A mother had her wallet, smart phone, and credit cards stolen while she was giving birth at one of the main maternity hospitals in the country.

U.S. citizen Jill Leonard and Adrian O'Connor were elated after the birth of their son, Kane, at the University Maternity Hospital in Limerick last Friday.

However they were shocked when they returned to the ward to find that the proud mother’s wallet and smart phone had been stolen, the Irish Times reports.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed that the incident had taken place.

"We never discuss hospital security measures on the grounds that to do so might compromise their effectiveness," the HSE spokesman said.

The robbery occurred between 7.30pm and 9pm while Leonard (32) gave birth by Caesarean section.

"It certainly changed the day for us, unfortunately. I felt sick, it's hard to even talk about it," she said.

"When we came back to the ward from the delivery room, Adrian noticed after a while that a few things were gone – my phone, my wallet with everything in it. And then we realised we had been robbed at the time that I was giving birth," she said.

They couple have an older son Jack, aged two, who was born in the U.S. They returned to Clare two years ago to run the Black Umbrella Photography company in Ennis.

"I had my own personal bank cards and the company bank cards in the wallet that was taken,"  Leonard explained.

"There was also the company banking details and there would have been other details to work out where we lived and the fact that we have cameras and other equipment."

In a statement, the HSE said, "In common with every major hospital in the country, we strongly discourage patients from bringing valuables such as cash, cards and smart phones with them."

A maternity ward- American mother's wallet and phone stolen while she gave birth in LimerickGoogle Images