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endless antenatal check ups

(25 Posts)
julesrules Mon 22-Sep-08 14:12:17

Does anyone else find the number of ante-natal check ups intrusive?
Am embarking on my second pregnancy and memories of the dozens of appointments involved first time round are making me wonder whether to just not tell my GP until I'm seven months in.
So many blood samples first time round a visit to the doctor's felt like a visit to castle Dracula after a while!
Things were complicated by the fact that I caught pneumonia, but I was just reading that women have as many as 14 ante-natal check ups in a normal pregnancy.
Anyone else find all the blood taking and prodding and probing a little stressful?

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Sep-08 14:18:59

It might be time consuming and a bit bothersome, but that little nuisance pales in comparison to the heartache those tests can save.

You can always say they are against your religion or something and refuse all tests.

ajm200 Mon 22-Sep-08 14:24:40

I had twice daily appts (home visits with no set time) at the end of my last pregnancy as I was high risk. I actually appreciated that they were taking such good care of us and bought each member of the CMW team some chocolates after DS was born.

Our local health authority (Surrey) schedules a lot fewer appts with mums who have been pregnant before.

I actually like to hear the babies heartbeat each time.

The appts are for your benefit, if you don't want as many as they suggest discuss it when them. They may be happy to see you less frequently especially at the start.

AnarchyAunt Mon 22-Sep-08 14:29:20

Just say you'd like less appointments - they'll probably be delighted.

You can refuse anything you don't want or consider unnecessary/intrusive.

Upwind Mon 22-Sep-08 14:29:38

I've found antenatal appointments extremely stressful and unhelpful. I've had numerous blood tests for conditions I've either not been exposed to, or have been tested for recently. The questions were intrusive and were put to me by a judgemental midwife who lectured me about having had the occasional small glass of wine and tried to convince me that there was evidence it would cause FAS.

I've been tutted at for having a BMI below 21 despite a very slight build and being the heaviest I've ever been in my life at the start of the pregnancy. I was scared and distressed by being told that a low fundal height measurement at 17 weeks was at the margin of what they would allow and so I should call the hospital if there was pain or bleeding. She said that it was very unusual for anyone to measure three weeks behind at 17 weeks and you only normally see it towards the end angry I now know that it is unusual for fundal measurements to be taken before 20 weeks because they are unreliable.

Now I really would love to avoid going to any more check ups until the final couple of months. I have had no benefit, and maybe even actual harm from the stress caused by my appointments so far. Are there any real risks of taking that course? And would it somehow bring me to the attention of social services before my first born even arrives hmm

Next time in I think I will wait till seven months before seeing a GP.

nooname Mon 22-Sep-08 14:32:13

They're not compulsory so just decline if you don't like them.

I suspect most people feel reassured by them but if you don't then don't go to them.

Not sure I agree that there are loads anyway - I'm 20 wks and I've had one midwife app and about to have 2nd scan, then don't have another midwife app til 28 wks. Actually feels like a long gap in between apps.

nooname Mon 22-Sep-08 14:34:54

X-post with you upwind sorry. It sounds like you have a horrible midwife - maybe it would be an idea to see if you could see someone different?

The only benefit I think from the apps is having your wee/bloods tested so they pick up any infections etc, but if you are really stressed by the midwife you could always just see the dr if you have any concerns.

MissKubelik Mon 22-Sep-08 14:38:16

I'm 29 weeks into my second (problem-free) pregnancy and have had very few appointments so far. Booking in at 13 weeks (inc blood tests), routine midwife appointments at 16 weeks and 25 weeks, VBAC clinic and second lot of bloods at 27 weeks. And three scans at 7 weeks, 12 weeks and 23 weeks, but I quite enjoy those!

Seeing the midwife again tomorrow but I don't anticipate any problems so I don't expect I'll have to see her again for a few more weeks after that. I didn't have many appointments for my first pregnancy either as far as I can recall. I remember being quite shocked at how little care there was! I'm more laidback this time round and the level of care seems about right to me tbh.

Chaotica Mon 22-Sep-08 14:41:15

Don't go if you don't want to (surely!).

But as a word of caution, my (2nd) high risk pregnancy was only picked up because I had appointments which I could have dismissed as a bit pointless and boring. (Had totally normal first pg.)

Upwind Mon 22-Sep-08 14:50:09

Thanks nooname, think I will just see my GP with any concerns. The midwife is the only one attached to my GP practice, and I don't especially want to change GP.

MrsMattie Mon 22-Sep-08 14:54:32

I've been given less appointments this time around (2nd pregnancy) and have actually had to make extra appointments with my community midwife to discuss things.
I think they only wanted to book me in, give me my two scans (at 12 and 20 weeks) and see me at 20 weeks, 28 weeks, 34 weeks and around my due date - all for routine checks.

MrsTittleMouse Mon 22-Sep-08 14:58:21

You'll have less appointments this time around as it's a second pregnancy, as others have said. The other thing is that you might be able to arrange to have your antenatal check ups at the hospital instead, if you don't like your community midwife.

broodymom Mon 22-Sep-08 15:02:30

In some places how many visits you get change and if you are 2nd time mother they are usually less.

This is my third and they give you a list of when you will visit the mw, mine are
10-12 weeks then a scan at 12 weeks,next visit 16 weeks then 20 week scan, 23 weeks,30 weeks,37 weeks and thats it unless there are any complications.

I have a terrible time with them taking blood so i allowed them to take the first set for the booking appt, and have refused any further bloods for screening and all the ultra sound screening as well, as i will have my baby come what may so there is no point in taking tests.

ajm200 Mon 22-Sep-08 15:10:02

Oh I'd be happy just to have the ultrasounds without being given any results. I love to see baby on the screen

broodymom Mon 22-Sep-08 15:13:02

I am having the ultrasound as it is lovely to see baby ok but have refused the cubs and nuchal screening.

julesrules Mon 22-Sep-08 17:59:51

Thanks for all the feedback.
I've been reading up a bit since the post and apparently 14 appointments used to be standard. A few years ago guidelines changed to seven for normal second time around pregnancies.
That doesn't sound like a lot, and I'd love to bring dad and daughter number one along to the 12 or 23 week scan.
My worry is if I refuse tests I'll get into confrontations with medical staff - NHS professionals can be fantastic, they can also be really dogmatic, as upwind has found with her midwife.
I completely feel for you there upwind. A lot of people like to put pressure on first time mothers, particularly around breast feeding. And us mums-to-be are very easily made to feel worried.

SaintRiven Mon 22-Sep-08 18:02:35

I didn't bother with numbers 2, 3 and 4. Todl the doc when I was about 8 months along

julesrules Mon 22-Sep-08 18:17:20

PS I really do wonder about the social services thing too!
Is there a stigma to not wanting to be monitored during pregnancy?
Wouldn't the more normal thing be to see a doctor if I felt unwell - pregnancy is not an illness, after all.
Sometimes it feels like this is a bit for the doctors benefit - they spend so much time dealing with awful problems, getting involved in a healthy pregnancy makes them feel useful and gives them job satisfaction.
And doing all this monitoring helps them gather statistics.
The doctor who helped write the current government guidelines a few years ago on ante-natal check ups said something interesting:
"The pattern of antenatal care has evolved over the last 80 years, but it has been based on ritual and has not always had a scientific basis."
Maybe I'll try to just go for the scans and nothing else, and see if I'm allowed to get away with it!

MrsTittleMouse Mon 22-Sep-08 18:17:41

Changing tack a bit here - but I would think very carefully before taking your eldest to the ultrasound appointments. We have had a couple of friends who have not had happy appointments. It's rare, but I would want to be selfish, and not have to think about my older child, if I was dealing with a problem.

julesrules Mon 22-Sep-08 18:18:53

What was his/her reaction SaintRiven?

SaintRiven Mon 22-Sep-08 18:31:16

I expect he'd like to have said 'FFS' with numbers 2 and 3 cos they were elective sections so I had to be booked in pronto. Number 4 I arrived back in the UK at 33 weeks (no antenatal care in the US cos of insurance issues) and called the midwives at the hozzie about week 35. We didn't have a GP.
They then spent the next 7 weeks trying to persuade me to have another section rather than a vabc. I just had fetal heart monitoring. No tests or scans.

TheHedgeWitch Mon 22-Sep-08 18:37:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaintRiven Mon 22-Sep-08 18:39:19

people always get horrified I refuse scans. What about disability they bleat?

Upwind Mon 22-Sep-08 19:30:01

Julesrules - I am genuinely concerned about the social services thing, as I suspect that not attending ante natal appointments may move us into a "high risk" group. Not that we have any other risk factors, but still...

JezzaJ9 Tue 23-Sep-08 12:59:14

Maybe I am the exception to the rule but I have had an appointment once a month since I was 7 weeks I am now 29.3 and they have not been intrusive and my MW is really nice not pushy anwsers any questions and does all the normal checks that are in my maternity notes to do i.e. Fetal Heart Rate and movement. Which is really nice to hear.

To be honest she has not checked my weight since my first appointment I am sure my BMI is now bound to be up, but maybe its just the area that you live in.

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