A new Domino Scheme started in Cork this year. Domino schemes have been available as an option in other parts of the country - such as Holles Street in Dublin - for a number of years now, so it is such great news that this type of maternity care is now a possibility for women living in Cork.
The Scheme in CUMH is a pilot project at the moment, and it is open to women living within a 5 mile radius of the hospital and who are considered low risk during their pregancy.
Domino stands for 'Domiciliary Care In and Out of Hospital'. A Domino Schemes aims to provide continuity of care throughout a woman's pregnancy, birth and during the postnatal period. The Schemes are midwife-led which makes them different than most of the care offered to women in a maternity setting in Ireland, as consultant-led care is the norm in our current maternity system.
Studies, such as the ones mentioned in this AIMS talk by Professor Declan Devane of NUI Galway, conclude women using midwife-led care have less intervention during their labours, less use of pain relief and increased satisfaction with their births. So the development of midwife-led schemes such as these is definitely something to be excited about and applauded.
If you book in with the Domino Scheme in CUMH you will be cared for throughout your pregnancy and labour by a team of midwives working in this scheme. Antenatal appointments usually take place in a community setting. They tend to be less rushed and busy than if you were going through the normal hospital system - with plenty of time for any questions or concerns you may have. When labour starts, you phone the mobile number given to you by the Domino team and when you arrive at the hospital you will be met by one of the midwives and taken down to the labour ward. During your labour you will then have continuous support from the Domino Scheme midwives.
After baby arrives (and once your birth has been straightforward, and all is well with Mum and Baby) you are able to go home after 6 hours. You will then receive a number of postnatal visits from the comfort of your own home - again from members of the Domino team.
If you are newly pregnant, low risk and in the catchment area do ask about the scheme at the hospital or give Martina, the Domino Co-Ordinator, a ring on 0867872396 (Office hours only)
I was lucky enough to attend the first ever birth under the Domino Scheme in Cork, as a doula, earlier this year. My client had opted to go with Domino care and fit the criteria. It was a fantastic experience and I was very excited for the Mum and Dad, who loved the early release aspect and the postnatal home visits.
Hopefully the Scheme will be extended in the future, making it available to more women in the Cork area.
Do let us know if you decide to go with the Scheme and tell us how you got on.