Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
When should I carry my notes?(56 Posts)
Just looking for a quick bit of advice here. I'm 28 weeks pregnant with my DC1, work in London but live in North Hertfordshire so it takes me at least an hour and a half to get home (assuming I'm not waiting for tubes or trains).
I always take my notes with me if I stay away from home for a night or go on a day trip far away, just in case, but should I start taking them to work as I'm so far away from home? And, when do you think I should start doing this?
I've never taken my notes anywhere with me aside from to the MW or hospital and have no intention of doing so. Are we supposed to be carting this massive folder around with us? It's heavy
i've just started at 34 weeks, but only if I remember my handbag
I keep mine in the car, so I've got them ready at all times, but I'm sure that it's absolutely fine to keep them at home, unless you would prefer to carry them with you. As dannilion said, they can be heavy!
I never did, only to midwife and hospital appointments.
My MW told me yesterday that from 37 weeks you should carry your notes with you.
dannilion how much is in yours? Mines only a few sides of A4 and I have tonnes of appts/high risk etc
I travel quite far for work, often a couple of hundred miles a day, so think it is more important for me to carry them than someone who is always local.
I leave mine at work as my office is just round the corner from the hospital, so I alwys go to and from work for my appointments and can pop in to get them on the way to hospital should the need arise!
However I ended up going to the a&e near my parents' with bleeding when I was 17 weeks and got told off by the obstetrician who saw me for not having my notes with me at all times so really should be carrying them now I suppose!
I did take them away on holiday with me when I was 24 weeks though!
Mines a big folder with approx 200 pages (on card...card!) outlining every possible scenario ever, and enabling every member of the healthcare world to write a 10 page documentary on meeting me if they so wish.
I'm considered 'low risk' too. It's interesting just how different particular trusts actually are.
Yeah, PandaWatch I guess you've hit my point really. If anything should happen to me whilst I'm at work (and I'm planning on working until I'm 38 weeks) I wouldn't have my notes with me as I live at least an hour and a half away. So I wondered if anyone thought there was a point when I should be carrying them?
I am 36 and started carrying them with me since 31 weeks after going on hols!
Mines is quite light no binder so its not a problem for me, I guess it's for peace of mind and making sure if you need them you have them at hand!
It's def a " what if I'm at work and I'm rush to nearest hospital" they won't know anything about you!
Although with all technology you would of thought they could have all of this online by now! For back up!!!!
You should have them with you at all times throughout pregnancy really. That's what we tell all of our patients. If, God forbid, something happened to you and you were brought into a hospital unconscious those notes are the only things the healthcare staff would have to know how pregnant you (and therefore whether the best thing would be to deliver you immediately), what position your placenta is in, blood group and any significant medical or antenatal history! Like all good healthcare people I'm crappy at practising what I preach but I keep mine in my handbag that I use most so have them most of the time.
I have been told to have them with me at all times. If the folder is too heavy scan the pages in and store on your phone. Better safe than sorry.
This is interesting as I'm 17 weeks and didn't really see the point of carrying them until a bit further on...
Part of the problem is that not everyone knows yet, and carrying around an A4 set of notes (even without Bounty pack) is not very discreet. Plus I'm concerned that they'll get so battered in my bag all folded up that they'll be illegible by my due date at that rate!
I may follow Bejeena's tip and take pics of key pages and get OH to do the same for the time being.
I was told to take them with me if I went away from home - guessing this means out of county. Mine are an A4 notepad so not too onerous.
I have put mine in a plastic wallet thing so more discreet and better protected than in the bounty wallet!
Its time they went paperless - that way we'd all have access to them on our smartphone/iPads/computers and on paper if need be!
I was told to carry them at all times, they fit in my normal handbag in a car folder so they stay there.
DD has destroyed mine near enough, they live in a plastic pink wallet now to keep them all together! Only carry them when I have midwife to see really.
How about photographing them so they are always on your phone? Or scanning and storing them in a drop box?
I decided I'd start carrying them in my bag from 24 weeks but started carrying them in the car from 20weeks.
I hate the bounty brand so they are in a folder with all the consultant letters etc.
I'll keep an emergency bag in the car as well from about 36weeks
You should carry them at all times......having them on your phone/drop box is all well and good but if you have to to into hospital unexpectedly the doctors can't update your notes from a screen shot/photo on your phone x
I'm 36 weeks and have only been carrying them for about 10 days, mainly because I'm being monitored for pre-eclampsia and feel quite out of it and fully expect to pass out somewhere and wake up in hospital!
Mine aren't that big though, just a green A4 booklet that I fold in half and keep in a brown envelope.
Wow it's amazing that I guess these notes are not standard size!
Mines are not big A4 size and in a green plastic wallet so I can easily fold and put in handbag! Def not a hassle to carry around especially at this stage!
I've had 3 other children and never thought that notes were bulky I guess different boroughs, hospitals, countries have different sizes!!
I haven't started carrying them around routinely yet (25/40) - my commute is a similar length. If anything happens to make it higher risk or I was travelling outside of my county I'd probably take them with me though. Otherwise, dunno - maybe 34/40 as an arbitrary number?
Still don't think I'll start carrying them just yet.
If I'm awake I can give as good a history as is in the notes.
They'd need to retake blood samples (no lab will issue a cross match on the basis of a piece of paper from another hospital...) or use emergency blood anyway.
If I'm not conscious then there's a palpable bump equivalent to dates as a clue now but there might be bigger problems! & if it's a perimortem section then the odds for both of us wouldn't be great either & they can stop faffing about reading my notes & get to it. Cue anecdote of the Obstetrician being fast bleeped to Resus then going about to faff and meticulously scrub/prepare for surgery - returning to the Urologist holding a baby & more effective CPR going on. </cheery thoughts!>
But to be a big hypocrite - when working with pregnant ladies it was handy if they carried their notes!
I commuted to central London from Kent so probably a similar distance to OP and carried them with me full time from 30 weeks. Was a pain but oh well, just got to be thankful I didn't need them.
I'll probably start about 24/5 weeks? I have pointed out to mw that if they want us to carry them for 9 months they should make them handbag sized but they didn't seem to take it in. But it's just sensible - if they're too big/heavy then they're not really fit for purpose.
MW at hospital refused to see me til DH had gone home to get my notes - I'd come in worried about bleeding & had just forgotten to bring my notes. I thought that was mean.
I'm nearly 30 weeks and this week having been working 70 miles away from home. Have been keeping notes in boot of car, mainly because of how far from home I am really...
I was told when pregnant with dc1 though at booking in to keep the notes with me at all times. Thought this was odd tbh, as I miscarried last year before I had even had my booking in?!
I had a funny turn at 26 weeks last pregnancy, and the day assessment unit told me to come in, but only after I'd gone home to get my notes! As I could have gotten a direct train to the hospital from work, and I ended up getting a taxi from home, I then decided that it was easier just to carry them around after that.
I started carrying them at 28 weeks this time round, on the theory/hope that sods law would mean that I wouldn't need them till after 40 weeks..
They do have a bee in their bonnet about the notes but as I wrote mine myself at my booking in and am very clear about what they say I am not intending to carry them round with me. If I go I in unconscious I trust they will act appropriately to the situation and if I had them in a bag there is no guarantee that it would end up in hospital with me or they would look in it anyway.
When I arrived in labour with my first there were no staff available so no one gave my notes a second glance. Obv I took them in for my elcs with number 2 though!
With DS I never had them except appointments but got told off when I visited a friend and went into hospital around 28 weeks for reduced movement.
This pregnancy I take then everywhere as I have placenta previa so could bleed at any time - and have.
Mine are A4 in a white plastic folder but still bulky even in a big bag I use to carry DSs changing mat and nappies etc.
I think they are important to update rather than have a picture but common sense about when to carry them is probably needed.
Obviously take them on trips and holidays and if you have a long commute like OP seems a good idea. Taking them to the corner shop may be a bit excessive.
Also the further on you are the more important it is to have them
On DD1, I think I carried mine from about 30 weeks - but only if I was going to be more than 30 minutes from home.
On DD2, I was in Belgium and had no notes - just a card with my patient number (and possibly barcode). Every room in the hospital seemed to have a computer & they could access my notes on that. It did occur to me that this wouldn't be a lot of help if something happened when I was away from Brussels.
I fell on my bump at 24w and got loads of grief for not having my notes with me. "you should carry them as soon as you're pregnant" was the advice. They checked the baby anyway and all was well, but didn't ask my blood type so didn't give me the anti-d I should have had. The notes are SO heavy though it's ridiculous. Need to change the system somehow!
I photocopied the relevant page of information and folded it in with my scan pics. Full version lived in my car.
I only carry mine when I go to an appt. I'd feel ridiculous carrying them about everywhere! Can you imagine just going to the shops and trying to make a toddler hold hands plus shopping plus notes?
I was at about your stage, OP, when I was wondering the same thing.
Then bang on 29 weeks, I started bleeding at work and went straight into hospital - no notes. They didn't mind too much, and at least DH was able to go home and bring them in that evening (1.5hr round trip), but obviously there is key information in there which the hospital might need to know (bloods etc) and if you are anything other than low risk, it is even more important to have them with you.
I concur with those who put them in a folder - mine turned into a complete mess in hospital with pages detaching all over the place, so better to be sure it is all together.
Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy
According to my midwife ALL the time. Kind of the point isn't it? A baby/ situation can happen at any time after all unfortunately. It's a drag though as its heavy....
Don't want to carry all of it photocopy and keep in an envelope in your bag. Can shrink copies to a5? Seems an idea at least?
I carried them at all times, right from the start.
Just got a bigger handbag (more like a satchel) that had my notes, spare knickers and maternity pads and water as well as all the usual handbag stuff.
When I was pregnant with DS, I had a scare when I was working in central London at 34 weeks - my midwife told me not to come home to go to our local hospital (would have taken about an hour/hour and half to get from work to the local hospital), but go to the nearest in London. They told me off for not having my notes with me
This time round, I'm currently 23 weeks and intend to start carrying them from next week/week after when I go into London (assume when I'm local to my house I'll not bother as I'd always pop home first).
What I have done, is taken the notes out of the bounty folder (not advertising for them anyway!) and dumped all the
adverts leaflets, put my scan photos elsewhere etc and just take the notes.
Of course, this might be a good excuse to get yourself over to style and beauty and ask for advise for a new handbag that's big enough to carry the A4 folder of notes in it.
totally ridiculous that from dot they expect you to carry them with you at all times, completely impractical.
Thanks, everyone. Really interesting to hear everyone's opinions and it has really made me think about it from a wide variety of perspectives.
I must admit I had been put off because it seems a bit of a faff because they aren't the smallest things in the world but I do have Crohn's disease, asthma and some medicine allergies and should I be unconscious...well doesn't bear thinking about.
Thanks, everyone! (Might treat myself to a new handbag though!)
New bag, new bag, new bag!!!!
Realistically, it depends what's in them.
If you have a complex medical or obstetric history and the information contained in the notes is critical to the health of you and the baby, then I'd say carry them all the time from as early as possible.
If you're having a straightforward pregnancy and the notes will not add anything to standard care if you were admitted in an emergency, I'm not sure I would bother.
Never did last pregnancy - never got the chance to to be honest with going so prematurely.
This time around I'll probably chuck them in the back of the car after next midwife appointment (praying I make it - it's past the point I gave birth last time) and leave them in there... with how pants transport links are locally - there's no way I'll be arriving at either the hospital or the GPs surgery in anything other than car - or ambulance, in which case hubby would be following in the car anyway.
I long since ditched the cruddy Bounty folder (never quite felt comfortable carting around a huge "HOOO GUYS I'M PREGGAZ" sign) and have them in an A4 folder of my own. Bounty pack had fallen apart by the time I got home from booking in appointment under the cumulative weight of the junk mail.
I ended up in a&e yesterday after a car accident but didnt have my notes. Could have been seem so much quicker if I'd had them.
Gosh, hope you are ok Alison?
I decided to put my notes in my bag when I was 32 weeks as I work in a different county and travel and hour and a half each way. I don't know why I decided to do it that day but I'm pleased I did as that night I went to stay at my mums house (near to where I work) and I properly stacked it into the pavement landing on my precious bump.
I immediately went to the local hospital but was so pleased to have my notes. I've carried them with me ever since.
Alison are you ok? Did they delay your treatment because you didn't have your notes? I'm sorry but that's just ridiculous...
As for new bag, great but where the hell does everyone find the money for all the new clothes, food cravings, vitamins, baby stuff and a new bag? A bag to me is a frivolous luxury when there are other priorities.
Never was especially girly though...
Thanks ladies. Everything was ok. A woman drove into the back if my car. I was sure we were ok but wanted checking due to the seatbelt. Treatment was delayed as I didn't have my notes. Had to stay in a&e and wait rather than go to adau.
Pleased to hear all was ok, Alison.
I think delaying initial assessment because you don't have them is ridiculous & potentially puts them at medico-legal risk... although obviously having them is easier.
If I was or was with someone in that situation I would ask what their time target from presentation with foetal wellbeing concerns to auscultation of foetal heart beat/initiation of CTG monitoring was (place I worked was within 15 minutes!) & that if I could be given directions I'd happily take myself round to the maternity triage area for the clock to start ticking!
I had mine on me most of the time from 36 weeks or so with ds1. Just incase. This time its twins so finishing for mat leave earlier than last time but will prob lug them about from 26 wks.
mcRoo i also live in north herts and work in London... We probably get the same train line!
I've put mine in a plastic wallet - A4 pack of documents around here.
Now I've got to 24 weeks am going to keep in car (I commute to work by car).
I stop work at 30 weeks - at that point I'm going to use a larger handbag that will fit them... mmm new handbag as am not sure any of my current ones are sufficient !!!
Join the discussion
Please login first.