, the father of the child can recognise his paternity during the pregnancy at the maternity clinic. The pregnant woman's spouse or other support person is always welcome to attend the clinic with her.