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Utterly livid on behalf of my niece

(26 Posts)
Songbird Wed 22-May-13 17:38:42

My niece is 20, as is her boyfriend. She found out she was pregnant about 2 months ago and had her first midwife visit today. The mw made her feel like utter shit, making comments like she would 'have something to say' to her son if he got into this situation (he's the same age as them), and was just generally very judgemental and not at all supportive.

DN has had a horrible time of it so far, terrific pain in the very early days leading to an emergency scan, end of year exams at uni, which mercifully finished last week. Most of all, she has been completely freaking out! Her boyfriend is being wonderful - he went with her today and is pissed off but not upset by it. Bless them, they're getting married in a couple of weeks as it's important to them both, but this is piling on loads more stress.

Admittedly she is hormonal and is feeling sensitive about what people think about the whole situation, but still, surely your mw should be a pillar of strength and support for you?! She's the only midwife at the surgery so DN is stuck with her, it looks like. No wonder she feels she can treat people like shit if there's no competition hmm. There must be young women who avoid appointments fearing this sort of treatment. After initially being really upset, DN is now being more 'fuck it and fuck her' about it, which is good.

Sorry, just needed to vent!

LemonBreeland Wed 22-May-13 17:43:04

I think your DN should complaim to the supervisor of mws and find out if there is a way she can see someone else.

Absolutely appalling of the mw to judge like that. What the hell does she say to teenagers? angry

FlumpsRule Wed 22-May-13 17:45:24

Sounds, to me, as though she overstepped the mark professionally, or made a poor misjudgement of situation. Not surprised you're all a bit hmm. Hope it all goes well from now on.

TinkyPeet Wed 22-May-13 18:29:09

Can she not ask to see a gp instead of a midwife? As far as I know they do the same things at routine appointments, bloods, urine dip, bp and bump measuring. If there's something she specifically wants to ask a midwife she could call the assessment centre for advice or the community midwives I suppose? I personally would have asked her specifically what she would have 'had to say' and if she thought it was an appropriate comment to make to a first time mum! But then again I'm a bit of a bitch outspoken like that
Hope she's ok x

farmersdaughter Wed 22-May-13 18:39:44

Good lord it shouldn't matter if you're 20 or 45, being pregnant is tough. Everyone she be treated with kindness and respect. I would complain in writing.

I had a midwife say something off to me, I addressed the matter on the spot and told her under no circumstance was she to speak like that to me again. That shut her up stupid cow.

Futterby Wed 22-May-13 19:08:44

I would complain. Strongly. I'm 18 and had a mw ask me if I "know who the father is?" Currently waiting to hear back from my complaint.

I totally understand how your niece must feel, I would be LIVID if it was me.

That's appalling. I was the same age having my first and it's tough enough without people judging you and making you feel terrible.

She should complain, definitely. That mw shouldn't be practicing if she can't keep her opinions to herself.

Songbird Wed 22-May-13 19:48:35

Thanks everyone. I told her to complain and ask to see someone else next time and she said 'I'd have to switch doctors as she's the only midwife at the surgery, I'll just ignore her'. I think she hasn't got much fight in her at the moment sad

MrsSpagBol Wed 22-May-13 20:12:15

Songbird is it possible for you to draft the letter for her? She might find it easier if someone starts it off for her and then you can just edit it so that it is in her own words.

I feel really strongly about this. I feel like people get away with saying these kind of thoughtless things because no one calls them on it, but it can be devastating to someone - imagine if your niece had no support (like you) to tell her the MW was BU?

Really gets my goat. People need to think before they speak.

farmersdaughter Wed 22-May-13 20:20:08

futter shock that is bloody awful. Good for you, keep us updated on the complaint.

I agree Songbird that if you can please write the letter on her behalf and get her to sign it. Issues like this need to be address or it will continue.

Futterby Wed 22-May-13 21:00:25

Will do. Was so shocked! Especially since I was wearing my engagement ring and have been with my partner for four years. How dare she judge me like that?! And if it's happened to me, it's happened to others too.

Honestly don't understand why some of these people get into midwifery. Although, it is a minority.

SeriousStuff Wed 22-May-13 21:20:58

It's not the MW's place to judge, whatever the situation (unless the mother or father are putting their baby at risk in some way). I would definitely make a complaint.

Songbird Wed 22-May-13 21:32:27

Have said again that i think she should complain. God, this woman is probably going to deliver her baby!!! I'm thinking she won't be the type to respect an irresponsible young woman's birth plan!! Finger's crossed.

Futter well done you for speaking up, and i hope something is done. I was shock at what she said to you. You expect midwives to at least be supportive don't you? They must see all sorts every day, being so judgemental must be exhausting!!!

My midwife was wonderful and i was gutted she wasn't at dd's birth. My birth plan went out the window and i had a horrible time. But my pregnancy was ok thanks to my fab antenatal care. dn is back living at home and my brother and sil are being great about it so at least she has support at home. I'm bloody miles away so can't be there for her as much as i'd like sad

Thank you all so much x

wonderstuff Wed 22-May-13 21:50:34

It is very difficult when the community MW is poor. Mine wasn't rude but lost blood results and faffed and I wanted someone else. I wasn't able to change GP surgery, the other local surgery refused to take me on although they said they'd 'heard about' my midwife.

Difficult though it is your niece should complain, how on earth does this women react to 15 year olds? She needs to know that judging the women she cares for is not on (how she doesn't know this already is baffling). The question is does she complain now or after birth. If she has a hospital birth she is unlikely to have the community MW deliver her.

HollyGoHeavily Wed 22-May-13 21:58:42

I thought 'Do you know who the father is?' is a routine question - i'm a fairly respectable woman in my 30s and was asked this. It's a factual question which they need to know the answer to, not a value judgement.

I was a little bit more hmm at the follow-up question of 'are you related to the father?' - the midwife apologised but said they had to ask as it's important information and people tend not to volunteer it without being prompted...

Futterby Wed 22-May-13 22:20:14

I know what you mean Holly, but it was said in a kind of "look down my nose at you" way.

OP I think that's awful. If you get pregnant at 35+ it's 'oh, you left it late', if you do it at 20, there are bitches judgey people like this MW asking effectively why they are 'so young'. So when should we get pregnant?
I'd ABSOLUTELY make a complaint at the very very least. Utterly unacceptable.

Shylepite Wed 22-May-13 23:09:53

Please encourage your niece to complain, that mw will carry on speaking to women like that because she can get away with it! I was spoken to like shit by a mw and really kick myself for not complaining, I so hope the next woman she does it to has more guts than I did.

emblosion Thu 23-May-13 10:51:58

How horrible, your poor niece! I would also encourage her to complain, as otherwise this midwife will continue to be thoughtless & ignorant to others and its really not acceptable, let alone professional.

There's a phone number for a supervisor of midwives in my notes, maybe something similar in your area? Your niece should be comfortable with people providing her antenatal care, it might be they can arrange for her to see someone different?

vkinski Thu 23-May-13 11:23:37

Seriously, some of these midwives make my blood boil!! That is shocking treatment, no one has any right to say such a thing and an allegedly 'professional' midwife should know better. Utterly disgusting. I realise it sometimes feels like a hassle complaining about things like this, but if I was your niece , I would send a warning shot to her by complaining about your treatment - your niece is well within her rights.

I encountered a few horror midwifes when I was in hospital having my DD. That was 10 years ago and I am now pregnant with no.2 - I would like all the midwives in the world to know that I am older and wiser this time round and won't just sit back and take their nonsence this time round!!

scoutfinch1 Thu 23-May-13 21:49:06

This is horrible! Agree with the other posts and it would be great if your niece could make a complaint about this to the supervisor of midwives even if she needs your or her boyfriend's support to do it. It's not fair for her to have to go through her whole pregnancy dreading every midwife appointment.

I'm not much older than your niece and am also expecting DC1 and have been dreading this sort of thing happening to me but luckily (touch wood) it hasn't and all the midwives that I have dealt with have been sometimes disorganised but never judgemental or downright horrible like this one. There is no need for it but your niece should know that not all midwives are like that and she should be able to find someone to support her.

Being in your early 20's and being 'so young' does not in anyway mean that you will be a worse mother than someone older and it is disgusting that people, especially midwives, would have that opinion. It wasn't that long ago that this was the 'normal' age to have children. Hopefully this is the last time in her pregnancy that your niece encounters this attitude but at least she has family and a good partner to support her. Oh and mega impressed that she is managing to sort out getting married whilst pregnant, we thought about that and thought that it would be too difficult so good for her for going for it! Hope she gets this sorted out

TeamEdward Thu 23-May-13 22:00:46

I have a friend whose girlfriend got pregnant at Uni, towards the end of their 2nd year. They got married, had a beautiful baby girl, and both graduated (her just a year after him). They had a son a couple of years later and are still very happy together 14 years later.
Just thought your neice might want to hear that!

Songbird Fri 24-May-13 07:28:45

Thank you TeamEdward that's lovely to hear. DN and her fiancee (hehe can't get used to that!) are definitely a team and they'll be just fine. She has confirmed that as the community midwife this woman won't be at the birth. I might have a word with my brother. She might not want to rock the boat until after the baby is born, if you know what i mean. Hopefully she won't be as bad next time hmm

TeamEdward Fri 24-May-13 12:59:18

You could always teach her to use the MN adage "Did you mean to be so rude?"

Songbird Fri 24-May-13 20:45:57

Haha oh yes!!

TrudyW Tue 11-Jun-13 16:24:14

It's amazing what they think they can say, I too became pregnant at 20. My hubby proposed and we wanted to try for our son straight away as I had been told at 16 due to lots of ovarian problems I would have difficulty conceiving naturally so we figured hey let's start trying now we're engaged and hopefully by the time the wedding comes round we'll be pregnant a short time after. To both our amazement we caught on the first month of trying, we didn't cancel our wedding date or move it until after our son was born because as long as we were happy who cares! When I went into labour a midwife said to me ooh your wedding and engagement rings are very shiny and new looking, then looking at my hubby said did u give them to her because u thought u had gotten her into trouble! Haha we just looked at one another and just laughed! We're still happily married after 4 years and expecting baby number 2 after a miscarriage last year! Tell your niece to complain as looking back I wish I had, its just outright rudeness! Good luck to your niece and fiance! X

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