'We're really proud of our team - from porters to doctors to midwives' - Irish hospitals going above and beyond to help women in labour today
Irish maternity hospitals have advised pregnant women who feel they might be going into labour during Storm Emma to contact their hospitals.
A spokesperson for the HSE said hospitals are doing everything they can to help any pregnant women who might go into labour.
"The best thing for women to do is to contact the hospitals themselves in the first instance," the spokesperson said.
"Obviously if women can't make their own way in then the hospitals are working with the Civil Defence, and obviously our ambulance services are out as well, even though it will be challenging."
Mary Brosnan, Director of Midwifery at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street said staff at all levels are doing everything they can to help women in labour during Storm Emma.
"We're really grateful for every one of our staff who's been doing everything they can to get in today. People who are on the night shift tonight have already come in to stay so they can be here tonight."
"We're really proud of our team, from the porters to the doctors to the midwives. Everyone is working so hard."
A spokesperson for the Rotunda Hospital said all front line and support staff are being accommodated to ensure the hospital is fully operational.
“The Rotunda Hospital can confirm that through extensive efforts external accommodation has been sourced within the vicinity of the hospital to ensure that all front line and support staff are being accommodated to ensure continuity and maintenance of maternity services. This has been arranged in a number of city centre hotels in close proximity to the hospital"
In the interest of public safety, the hospital said it had "no option but to close its Out Patient’s Department from 2pm today and all day tomorrow.
All cancelled appointments will be rescheduled.
The Rotunda spokesperson added: "Labour wards, Theatre and ER are still fully operational and emergency cases will be cared for as normal. The Rotunda Hospital has a range of contingency plans in place to ensure the needs of patients are catered for, they include liaison with agencies including the National Ambulance Service, the Defence Forces and others."
"If patients urgently require attendance, the hospital advises that they contact the National Ambulance Service in the first instance.”
A spokesperson for University Maternity Hospital Limerick said women who go into labour today should contact the hospital.
“Expectant mothers are given contact details for University Maternity Hospital Limerick as part of their ante-natal care. For the avoidance of doubt, women who go into labour can contact the hospital at 061 483144 and they will receive appropriate advice.
The spokesperson added: "For those unable to travel during the ongoing weather warnings, the usual numbers (112 or 999) apply for the emergency services.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Ireland East Hospitals Group, which includes the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar, Wexford General Hospital and St Luke's General Hospital in Kilkenny, said consultants in the hospitals have been in contact with women who are going into labour.
Some maternity patients in Wexford have been called into hospital early and are being accommodated on maternity wards.
"Our hospitals have been pro-actively having consultants reviewing, triaging and calling their maternity patients."
Women who go into labour early should call emergency and ambulance services as soon as possible, the spokesperson said.
"All maternity patients who have any concerns are welcome to call their hospitals Maternity Department where advice and assistance will be provided to them."
Women who are attending Wexford General Hospital have been advised as follows:
"In the interests of safety for mothers and babies, maternity patients are being assessed and will be contacted on an individual basis regarding their care and follow up. Maternity patients are welcome to contact the Maternity Department at any time if they have any worries or concerns please contact (053) 9153360."
Meanwhile, women who are attending St Luke's General Hospital have been advised as follows:
"In the interests of safety for mothers and babies, the Ante Natal Booking Clinic and the Gynaecology Clinic, due to be held on Thursday 1st March 2018, and the Ante Natal Clinic, due to be held on Friday 2nd March 2018, have been cancelled."
"Maternity patients are welcome to contact the Maternity Department at any time if they have any worries or concerns on the following numbers: 8am-8pm please contact the Obstetric Assessment Unit on (056) 778 5256 8pm-8am, please contact the Labour Ward on (056) 778 5288."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the maternity department at the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar said:
"Maternity patients are welcome to contact the Maternity Department directly at any time if they have any concerns or require advice, please ring the Labour Ward on 044 9394411."
"Antenatal clinics have been rescheduled and mothers have been contacted on an individual basis. Early Pregnancy service will be available on Friday morning 2nd March at 8.30 am."
More to follow.