Calling all parents and parents-to-be

  The HSE needs your views on antenatal classes, information booklets and a new child health website:

Are you a parent or a parent-to-be? By taking part in a quick online survey, you can help improve the information provided by the HSE during pregnancy and/or your child’s early years. Parents who have been through some or all of these stages are the best people to help do that.
Take part in this quick online survey

The purpose of this survey is to get your views on:

·         Your information needs during pregnancy and early childhood
·         Resources given to parents by the HSE 
·         Your experiences of antenatal classes 

  Take part:

About the HSE’s Nurture Programme:

This survey is part of research with parents being under taken by the Nurture Programme: Infant Health and Wellbeing. The Nurture Programme is designed to improve the information and professional supports provided to parents by the HSE during pregnancy and the first three years of their baby’s life. 

Among the projects being delivered in 2018, there will be a new child health website, a new healthy pregnancy book, updated versions of the Caring for Your Baby and Child books, standards for antenatal education, blended learning training programmes for practitioners, an updated standardised child health record and the universal delivery of an updated Child Safety Programme.

The Nurture Programme is being delivered by the HSE supported by a grant from the Atlantic Philanthrophies through the Katharine Howard Foundation (KHF). Implementation support is provided by the Centre for Effective Services (CES). 

For more information, see or email

Letterkenny Maternity Unit Antenatal Information

Pregnancy, birth and motherhood are enormous changes in the life of a woman and her family. Antenatal care monitors your health during pregnancy, as well as the health and development of your baby. Antenatal education classes aim to help prepare the parents-to-be for pregnancy, labour and the transition to parenthood.

Antenatal Classes

This is a series of informal classes about pregnancy, labour, postnatal care of mother and baby and preparation for parenthood.

The course sessions are led by the Antenatal Education Co-ordinator and Physiotherapist. The sessions are informal get togethers, ideal for answering any questions that you or your partner may want to ask.

Booking Classes – please book by twenty weeks to secure a place

Classes in Letterkenny are booked by

  • Midwife at Antenatal Booking Clinic (First hospital visit)
  • Contacting Maternity Department
  • Contacting Antenatal Education Co-ordinator

Classes outside of Letterkenny, in community areas are booked by

  • Contacting the local Public Health Nurse
  • In your local Health Centre

For first time parents a full course consists of six classes run over a three week period. This includes 5 daytime classes and one evening birth companions class. In Letterkenny, daytime classes run on Monday/Thursday 10.00am – 12 Midday The evening class runs 7.00pm – 9.00pm

For returning parents there is a Refresher Class which, in Letterkenny, runs once a month on Monday 2.00pm – 4.00pm.


Other information

  • Classes are intended to start between 30-32 weeks of pregnancy
  • Teenage antenatal classes are also available
  • Individual attention is available for women with additional needs, by referring to Antenatal Education Co-ordinator.

Topics covered

  • Health in pregnancy
  • Exercises for pregnancy and labour
  • What happens in labour and birth
  • Breathing/positions
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief options
  • Tour of Maternity Unit
  • Caring for your baby at home
  • Breastfeeding
  • Your own health after the birth
  • Continence awareness
  • Emotions surrounding pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period
  • Adjusting to parenthood
  • Role of partner