A topic that comes up all too frequent and when I say “you do know you can get your hospital notes” it is usually met with “I never knew that, how do I get them”. So here it is, my guide on how you can request your hospital birth notes under the Freedom on Information Act AND it is free AND you don’t have to give a reason to why you want them!!!
Many women apply for their birth notes, it can be for a number of reasons; from helping them to get a timeline and understanding of events, to have as a keepsake for baby, or you may not have been happy with your experience and would like to gain more information.
You can apply in writing to the Freedom of Information Officer at your maternity hospital. The information that you need to give them is; Your Name, Address, Contact number, your date of birth, your baby’s name and date of birth and a photocopy of your driving licence or passport. It’s also really important that you state “You are applying under the Freedom of Information Act 1997” AND you do not need to give a reason to why you are looking for your records.
AIMS IRELAND have also written further information on this topic, the link to their page is here
I requested my hospital birth notes after the birth of my first baby. For me I found it very much an important step in understanding her birth so that I could mentally prepare myself for my next birth. My notes arrived on our wedding day, just before Christmas!! and it honestly took me a few weeks to have the confidence or maybe courage to read them. from personal experience reading your hospital notes, especially if your experience was not what you had hoped for, traumatic for you or baby can bring up alot of emotions for both you and your birth partner. If this is where you are at, be gentle with yourself and don’t be afraid to seek further help or guidance. Nurture Health – Counselling Service is worth checking out if you think you need more support.
Don’t forget that the HSE also provides a service called Your Service Your Say. I would encourage all mom’s to use it, for either feedback, praise or complaints.
I hope the information provided here will be of benefit to you. Don’t forget, if there is a topic that you would like discussed let me know and I will do my best to cover it.