Impeccable safety record
Guaranteed continuity of care by the same midwife
This is the gold standard of care. It helps to build a relationship of trust between you and your midwife and significantly reduces the risk of decreases your risk of having a premature birth. Research shows that continuity of care by a midwife trained to international standards reduces the risk of premature birth by 24%.
Woman Centred and Family Oriented Experience
Private midwives offer you a broad range of choice so that puts you in control of your body and your
Convenience for you and your family
You never have to wait in an antenatal clinic and all appointments are arranged in advance and at a time that suits you
We can support you in circumstances where you might otherwise be excluded from
having a homebirth in Ireland-for example if your pregnancy goes beyond 42 weeks or your
waters rupture for more than 18 hours at term
Emotional and Physical Wellbeing for you and your family
99% of women who use Private Midwives Service report that they are satisfied with their experience and the service they received. Women also report having felt empowered. For women who experience birth trauma a homebirth can afford an opportunity to recover and heal.
How to Book
You can choose a package of care from a service menu which suits your need and budgets.
You can begin care with Private Midwives Ireland as soon as you wish and according to your needs.The smallest care package is an antenatal care package starting at 34 weeks with one week of post natal care. You can also book individual antenatal and postnatal appointments, homemaker over night support, breastfeeding support and hospital support (not currently available due to COVID)
How Care is Structured
When you book care with private midwives you will be allocated a midwife who will lead your care.
You will see that same midwife throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born and she will visit you at home for each appointment. She will help you and your birth partner to gather all of the tools and information you will need to prepare for your birth including defining your birth preference, organizing your birth space and relaxation and breathing techniques. She will attend your birth and visit you after your baby is born to check that you and your baby are well and to offer expert post natal support including breastfeeding. She will organize will liaise with the hospital, your GP and public health nurses so that your care is seamless and streamlined and discharge you back to community care when your care is complete.
Whether it is your first or fifth bay, whether you are having a homebirth or hospital birth, whether a physiological birth or a caesarean section I wish you and your baby calm, comfortable and safe birth.
Remember calm mum, calm baby, calm birth!
I cannot recommend working with Brenda highly enough.
I had gone in to my second pregnancy following a labour experience which had left me fearful of labour, birth and the post partum period in general.
After My 1st meeting with Brenda I had an instant feeling of relief. She listened to me in great detail in a kind and empathetic manner. This was the 1st time that I experienced this, and that in and of itself was very healing.
Brenda then built a bespoke plan for me and my partner, which was catered around my family schedule. This service in it's entirety was completely woman focused and person centered.
Brenda is highly attuned to the needs of her clients. She spent a lot of time working with me on fear release. After a while I found that, to my surprise, I was looking forward to my labour.
Brenda also helped my partner to feel really connected to my pregnancy. Giving meditations for us to do together, and ensuring that we had all of the conversations that we needed to have about pregnancy and the post partum period well in advance. This helped us to feel like a unit. When I went in to labour I noticed how calm he was. He knew exactly what I needed and exactly where I needed him to be.
Some of the knowledge that Brenda empowered us with included:
Increased physical comfort throughout my pregnancy by showing me yoga techniques. This was very beneficial as I was experiencing SPD, and my baby was also in a breach, posterior position until quite late in my pregnancy. Thankfully, with much encouragement, he decided to turn.
Use of hypnobirthing as a form of pain relief and releasing fear during labour. I found that the techniques that Brenda taught me really helped me to get through the labour. I was able to focus on my breath rather than any discomfort that I was experiencing.
Brenda is a fortress of knowledge and gave us much practical information about labour, including the stages of labour, nature of hormones and how to promote oxytocin, How to prepare my labour space in a way which would ensure that I felt safe, information about medications & pain relief and ways to promote maternal and baby bonding after birth.
Advice about preparing & including my daughter for the birth of her sibling. (we have had no major regressions or breakdowns regarding her new brother, so far 🙏)
Use of aromatherapy to provide comfort during labour. This has been something that I have continued to use in a daily basis since my labour.
My experience with Brenda has left, not only myself, but my partner and daughter feeling thoroughly empowered. I had the most beautiful birth experience with my son. I genuinely could not have even imagined that it would have gone as well as it did. I am most certain that had I not worked with Brenda, my experience wouldn't have had such a positive outcome for us all.
I am now 3 weeks post partum and feel amazing. We are really feeling the effects of being supported in such an all encompassing way.
... I went in to this experience hoping not to experience the same feelings of vulnerability in the post-partum period. I never could have imagined that I would come out the other side of it feeling completely empowered. I am more than certain that the after effects of working with Brenda will resound throughout the rest of my motherhood journey and will continue to benefit and bless my partner, children and family throughout our lives.
❤️ I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Emma Geeleher, Clonmel.
Brenda is just the loveliest woman & an amazing midwife, so calm & caring. Her support throughout my pregnancy was second to none & she made my homebirth experience everything that I hoped it would be!
Linda Kinsella, Kilkenny.
Brenda was an amazing support to me leading to, during, and after my homebirth. I couldn't recommend her enough. Her calmness, experience is yoga and meditation, baby massage, breastfeeding support etc. were all invaluable to me......
.....A homebirth was not my intention from the start of my pregnancy. I believed a homebirth was for warrior-women without fear, and after a previous traumatic hospital birth, I definitely didn't see myself in such a category.....
I was blessed with my midwife .... I was certainly on edge regarding keeping my family safe at this time and she helped me to meditate, focus on breathing, and discussed my fears to release them.
I was worried about my baby being direct OP as this had caused me serious issues in the labour ward for my first birth. It resulted in severe pain, pitocin, epidural that didn't work, prepping for C section and general anaesthetic, then last minute vacuum delivery, then hemorrhaging, then a complete disconnect from my body and child for some time.
I practiced breathing, visualization, and tried my best to make peace with my fears and only concern myself with what was in my control. My midwife had to center me a few times as these are just strange times we are living in.
On 40+4wks,..., I heard a distinct "pop" noise..... I ... found some water still trickling out that I couldn't stop. It wasn't much but I was pretty sure it was 'go time' . I text my midwife.
Suddenly my body started to breath and push this baby down. It wouldn't wait any longer. My midwife told me to go with my body. After a few pushes she rotated my position from on my knees to a reclined one and I could see the top of my baby's head. My second midwife, Liz Halliday, arrived at this point. They both had a quick discussion and she asked me to "take a knee". A few pushes later the baby's head was out and I felt him rotate. A few more pushes (during which my timed breathing had turned to yells) he was fully delivered and in my arms. It lasted 7 minutes.
Before long I was in bed with my new son who latched on himself immediately and lay on me calmly for hours....
I was exhausted but so calm. I couldn't believe I had done it. I felt like one of those warrior women. Everything was peaceful.....
My primary midwife was with me for 4 additional visits over the next week and via text when needed. I would recommend PMI for a stress-free birth and if I ever have another baby, my first choice would be a homebirth.
Sakina Kashani Grant. Waterford
Having a homebirth was an amazing experience. It was the most intense experience of my life and I was probably a bit in shock after, due to the speed of the labour and birth, but throughout, with Adrian, Brenda and Racheal (doula) I felt so safe and protected and respected. I felt I had autonomy and control, and that made all the difference.
My two previous births were in hospital, both with epidurals, and both were very long. I was tense during those births and think that's probably what ultimately made things harder. I was afraid and even though I had read everything I could and was well educated on birth, I felt unprepared and anxious. .... I wasn't traumatized or negatively affected by my births, I just knew they weren't the right way for me.
.... I knew this would be my last, so I wanted to give myself the opportunity to try birth in the way I felt I needed......I don't fit the parameters for the HSE scheme (overweight).... Private Midwives... put me in touch with Brenda Harkin,...Brenda also teaches pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing, so we did hypnobirthing over 6 sessions on zoom. My biggest issues were worry about handling another long labour and being able to keep going if I got tired. I'd never experienced what kind of pain might be involved in crowning and birthing the baby. So I was a bit afraid. The hypnobirthing did wonders for me. Brenda kept me focused on the positive, on what I can do, and helped me remember that this birth was not dictated by my previous ones. The relaxations were bliss too
I went 13 days over, and my usual nature would have me anxious, upset, impatient. That's how I was when I went 6 days over on the other two! But this time I was fine. I was calm, relaxed, baby will come when he's ready to come. As we got closer to the dreaded 14 days over though, I did start to find it difficult to deal with the fear that I could end up having to be induced in hospital, alone. Mostly I was able to manage that fear with the help of my relaxations, but it lurked. Brenda was wonderfully supportive too, she did some hypnobirthing with me to try encourage baby, and kept in contact to see how I was.
I tried to sleep but found the surges got even more irregular and quite painful if I lay down, so I just got on my ball and watched some more comedy. The surges were fine....Surges were strong but I was managing. I was on my hands and knees in the sitting room when they came, and that was the best position for me, but I felt I needed to open my legs really wide with each surge. I could almost feel and visualise myself opening, that was different to my previous experiences.
I was much more in tune with my body.I remembered Brenda telling me that keeping the jaw and mouth and throat open relates to the same in the cervix, so early in labour I had made the conscious decision to make sound as I breathed out, to keep my mouth and jaw relaxed. That escalated as I went along, so by this point I ud long grunts.
He was born at 6.58am, and my surges never really made it to a rhythm at all. ..while I was standing I felt more pressure in my bum. I don't know if I pushed, but I feel like I squatted slightly, and I felt his head come out, followed very swiftly by the rest of him... my surges never really made it to a rhythm at all.
See Emers full birth story here: https://www.strikingly.com/s/sites/11176836/edit?uid=de4bc009-6500-4480-bc14-42d24e89e403#70936
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My husband and I did antenatal and hypnobirthing classes on line with Brenda and booked her through private midwives Ireland to attend our home birth.
Brenda was very accommodating from the start as the classes took place in the middle of the pandemic and she did her best to fit us in at times to suited us. She was friendly and helpful and her antenatal classes went into so much more detail than the hospital classes.
Hypnobirthing was fantastic. It thought me how to stay calm during labour and I firmly believe it has contributed to us having the chilled, happy and contented baby girl we now adore. I would encourage all pregnant women to practice hypnobirthing.
For the homebirth Brenda attended my home every week for my check ups from 36 weeks on-so it was lovely not to have to go to the hospital for appointments. She also advocated on my behalf when dealing with the hospital which I greatly appreciated. Brenda was a fountain of knowledge and advice. She visited my house four times after the birth of my baby and thought us so much about looking after her, and she helped me get breastfeeding off to a great start.
Brenda is such a hardworking, kind lady and she really listens to what you have to say. I highly recommend her classes and the Private Midwives Service.
Fiona Gannon Wexford
Have questions? Contact Brenda
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