In a hospital the Midwifery-Led Unit (MLU) is a team of midwives who look you from when your first booking, all through your pregnancy, your labour, birth, and for your postnatal care. This service is free to those that fulfil Irish residency critera. There are 2 MLUs in Ireland – in Cavan and Drogheda. You may avail of this service if you have a low risk pregnancy.
These units provide a very different environment than that of a hospital room. The rooms are very calming and are quite similar to a hotel room. There are birthing balls, bean bags as well as music and a water pool. Gas masks are also available.
MLUs encourage women to find a position that is suitable for their birth. There will be less interference in the natural course of your labour. You are also less likely to have an epidural or caesarean if you choose a Midwife led unit.
You can go home between 6 and 48 hours after the birth and a midwife will visit your home every day for around 7 days. After that a public health nurse will take over.
If there are any concerns throughout the labour and birth you will be transferred to an obstetrician.
The two MLUs are located in Cavan General Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co. Louth.