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baby, hospital, Tips

New baby in the Coombe – what Dads need to know

My new baby girl is fast asleep after a feed, Mum is off doing a physio class, and I thought that a few tips for new Dads coming in to the Coombe might just help. This is our second child born here, and we’ve been in St Joseph’s ward for 5 days recovery each time. Obviously these are tips based on my personal experience, but I thought they might help other Dads in a similar position. The staff are great but these tips are won through experience as they don’t always get passed on immediately… The more you do the less you are calling on the staff, who work very hard and will appreciate your taking anything off their hands of the mundane stuff. If in doubt, ask – they’ll tell you what you can help with.


The parking tickets last for 4 hours, then it’s €5 per hour or part hour afterwards. But if you go down to the pay station before the 4 hours is up, you can just put your ticket in, pay €2.50 and it is valid for a further 4 hours. You don’t have to ( as I did with our last baby ) drive the car out and into the carpark again each time.

There are more spaces around the back of the hospital.

If paying €2.50 every 4 hours is getting too expensive, pass the main entrance on your right and keep driving about 200 yards. The next turn right is just before a LIDL, so turn right there and then immediately left and go down into the LIDL underground carpark. At the time of writing this they don’t charge, and the streets behind and around there are also free parking.

Don’t be tempted to park on the pavement outside the Coombe – they WILL clamp you.

Very busy mid morning and you can often have to queue to get in for up to 45 minutes, so use LIDL at these times if you’re in any kind of a hurry.


There’s a chemist on the corner at the traffic lights to your left as you exit the main entrance to the hospital less than 100 yards walk.

Visiting hours

The security guys downstairs are pretty strict on the rest times etc., so make sure that you are in before the rest times start. If you are in a private room as we were lucky enough to be, they won’t throw you out, and this means that you can look after little one and give Mum a chance at an hour or two of much needed sleep.

If you are in the ward then stay hidden during the rest periods as they’ll not generally let you back up even if you just popped out to the shop.

Breast Pumps

Symphony Breast Pump

The ward is woefully under equipped with breast pumps – there seemed to be just 1 which was constantly in demand by ladies all over the ward. This can make it very difficult for Mum to stick to any kind of timed routine.

However, you can hire your own from Price’s Medical Hall who are at 26 Clare Street, tel 01 676 1899. The one in use at St Joseph’s is the yellow Symphony pump, and it costs about €95 per month to hire it out.

You then also need to get a set of the attachments which Prices have or are also stocked by the little shop in the Coombe.


There are tiny little white flaps which regulate the air flow on each attachment. These do NOT go in the steriliser when you out the other bits in – wash them in warm soapy water then rinse. If you sterilise them they start to tear and become useless. Prices used to have spares but you may need to buy a whole new set of attachments if they do rip.



There are sterilisers in the office next to the nurses station which you can use to sterilise the breast pump attachments between uses. Remember to put a label onto your bowl next to the steriliser with the number of your room and the time you started it going so you don’t lose your stuff.

Iced Water

The last door on the left before the nurse’s station is the Ward Manager’s office. As you go in the door straight ahead of you is the ice machine – you are allowed to take the plastic water jug and fill it with ice as needed. There is a water cooler behind the door on the right to top the jug up with cold water.

Got any other tips – please share them by leaving a comment. Hope these help you…


About Joe Houghton

As a self confessed gadget and app lover, here are my personal musings and thoughts on useful, interesting or maybe just odd technology which caught my eye...


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