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Midwife communication...long !!!

(69 Posts)
steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 10:46:32

I went to what should have been my 34 week midwife appointment this week. Unfortunately I was a week late as they were so booked up the week before. Nonetheless, at the appointment before, the midwife told me we would be going through birth plan, place of labour, basically all things that the NHS website explained would be discussed, as well as the guide to appointments in my mat notes. As I am extremely anxious about labour, I had really given myself a good talking to, and had a list of questions that are weighing heavily on my mind, hoping I could be reassured at the appointment.
I went in to my appointment and explained that I had forgotten to do a urine sample and could I quickly nip to the loo now (previous midwives have ok'd this) she said I probably wouldn't need to give one if my bp was fine, plus I hadn't had an issue before with protein in urine etc. I was a bit skeptical about this, but as she is the professional, I didn't query. She then gave me my blood results from 2 appointments ago, which we had already gone through, despite me explaining this. She then measured me and checked heartbeat. At no point did she tell me my measurement and I had to read this from my notes after the appointment. It seems I'm measuring a week smaller, although I'm not sure if I should be concerned as at my last appointment I was measuring a week larger. I just would have thought she would have explained what this might potentially mean?!? Anyway, I keep telling myself that if it was anything to be concerned about she would have said. She then asked if I had been experiencing any back pain, to which I replied not really, only if on my feet for long periods of time (work in retail, can't avoid at times). She then told me to try swimming as an exercise as I was carrying the baby in my back and this might help bring him forward. She also mentioned this at my last appointment as I was concerned that I was appearing 'small' for how far along I was. She said this was because I was tall (5ft11) and was carrying him further back. There was no mention of issues with positioning, she even told me that he was head down, although not yet engaged. I assumed everything was fine and normal.
She then insisted that I attend an 'early pregnancy antenatal class' that evening, it would be beneficial to me, although didn't explain why. I thought she may have mixed her words slightly, and perhaps meant early labour class and what to expect etc. She then ended the appointment briskly and said she didn't need to see me until 3rd July. I felt confused that we hadn't discussed birth plan, labour etc, but also like i was being rushed out of the door, so didn't protest. I wish I had, but i just left feeling rather deflated! When I got home and rang to confirm my attendance to the class my midwife had insisted I go to, the lady on the phone asked how far along I was, I said 35 weeks and she laughed. The class was for ladies in very early stages and how to cope with first/second/third trimesters, all of which I'm a bit late for. I was baffled by this.
To add to this, I have been reading through my notes, and have had to resort to the Internet to decipher what she has written, and it turns out my baby is back to back. I am terrified by this. The pain I can take, but I have severe anxiety issues about giving birth and privacy and going by everything I have seen so far on the Internet in terms of NHS, it seems that doctors prefer to intervene with forceps much of the time. This is not what I wanted, I really can't handle the thought of being on my back, legs in the air with forceps being used. I wanted privacy, to be active and to have at least a shred of dignity to be left intact after all this. I feel my midwife has failed to explain to me my options or at the very least what to expect with a back to back baby. Am I wrong to feel that my appointment was rushed and insufficient? And if she doesn't want to see me until the 3rd of July when my baby is due on 23rd, does this leave things a bit late? What if he turns up before then? I'm so worried that I'm just going to have to do what everyone else wants me to do, and I feel so let down that as this is my 1st child, I'm not being kept very well informed of what is going on? I know the midwives are stretched and I'm not the only woman giving birth, but I've never had any of this happen to me before, and I feel so alone with it all.

Sorry it's so long, but I relying on advice and the experiences of strangers at the moment, instead of from my midwife. Any support/advice would be welcome!

Thank you xxx

magpieC Fri 21-Jun-13 10:58:34

Have you got a way of contacting her outside of appointments (Ours had a 24 hour answerphone so you could leave a message and get a call back)? If so, give her a call asking her to give you a ring and explain your concerns and see if she can either discuss over the phone or whether you should make an appt or home visit in the meantime.

Failing that just make an appointment anyway and explain that you have some things you want to discuss.

WipsGlitter Fri 21-Jun-13 11:05:11

I remember coming out of appointments disappointed. Third of July isn't that far away and I think you need to be a bit more proactive then and now allow yourself to be rushed out.

I think you might need to try and address your privacy issues. Your baby, all being well, will come out your vagina. People will be looking at you legs akimbo/arse in the air/squatting or whatever.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 11:18:23

Thanks for the sensitivity wips, I was trying to appeal for some kind words and advice regarding my issues, not someone stating the bleeding obvious.

parttimer79 Fri 21-Jun-13 11:57:40

I don't think Wips was insensitive but understand that you are feeling a bit emotionally bruised by the whole thing at the moment.

I would call the central midwives number for your area and ask about classes which focus on birth prep. I'm due 2 weeks after you and will be attending these mid July so I'm sure that it won't be too late but I realise provision varies massively from area to area.

You can also try your local children's centres - they run antenatal classes which will also cover this and other aspects such as feeding and I found this quite a supportive environment.

If you were unhappy with this midwife you may also find the local midwives do a drop in clinic and you can see someone different. If you are not happy don't leave it til 3rd July and get more anxious.

As for the anxiety, it may be a bit "woo" but I've been using the natal hypnotherapy CD and find that this is pretty good for relaxing, and anecdotally people have said they found it helped when in labour.

Hope this helps

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 12:15:04

Unfortunately I have found that my midwife appointments are on a 'who you see is what you get' basis and as they cover a large catchment area, it is impossible to pin one of them down other than at the weekly clinics. My midwife this week was perfectly nice but as I said, I felt rushed and kind of ended up on the other side of the door after the appointment thinking 'well what happened there?' My appointment was less than 10 mins, during which she had found the baby was back to back and hasn't even informed me of this.

Perhaps my original post was lacking somewhat of the question I was hoping to be answered, what does it mean to have a back to back baby? I've read all sorts of scary things online and I'm now very very scared of what may or may not happen. I so badly wish that I could have a 'shut up and get on with it' attitude that I feel some women on MN have, but certain things in my past mean that I have some big trust issues, some of which involve the NHS. I don't want to go into them here as it is something I am trying to work through, however I don't feel I am being given an adequate amount of time to ask my questions or voice my concerns at my appointments, and it isn't really something I wish to discuss on the phone.

Regarding wips comment, I understand the point they were trying to get at, but my original post wasn't about who would be looking at me down there, it was whether my midwife appointment was adequate and what to expect re a back to back baby. However the rather blunt last sentence read to me as 'people are going to see your vagina, get over it' Not very helpful.....

Laquila Fri 21-Jun-13 12:15:42

I do sympathise, OP (but I don't think Wips was being insensitive either - you did say "any support/advice would be welcome").

I have also been a bit disappointed by midwife communication, or lack thereof, and in fact more so by lack of consistency. I don't think I've seen the same midwife twice, and have no idea which one will be at the actual birth.

At my last appt (28wks), I asked whether we'd be discussing the birth plan at the next appt, and she said that the birth plan wasn't really something that would be discussed during antenatal appts, it was more something that me and my husband would do amongst ourselves at our antenatal classes. We have our first antenatal class next week, so I'm going to go along to that with my husband and see how we feel after talking to other parents there, and the lady running the classes (who sounds v on the ball on the phone). If I still have any fears or anxiety about continuity of care and the like, I'm going to properly look into using a doula. Have you considered this? I asked for advice in these boards about positive experiences of childbirth and getting a doula was suggested again and again, and no-one had anything bad to say about theirs.

Other than that, I'd also suggest reading Ina May Gaskin's book Spiritual Midwifery - it is unashamedly hippyish, but also very interesting and I've found it quite empowering rather than annoying/scary so far (and I am a bit of a cynic, to say the least). I'd also consider a pregnancy yoga class, or getting a DVD that you can use at home. I wish I'd started a class early on in my prgnancy, but it hasn't been practical, so I now have the Buddhabellies DVD to try at home, although having done a fair bit of yoga before, I feel relatively confident about breathing exercises and ways to try and keep calm during labour.

Have you started your NHS antenatal classes, and if so, how have they been so far?

holidaysarenice Fri 21-Jun-13 12:21:16

tbh i think wips had it to a t.

you are anxious - did you tell the midwife that and let her help you. No it doesnt sound like it. If you dont want to leave until you have asked your questions dont leave. You cant come on here and complain cos you didnt ask.

My honest advice, ring the midwife, tell them you are anxious and have a few questions/need some advice, can they give you an appt to do so or would they have time to speak over the phone/call you back.

you are one of thousands giving birth, and 'NO your vag is not something new' hcps have seen many more. they will not be discussing you over their cup of tea in the staff room. More exciting things happened last night.

mamachelle Fri 21-Jun-13 12:22:40

i know its late in the day but is there a diff midwife you could see? if not, phone the midwife and make another appointment to see her soon and take with you a list of things you need to say or ask. could you also take your dp or a friend for support? they could back you up and be firm with the mw if you feel like you are being rushed out again.

dont worry about the measurements, i have been measuring 2cm smaller than dates for a while now (36 wks with dc4) and my midwife said upto 3cms either way is nothing to worry about.

as for the back to back labour, i have had two of them and both babies turned before they were delivered without intervention. There are numerous ways to encourage baby to turn, crawling around the floor etc

if you google search anything, do so with caution. there will be a horror story or 3 for every situation but it wont necesarily mean that is the outcome you will have.

as for your privacy anxieties, i have two bits of advice. firstly, regardless of how you feel now or even at the beginning of labour does not dictate how you wil feel or react in labour. i have had an instinctive reaction to take my clothes off with my 3 dds and i dont expect this baby to be any different. many women feel the same! perhaps you could be selective with your labour clothes? mayb take a long thin nightie to cover up in with you.

2ndly, maybe learn some relaxation techniques to stop any anxieties that may start to creep in as the time gets closer? or, try and find a therapist that is experienced in antenatal therapy?

just a few of my baby brained thoughts there.

good luck to you. you will be fine and all wil be forgotten when baby is with you.

Laquila Fri 21-Jun-13 12:25:12

I was just coming back to make the point that there is every chance your baby will move into a better position before the birth, and yoga may even help with this, but Mamachelle has pretty much covered it and makes some additional very good points!

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 12:30:34

Haven't started my antenatal classes yet because there was a miscommunication regarding how to attend. One midwife said to just turn up from 32 weeks onwards (1st and 2nd Thursday of the month) but current midwife said this week that I have to book in and gave me a telephone number that is only manned from 8.30-9.30am mon-fri, and so far no one has called me back. So because I was informed to just turn up, there is a chance that I may not be able to get in at all, especially if no one answers my call.

Regarding a doula, I don't think it's an option for me, all I want is me, my husband and midwife in the room. Plus cost issues, and its just one more person I have to explain my issues to.

I know I'm probably appearing negative towards all suggestions, I really don't mean to be its just I have spent the whole pregnancy so far not bothering my midwives or having any medical issues etc which I have been incredibly grateful of. But now when I really need to talk to someone, I feel 'brushed off'. My family live far away, I don't have any friends that I can discuss this sort of thing with and I get one chance a week to have a face to face conversation with a midwife.

I am grateful for the advice, I suppose my situation is a little more complex that how I am describing....

lightrain Fri 21-Jun-13 12:42:56

Have a look at the spinning babies website, lots of tips on how to encourage the baby into perfect position. But don't worry too much - lots and lots of babies are born back to back and it doesn't mean forceps are inevitable. Babies can turn at the last minute too. You should still very much be able to have the active birth you're wanting!

3rd July is less than 2 weeks away, so why not write a nice list of your questions and a draft of your birth plan, and take these to your next appointment. If you're feeling rushed at that appointment, be assertive and let the midwife know that you have been feeling anxious and it would really help if all your questions were answered before you left. Feel confident about that - its important that you feel you deserve the midwife's time IYSWIM.

parttimer79 Fri 21-Jun-13 12:44:24

I don't see why you can't try and see another midwife and this time be honest about your anxieties/trust issues and do not leave that room until you feel satisfied.
I had terrible antenatal anxiety and depression in my 2nd trimester and ended up weeping copiously over at least 1 midwife. She talked me through what could be done and kept me there til I was much calmer and never made me feel that I was rushed or that I was bothering her.

I think you will find them very willing to help but you need to ask, MWs are not psychic. You also need to get away from this idea you are bothering them, your wellbeing is part and parcel of their job. If you ask for help and it is not given then you need to complain about that but give them the chance first.

I would also gently suggest the internet is not always a great place for health information and often scares the bejesus out of people!

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 12:55:07

For what it's worth (and probably not much seeing as I have been ripped apart by some posters, not all but some) I wasn't coming on here to complain, I feel I was asking for advice on what was 'normal' with regards to my midwife appointment. If that didn't come across, then I apologise. I'm grateful to everyone who gave advice, I will take most of it on board. Thank you

As for the comment regarding whether the midwives will be discussing me during tea breaks etc,I still think thats insensitive,given that I have a history of abuse. I didn't want to say because I didn't think I would need to or would have to and i just (perhaps naively!) honestly thought that coming on here would mean a little support in what is a traumatic situation for me without having to literally spell out my past. No wonder I feel I can't discuss my concerns with my midwife if I get this kind of reaction from people. sad

ThatsHandy Fri 21-Jun-13 12:57:36

Of course you are worried- you don't know what to expect and that is understandable. Obviously, you have your own reasons why you are unnerved by certain things which other MNers shouldn't judge you on, as it is perfectly obvious you have come on here for support.

Firstly, I would contact a different midwife- we have a 'hub' system in my area where you can ring them up anytime for advice. If this isn't an option for you, ring up your normal midwife at the GP practice where you are registered and book an appointment as soon as you want- you do not have to wait till 3rd July.

Please sort this out today, to stop yourself worrying another day and night- once you have talked to someone and ironed out your birth plan/ concerns, you will feel so much better about everything.


parttimer79 Fri 21-Jun-13 13:01:01

steak I think people have been supportive and you must be very stressed if you are reacting like this.
I really feel for you, please do not feel I am belittling your concerns/past or trying to "rip you apart" but please try to talk to your midwife, if you feel you can trust her with this very personal subject. Late pregnancy and birth is not the time to feel alone and unsupported.

LadyMedea Fri 21-Jun-13 13:14:56

Going by the schedule of appointments on the NHS website at your 34 week appointment you should have had the following:

'Your midwife or doctor should give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour and your birth plan. "

Sounds like they didn't do what they were meant to do.

Ring them, and ask for an appointment to discuss labour and your birth plan. It is part of their job. Babies can turn up early, don't leave it until 3rd July.

Gwlondon Fri 21-Jun-13 13:17:10

I am sorry you are having a crap time. I can understand that you feel very vulnerable and unsupported. Big hug from me.

I don't have much I can tell you about but my friend used the spinning website (mentioned above) when she couldn't go to pregnancy yoga classes. I went to an active birth class. Does anyone near you do that? Perhaps they will do a one off private session? Babies turn and you can sometimes help them by certain moves.

What do you usually do to relax? Massage? walk? music? Singing? Could you fit something in over next few weeks? Be good to your self. It is hard when you don't know what to expect.

Good luck.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 13:20:34

On the whole, yes most people have been supportive, and I have taken this advice on board, however there have been some choice comments from other posters that have upset me, as they seemed to have missed my point entirely, I don't think about what medical staff think of me down there, I do however think about feeling exposed and vulnerable and how I am going to deal with that. I am only reacting badly to these comments, I am grateful to all others. I only wanted advice on what to do next.

LieweHeksie Fri 21-Jun-13 13:32:43

The bottom line is that everything in that appointment would have been completely fine for most people (except for the issue about the extra class). The only reason that it was not fine for is because of your anxiety. So you need to arrange an additional appointment in which you tell them how anxious you are feeling and get them to go though each point in the notes that is making you anxious. As someone posted above, MWs are not psychic and you need to tell them that you need extra support right now.

Good luck flowers

OP I'm sorry you're feeling like this - especially so late on in pregnancy.

My advice would be to make an appt with your midwife and tell there that you need enough time allocated to you so that you can adequately talk through all the items that you need to. My hospital runs a service whereby expectant mothers who are needing extra emotional support can access one to one help sessions - does your local hospital do something similar? That might also give you a chance to fully allay any fears you may have plus give the medical staff a chance to record any specific requests that you might have with regards your care during labour and afterwards. I know you said you didnt want to discuss any past issues with lots of medical staff but maybe if there was one dedicated person who you could confide in that might help?

I'm pregnant with my first so I cant offer any advice on back to back babies other than I've heard lots turn of their own accord.

Just my thoughts. But dont let this eat away at you - the medical staff are there for both your physical and emotional needs and dont forget that or feel that you are a burden. flowers

PoppyAmex Fri 21-Jun-13 13:40:50

Steak no one "ripped to shreds", I think you're just a bit sensitive at the moment.

Just a quick thought; I agree giving birth isn't always the most dignifying thing in the world and sometimes you don't get treated the way you'd like by HCPs in general.

This is why I think it's important that you think about how to handle appointments and interactions with HCPs in a more proactive and assertive way (much like you did on this thread) grin

Hopefully next time you'll be prepared, can speak up and won't leave until your questions are answered.

Good luck!

mamachelle Fri 21-Jun-13 13:52:05

steak- from any advise above do you feel like you have found what the next step should be?

re the feeling exposed and vulnerable, do you mean in labour or opening up and telling a trusted health care professional of any worries?

im not trying to be nosey, i may have a few other suggestions but dont want to advise if i have got my wires crossed if u see what i mean?

Christelle2207 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:03:32

Sorry you've felt this way. I had my 34 week app earlier and have lots of questions as do you and have been assured that I have a proper 30 minute "birth talk" at the next appt - 36 weeks so crossing my fingers that all is covered then and no emergency beforehand. She said "do you think you'll need it given that you have NCT classes in the next couple of weeks" and I stuck to my guns and said yes.
I would call them back and say you have lots of anxiety and questions and want another appointment next week. Be firm if you have to.
If still no joy I would contact the supervisor of midwives at the hospital who's job it is to deal with ladies who are unhappy with their care.
All mw appointments I feel have been a bit rushed. That said is it possible that the mw didn't "get" your anxieties? I do think you probably need to be more vocal about your concerns.
PS I wouldn't worry about them not taking the urine sample - this has happened to me on a couple of appointments and I was assured that it's very unlikely there would be anything wrong with it unless I had other symptoms like soreness down below.

learnermummy Fri 21-Jun-13 14:03:55

OP, as others have said try to get another appointment to discuss your anxieties, but even if baby remains back to back it doesn't mean forceps are inevitable. My first was back to back and delivered without turning and whilst labour was long and I needed an epidural I did deliver him on my own, and it wasn't a bad experience.

BraveLilBear Fri 21-Jun-13 14:15:19

Hi Steak I'm in a similar boat to you - 35 weeks and very anxious about examinations and lack of privacy during birth, for similar reasons to you, it seems.

This is not something that can be easily 'sucked up' and 'brushed away'. I did get some advice on here about getting DH to help by, for example, doing a special hand massage if you need to be examined and that might be a way he can support you and make you feel safer.

You can also decline internal examinations if you want - and a back-to-back baby doesn't mean flat on your back with forceps - in fact, most people who labour like this are encouraged to be more active these days in order to avoid that.

I'm sorry your midwife wasn't very helpful, I have my next appt on Monday and worry that I'll get the old telly-offy midwife and not the younger much more sympathetic one as I really need to raise this issue with them myself.

In the meantime, I bought myself Birth Skills by JuJu Sundin - worth every penny so far. I still have anxieties about being made to feel vulnerable, but I am slightly less anxious about the rest of the process, knowing there are ways I can practically control the pain etc and at least take back some control.

It also includes a very helpful chapter about back-to-back labours - and has a general attitude that if you need pain relief, that's fine, you're not a bad person for wanting or needing it which I find to be very novel and refreshing.

I strongly recommend you ring up the midwives and ask for an extra appt and explain why - anxiety falls under mental health, and most areas now have dedicated people trained to help women in pregnancy and nearing childbirth.

Good luck x

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 14:17:22

So not being told that baby was back to back is fine is it? If that is the case then ok, I just wanted to know if it was normal to have notes written up in code for me to decipher at home? I know midwives are not psychic, but neither am I! I don't know what half of anything she wrote meant, and my only means of finding out was the Internet, which unfortunately threw up some nasty stories hence the anxiety. I've never had a baby before, so I'm anxious, I'm anxious that he is healthy, measuring right, in the right position etc I wasn't told any of this. Thank you to those who have told me their own experiences re back to back, rushed appointments etc. I didn't want it to seem that I had this crazy expectation of my mw appts, I just really have no clue what to expect other that what my mat notes and NHS say.

And as for my 'other' anxiety issues, I touched on this briefly in my original post, which is what some posters seem to have homed in on. I really wanted advice on whether my appointment seemed rushed, or whether I should be concerned about not being explained certain aspects as well as the midwife not following the NHS guidelines or maternity notes in terms of what should be discussed, which is kind of what she is being paid for right? I'm sorry if I gave people an alternative impression. I'm just a first time mum who came out of an appointment feeling a bit deflated, confused and let down. Silly me for thinking that MN would be a gentle and reassuring way to diffuse my concerns. I don't mean to offend anyone who has been genuinely lovely and helpful because i really appreciate any help where i can get it. It just seems that some posters on here really get off on making others concerns and worries seem inadequate, just because they don't share the same views or have had the same experiences. Not just on my post, I see it every day hmm

And finally, looking back on this thread, yes I suppose I have been fairly assertive on here today, I've actually surprised myself! Shame that the Internet and reality aren't quite the same though, is it?!?

Ps, I have made another midwife appointment for next week (earliest I could get) OH wants to come too as he has questions. I will write down everything I want to say/ask and hopefully with OH support we won't leave until they are answered.

Thanks again xxx

scoutfinch1 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:27:29

I'm due on the 23rd also steak so have just had a similar midwife appointment. Firstly, as others have said don't worry about measuring slightly small. After my first fundal height measure I looked at my notes at home and saw that bump was under 10% and midwife hadn't mentioned it. I was very concerned about this. Checked at next midwife appointment and was told was fine. The next appointment after that (with different midwife) bump was measuring way above the curve. I questioned the midwife about this and she told me to not pay too much attention to the chart. What the midwifes are concerned about is that the measurements are going up week by week. I think that your midwife didn't explain about your measurements because they are nothing to worry about and a week out either way is not significant. So don't worry about that. I was very worried too but found that the best way to stop this is to make sure you check the measurement before you leave the room and question the midwife if you are not happy.

Also, like you I have been told baby is slightly back to back. So again, I got the questions about back pain as the baby's position can cause this. I was also told by the midwife that although some babies are born back to back, the majority that are positioned like that do move. Again, I suspect this is why a big deal was not made about this as there is plenty of chance for the baby to move. At your next appointment just ask the midwife if the baby is still back to back and explain that you have concerns about the effect this may have on your labour.

If you don't get a call back about the parentcraft classes you could try just turning up. Or ring one of the midwife numbers you should have been given and explain that you are really keen to go. I really think they could help. In my area we had a hospital tour which may help to relieve your anxiety towards the birth somewhat or at least help you to feel more prepared. Also, I found that these classes were a great opportunity to ask questions (there were only two couples in mine.

With regard to your birth plan it may be that this wasn't discussed as the midwife realised that you hadn't been to these classes and it would be easier for you to think about this after the classes and tour. At my appointment I was also surprised that this wasn't spoken about, my midwife asked if I had been to the parentcraft classes, what I thought about them and if I had any questions. Like other posters have suggested, write a birth plan (loads of templates online) and take it to your next appointment. Also, I would suggest writing a list of things you would like to discuss. My experience is that the midwifes have been happy to answer questions and discuss things when asked but if you don't ask them you end up with a very short appointment and things don't get mentioned.

Also, the timing of your next appointment is fine and is the same as mine.

With your anxiety it might be worth trying a hypnotherapy CD as other's have suggested. I am finding that it is keeping me very relaxed about the birth. I understand that due to your past your have some issues surrounding the birth and it would do you good to get some help about this. Is there anyone you could talk to. I hope this doesn't sound patronising but it is your own anxiety that you need to work through and there is nothing that the midwives can do to guarantee that you will get the labour you want. You need to find someway to get your self into a place of mind where you can cope with whatever comes along during labour and not to get too tied up in trying to control the type of birth you have. Without knowing your past and specific anxieties I can't tell you how to do this but options could be things like hypnotherapy, relaxations, talking to someone close or seeking professional help. I hope this has been useful and has stopped you worrying about some of the things. Good luck.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 14:33:23

Thanks scoutfinch, I appreciate your comment. I have started on a birth plan this afternoon, made a midwife appt for next week(only Gp receptionist can make this) and am going to try the direct midwife number again to book classes which mean it should start on 4th July (if I can get in!)

PrincessScrumpy Fri 21-Jun-13 14:37:00

I haven't read the whole thread but wanted to add my experience. I have had 2pgs and 3dds. It shouldn't be the case but in my experience you have to stand up for yourself and make sure you get what you need. I used to walk in with a piece of paper with a list if questions and take a pen so I could write the answers for each. The mw could see the list and me writing so had to go at my speed.
As for the birth, everyone had a different experience and I would say, do your research but don't get scared. The aim is to get baby out safely - I didn't know dd was back to back until after her birth and was it more painful? No idea as i've not had a birth that wasn't back to back.2nd pg was emcs and 2 prem dds.
My approach was to have an idea of the birth id like but know it may not happen, however I had a list of things I didn't want and I wanted a cs over forceps - never became an issue. Most important was for dh to know what I did and didn't want as I wasn't in a position to argue whilst in labour so Dh was my voice. In my experience this was vital.
Good luck and congratulations on your pg xx

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 14:38:11

Bravelilbear, I remember your post about your own anxieties. I'm glad some of the suggestions given to you have worked, I'll def look into the books. Thanks for the advice smile

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 14:42:20

Thanks princess. Please don't think that I have some wild unrealistic expectation of my birth. I only want to be covered as much as possible and to have a water birth if possible or be as active as possible as I've heard that many back to back births end up on the back with forceps. Thankfully many people on here have said that it may not be the case so am feeling a little more optimistic about the whole event.

Thank you!

RugBugs Fri 21-Jun-13 14:45:06

It's policy in my area to not write Baby's position on notes before 36weeks (I had to ask more than once for confirmation at 30wks that baby was breech and it doesn't appear on my notes) because they still move about, I know that at 32wks baby here is still rolling around and moving from breech to head down a lot. It may well be the same where you are?

I'm in the same position as you re half a day a week when I can see a mw and appts are always 30-40mins late and very rushed. I've been offered an appointment with my trusts consultant midwife to go through all of my concerns about labour/delivery after a bit of a palava with my first pregnancy. It might be worth seeing if your trust has one too?

Back to back is ok - plenty of women (including myself!) do it with no forceps. That position doesn't automatically mean lots of intervention. He was not back to back at 38+4 days, but was at 39 weeks (the day he was born). I spent loads of time in the pool, using only gas and air, and only had morphine right at the very end, 20 minutes before he crowned.

Also, there is plenty of time to 'move' the baby round. Get on your knees and scrub the floor is common advice to help get the baby into a better position.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 14:54:48

Visualise, so they let you have a water birth despite being b2b? That's what I would ideally like to have. X

You do need to be quite forthright during your appointments. As she is writing in your notes, ask her to explain what she is writing, or what has been written in the past. I never left an appointment till I understood exactly what all those notes mean. The notes are more for the staff (as and when you do go into labour) than you as a patient, so don't worry if you don't understand the codes!

Yes. I did plan on giving birth in the water, but changed my mind! I spent about 3 hours in there (went in at midday, got out after an hour, got back in for another couple of hours, got out about 3pm, baby born at 4pm). I got out because I was exhausted and wanted to lie down!! I ended up on my side on the bed, having a morphine injection, and baby was born about 20 minutes later.

There was no question about using the pool at all! It's not about 'letting' - you decide what you want!

onceipopicantstop Fri 21-Jun-13 15:03:20

ds was back to back and I was advised to do some exercises to try and move him. 3 years later I can't remember what they were (!) but found this link which you might find helpful:


Also just wanted to say that if you have significant anxiety relating to your labour, and you don't feel as though you're getting anywhere with your mw, it might be worth asking if there is a specialist mw. I suffer with severe ocd relating mainly to a fear of contamination from blood etc so I was very anxious about going into hospital. I only found out about the specialist mw by chance but she was brilliant. We met and discussed my anxieties and the best way to manage them, and she wrote a very clear plan in my notes so that whichever mw cared for me knew what to do without me having to go through it all again. It made going into hospital a lot easier to manage.

CatInWellies Fri 21-Jun-13 15:21:18

I think what people are trying to point out, OP,is that if you get yourself into a state, focusing on forceps, no water birth etc, then if things don't go "to plan" (which they don't, babies have ideas of their own!) you will freak yourself out even more. You also mentioned you only want your husband and one midwife in the room. I totally understand this and there's nothing wrong with having an idea of how you would like it to go. But it might not, for all sorts of reasons. It's far better to get yourself into the mindset that you are going to give birth, and people are going to see you.It's horrible having anxiety issues and I'm pretty sure everyone understands that even if they haven't experienced it themselves.

It sounds like your midwife was a little abrupt and disorganised, but like you said, if there was anything for you to worry about she would have discussed it with you. Babies move about all the time, there's loads of time for the little one to get him/herself out of the back to back position

You will do absolutely fine, and you will have a beautiful snuggly baby at the end. I'm almost jealous!

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Fri 21-Jun-13 15:25:08

OP I do feel for you, I am pregnant with DC 1 too so I know how anxious you must be. I just wanted to raise a point though, and hope that you take it in the spirit which it is intended as I am certainly not trying to upset you or cause offence... Looking at your first post, I am just wondering why you didn't question any of these things with the MW there and then? The reason I ask is that my midwife is similar in that she will ask me things or write in my notes without explaining, and as appointments are so tight I'm sure she would shove me out of the door in five minutes if she could! However, I always always ask her what she means as we go along. A lot of the time she hasn't explained because it is a minor issue which she doesn't feel needs to be explained (and in fairness to her I am the world's worst worrier so she's right - I freaked out about what the word ceph meant in terms of presentation blush), but as I know I will worry if I don't know everything I make a point of asking her to explain, and I won't leave until I am comfortable with the answers.
I had a similar issue with regards to my birth plan too. It wasn't discussed the week I was told it would be, so I made sure that it was the first thing that I mentioned to her when I arrived for my next appointment. If you don't feel like you can be that assertive do you have someone you can take with you? And you can make sure that they know what you want to discuss so that if you don't feel like you can say or you feel rushed they can do it for you?

Just a thought, again I do really see why you are anxious, good luck.

adagio Fri 21-Jun-13 15:25:21

Apologies not had time to read all the replies but has anyone suggested the spinning babies website?

Also I did Daisy Birthing classes which were excellent (if available in your area?) Alternatively ante natal yoga - both Daisy and Yoga have moves and positions to help encourage baby to get to the right place.

Neither of these help with your midwife situation I am afraid but they might help you avoid back to back labour! I think your plan to see her again with OH (moral support) and a written list of Q's is a great idea.

I took along a list to one of my appointments, I don't think its unusual. I also felt somewhat left to it in the last weeks - Midwife was nice enough but the appointments didnt really match my expectation from the notes (e.g., I saw her at 40 weeks and she said she would see me again at 42 if the baby didn't arrive before then!)

PoppyAmex Fri 21-Jun-13 15:48:31

"Silly me for thinking that MN would be a gentle and reassuring way to diffuse my concerns. I don't mean to offend anyone who has been genuinely lovely and helpful because i really appreciate any help where i can get it. It just seems that some posters on here really get off on making others concerns and worries seem inadequate, just because they don't share the same views or have had the same experiences. Not just on my post, I see it every day"

OP I think you're being unfair to people who took their time to post on your thread.

You asked for any advice/support and I think you got plenty of both; you didn't specify that you only wanted to hear from people who reinforced your point of view about the midwife's behaviour.

I didn't see anyone "making your worries seem inadequate", I think people were just trying to gently point out that you need to take some responsibility for your own care. To be honest, in her position I'd assume you didn't have any questions because you didn't ask.

Anyway, hopefully you're feeling a bit better and more reassured about your baby's current presentation - it's still early days, so plenty of time for that to change.

Also, great idea to write all the questions down.

Good luck.

MummyTheresAfireBeeOnYourHead Fri 21-Jun-13 16:01:46

I've had two babies back to back and no forceps were involved and no tears etc but legs were indeed akimbo and it's a messy noisey wonderful process, painful and exciting etc. I think you just need to speak to a midwife again and get your questions answered so you feel more in control maybe! Birth isn't something you can control however so go with the flow and know you are in charge of finding answers to your questions and not letting yourself get rushed out the door or fobbed off, maybe the midw was really busy and unless you ask she may not realise your concerns, particularly if physically everything is going ok. I hope you get sorted. X

MummyTheresAfireBeeOnYourHead Fri 21-Jun-13 16:07:59

Sorry op just re read sme of the thread and I hope I didn't come across as harsh re not letting yourself get fobbed off! Honestly it's easier said than done, I have to try hard and make myself get the answers I require at times at writing it down is the idea solution t that. By the way both mine were water births. The first was longer but quick for a first labour and the second was very quick, I think she turned well as I was in the water, but by that point if I had had to get out and be on a bed or have other intervention I would have cared a stuff as long as babies were ok, it doesn't matter how they arrive. Birth is just the beginning and a very small part of being a mum to your babies/children. Good luck and relax!

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 16:10:23

Ok, so back to the negativity Poppy. I did thank everyone who had given me relevant, kind and genuine help. Those people know who they are, I don't need to point out who. However, the second post I got was pretty harsh, blunt and had a 'matter of fact' attitude about it. This upset me, as I'm sure it would anyone who was had asked questions relating to my situation. I then got another similar post which was equally as upsetting and also missed the point of my OP entirely. I made my feelings known about those posters as they did about me and my (valid) issues. If I'm allowed to be criticised for my point of view, then they (and you) must be prepared for my response. These posters have not fully read my post, if they had I think their opinions may have been different. 99% of responses I have had have been from people who have read, absorbed and tried to understand where I am coming from, and to those people I am grateful.

I guess I hold the belief of 'if you can't think of anything nice to say, don't say anything at all'. I'm not asking for everything to be sugar coated, I am asking for a bit of compassion though. So can we stop with the bashing? If you don't want to help then just ignore me.hmm

VivaLeBeaver Fri 21-Jun-13 16:17:28

Ok, to try and get baby to move from a back to back position. Stop sitting on the sofa as much as possible. Best thing to do would be to get a birthing ball and sit on that to watch TV. Not quite as good but better than a sofa would be to sit on a dining room chair.

It is normal for midwives to write in code and unfortunately not always explain everything very well. Been back to back at this stage isn't unusual. Hopefully if it had been anything to be concerned about from her POV she'd have explained better. But I can understand why you want to make sure that baby isn't B2b further down the line. She's quite probably of the mindset that baby will turn by itself, and in all possibility it probably will. But no harm in doing what you can to help.

Next apt - at the beginning tell the m/w that you'd like things explaining a bit more clearly as you want to know what's happening. They won't mind. And do put in your birth plan that you have concerns over examinations/privacy, etc. Midwives should try and help women to maintain their dignity and get consent for stuff anyway. But if you give them a heads up then they can make extra sure that you're happy with what's happening.

madamginger Fri 21-Jun-13 16:21:58

I had a home birth with a b2b baby. He turned when I was in labour, yes it was painful but not much more than my other 2 labours.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Fri 21-Jun-13 16:25:34

I don't see how Poppy was being negative......?

PoppyAmex Fri 21-Jun-13 16:28:31

OP I added my initial comment in the best possible spirit and genuinely thought everyone was being helpful (albeit clearly not in the way you wanted them to).

There has been no "bashing" and no one was "ripping you to shreds".

Frankly, I find your reaction very odd, so I'll leave your thread now wishing you as much luck as I hope for my own pregnancy.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 16:29:44

Thanks Viva, I actually ordered a birthing ball last night once I had realised what her notes meant. Hopefully that will do something. I've booked an earlier appt for next week to discuss my concerns. I'm also going to book in for the hospital tour this weekend so I can actually see what the ward is like, as right now I have no idea what to expect.

Madame, that's reassuring. I'm under no delusions that this is going to hurt like hell, but as long as he is healthy I can take the pain. Just glad that there are stories of natural births out there for b2b babies x

CinnabarRed Fri 21-Jun-13 16:33:15

FWIW, I'm one of the weird minority who love being in labour. I could do it every day of the week if I had to! You don't hear many positive stories, IME, but we are out there!

That said, I was petrified before my first, so I completely understand your anxiety.

The thing I found most useful of all was reading a book called Stand And Deliver - it consists of nothing but positive birth stories (from EMCS through to planned home births - the only common theme is that the women all found them positive, life affirming experiences) and tips for writing birth plans. Get hold of a copy if youp possibly can.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Fri 21-Jun-13 16:40:30

My comment about negativity was because I felt I was (finally) getting away from the point of my anxiety which was genuinely not the reason for my OP, only to have it brought up again. I've been trying to get away from it throughout this whole thread.

I'm kinda astounded by SOME of the reactions I've had, not all but some. Maybe I didn't make my point clear in the first place, maybe I don't take criticism very well regarding my own situation (although as it is MY situation, only I know how it feels) and maybe some (not all) of the comments have really touched a very raw and painful nerve, and that these people are stronger than me at being assertive in life. Perhaps it's all 3. Anyway all I know is I'm done with talking and crying about it now, so I'm off. I'll take the advice I've been given today and use proactively and hopefully it will be ok. Thanks everyone, I really do appreciate the helpsad

TarkaTheOtter Fri 21-Jun-13 17:15:38

steak I'm sorry some of the posts have upset you but your (understandable) anxiety is pretty clear from your first post so it is difficult to give advice without mentioning it.

That aside, yes it is normal for the midwife to write notes in code, the notes aren't really for your benefit. They are like your doctors notes - the only reason you "hold" them is that antenatal care is shared between different locations. It is just shorthand for the midwives convenience. She should have explained it better though.

At 34/35 weeks the position of the baby is not really that important as there is (usually) plenty of time and room for things to change.
I agree with the others, try to get another appt to talk to the midwife about your birth plan if it will reassure you (I wrote mine at home and the midwife checked it), but the chances of you going into labour before your next scheduled appt will be pretty slim anyway.

My last pregnancy was high risk and I had to go back and forwards to the hospital and midwife several times a week, be reassured that the reason they are being so "relaxed" about your antenatal care is because they are assessing your pregnancy to be progressing well with no issues.

fuckwittery Fri 21-Jun-13 20:51:57

I would recommend juju sundin birth skills for getting yourself informed, and second the
Are you able to book yourself on a local birth workshop, maybe with NCT or I did one through my active birth yoga classes, have a google.

However, I have heard the NHS classes are excellent and really cover the birth stuff that the MWs don't get time to cover, so hopefully questions will be answered then for you.

parttimer79 Sat 22-Jun-13 10:21:33

"I've been trying to get away from it throughout this whole thread."
Why mention it then?

If what you wanted to know was info about rushed midwife appointments you could have asked that. Or asked a straightforward question about back to back.
Your first post mentioned your anxiety several times and so of course posters picked up on this, I'm not sure how your separate the two unless you just don't mention anxiety.

I don't think bar a couple of unhelpful suck it up posts anyone was critical of you. Why are you astounded? I'm astounded how arsey you have been in the face of continued help and support.

I've not found on MN that people get off on making others concerns and worries seem inadequate but then I don't respond to people who offer advice which I feel misses the mark for me in the way you have.
Like Poppy I wish you all the best for your pregnancy and birth.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Sat 22-Jun-13 11:14:51

So my posting has obviously annoyed a fair few people, for this I apologise. I honestly thought that I had been genuinely grateful to all who have helped me with advice and comments. As I said, a good 99% of those who commented were genuinely lovely and I have taken all advice on board and tried to turn my sad day yesterday into a much more positive one by using that advice. I really don't know how much more I could have thanked people.

All I did was react (maybe badly, maybe rightfully, only I know) to a couple of comments that I feel could have been better worded, and I feel that these were fairly obvious, there really were only a couple of comments, but there was a lot of comments jumping to their defence. I had to stick up for myself as i felt i had been misunderstood, but i don't think I had been arsey, i just had a differing point of view, which i am entitled to, as is everyone else. Call me over sensitive, but I could never comment on anyone's post by saying "no your vag is nothing new" or "more exciting things happened last night", because I don't know that OP, I don't know what they are going through, and so I would only offer advice that I feel would be helpful to that person. I guess the 'shock tactic' approach doesn't work on me. My criticism of MN was more a criticism of the Internet in general I suppose. Whilst I am fully aware that there are plenty of well meaning, helpful lovely people on here, there are others who don't quite get where others are coming from but still put their own 2 cents in all the same. I'm not entirely convinced that if we had been in a room together discussing my issues that these people would have had the same approach, just the same as I may have found a better way of dealing with things. The Internet is a faceless machine and a tool to be as brutal as anyone wants.

And Parttimer79, for what it's worth, I found your advice helpful, you were certainly not one of the posters I took offence to. I realised I hadn't pointed that out clearly and for that I am sorry. I can understand why you felt a bit defensive yourself if you feel your advice hasn't been appreciated. I think I have been massively misunderstood by this post, no ones fault but still frustrating all the same. I'll try to seek other ways of getting through this all in the future.

Again, thank you!

Just to reassure you, I've had 4 kids back-to-back, one came out back-to-back and one required me being moved to help a stuck shoulder, but no one ever mentioned any forceps nor was it considered an option (with stuck one, they discussed a c-section when I became quite distressed but only reluctantly with a lengthy deadline as I kept coming in and out of the pushing stage due to his position).

Sadly, in my four pregnancies, I've had a lot of rush jobs and midwives spending more time trying to convince me that they and their colleges were right rather than being concerned about my fears. What worked best for me, was just creating a birth plan that listed my concerns and how I wanted to handle it as well as a couple of my main desires and handed it over directly (My birth plan for DC4 basically said please be nice as I'm really scared and will remember this, I have a bad history in hospitals so don't ask my partner to leave, with anesthetic so I can't have spinals or pethedine, only G&A or full going under, with placenta problems so I want to delay the injection until the placenta comes out, and give me my baby as soon as possible and care for baby in my sight where possible. And that DP didn't want to cut the cord). If you don't know how you want to handle it, say you really want to discuss before you progress too far to make decision making easier. Be kind but blunt and bold. I hope the best for you and an easy delivery for you.

TheYoniWayIsUp Sat 22-Jun-13 15:13:08

Good god you're going to need a thicker skin before you become a parent if you call this being 'ripped to shreds'. And I don't care if I get flamed for not being nice to you.

People have taken the time to post advice for you and anyone who doesn't entirely agree with your viewpoint, however gently they have put it, has been shot down and accused of 'bashing' you.

You have been bloody rude.

nohalfmeasures Sat 22-Jun-13 15:21:37

I had a back-to back delivery with DS1, or "face to pubes" as it's delightfully known. He was undiagnosed and it wasn't till his head started to appear that they realised. For me, giving birth on my side with a leg in the air was the most comfortable. Midwife was lovely and coached me through it. I had no pain relief.
The main thing is to keep calm and try to relax as much as possible. Try to sort of ride each pain wave and remember every contraction is one nearer to a beautiful baby.

sparkle101 Sat 22-Jun-13 15:55:18

My dd was back to back and it was extremely painful but still managed to deliver with no forceps. I'd never heard about back to back until I was in labour!

I think in regards to midwives, I tend to think of them like cabin crew, when I'm on the plane going through turbulence thinking I'm going to die, I look at them, and if they're carrying on like everything is normal then it means everything is okay.

I never got talked through a birth plan with dd and to be honest never asked, I think they take their cue from you a lot of the time so if you seem all care free and relaxed they'll feel no need to mention anything (as I think above) but if you tell them your anxieties and ask lots if questions they are normally ime very good.

4athomeand1cooking Sat 22-Jun-13 17:33:00

Hi OP. I haven't read the whole of the thread so may be echoing what others have suggested.

Back to Back is not an ideal position simply because the baby will come out face up. Sometimes in this position they get their chin or shoulder stuck and need help but this is not always the case. It can also mean a longer labour and more painful but this is also not always the case.

I have had two B2B labours, The first was long and painful and I needed vontouse help. The second, all of the pain was in the back and in many way this was easier than my two front labours.

There is still plenty of time for baby to move but you can also try and encourage a good labour position by sitting in straight backed chairs with your legs slightly apart. (try not to slouch).

It is probably a good idea to prepare yourself for the prospect of additional pain relief should you feel unable to cope with pain. Although a MW can talk through your birth plan, these often go out of the window during labour and so if there is something you really feel you do not want/or done in a certain way, then talk it though with your birthing partner and asked them to be your voice so that you can concentrate on labour.

Re the anxiety. I also suffer from this but I promise you, during labour your body does something really special and anxiety really takes a back seat. I actually had a full blown cold and sickness when I went into labour with my DS. The minute I went into labour, it disappeared only to return once I had given birth.

If you have any questions or concerns, it might help to phone the Cow and Gate Careline on 0800 977 8880. The team is made up of midwives, and other professionals and you can talk 24/7 to them and ask for advice on most things.

Phineyj Sat 22-Jun-13 17:43:31

Hi OP, I was also worried about labour (although for different reasons) and knew I would not get the detailed explanations I prefer, on the NHS, because they are just too busy, so I had an independent midwife and she was brilliant. (Obviously I did go to NHS appointments too but I was able to ask her anything I didn't understand and also she helped me decide what I really wanted when HCPs were recommending all sorts of different things and disagreeing with each other!)

One thing she did was a 'birth talk' at our house a few weeks before the due date -- she talked us through how it worked in detail, she had pictures to show us and we could ask all the questions we needed and not feel silly.

It might be possible to get an independent midwife to do a visit like that as a one-off, to put your mind at rest and avoid the whole 'battle' feeling you can get when trying to get individual service from the NHS.


Also, I don't know if you're anything like me but when I get anxious I ask lots of questions and I think I come over as questioning the HCP's judgement when I just want them to explain clearly. I find it sometimes makes it hard for me to get a decent service from HCPs as they think I'm having a go...it's definitely an anxiety thing as when I need to speak to HCPs for work I don't have that problem at all!

I do hope things look up for you.

LittleBearPad Sat 22-Jun-13 18:00:37

At this stage there is plenty of time for the baby to turn round so don't fret that there's no chance the baby won't turn. DD wasn't back to back at my 36 week appointment. At 38 weeks when I was in labour she was. There are lots of things you can do. The main thing is to keep active - perhaps go swimming as your midwife advised.

It seems that you aren't asking questions when you don't understand things hence the googling afterwards. It may be that the midwife saying you we're carrying the baby in your back meant it was back to back. HCPs speak in a lot of jargon and sometimes forget their patients don't understand. They aren't being mean just not thinking. If your midwife says something you don't understand then its absolutely ok to ask. It's also ok to say what you want to discuss i.e. birth plans etc.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Sat 22-Jun-13 18:24:32

Phineyj-unfortunately I'm the other way round. I've had a couple of doctors visits in the past that made me feel like a massive time waster and a hospital visit that nearly made me boycott ever setting foot in one ever again, so my approach now is only bother if absolutely necessary. If I'm nervous as well, all questions tend to fall right out of my head. But I'm working on writing a list of questions so I'm prepared better and ill have OH there for support or in case i forget anything. It's just a shame that the MW earlier in my pregnancy was really forthcoming and explained everything to me. I know everyone is different though. Thanks for the advice!

Again, thank you to everyone for the insightful, personal supportive advice. I'm feeling much stronger and more confident today to tackle this thing. Reading back through the thread, I really don't feel I have been rude (just defensive regarding a couple of posts, when needed) but I know others may have a different opinion of me. I'm really not a bad, rude person, I just needed some help which the vast majority have given me. Too many of you to thank individually, which may be why there's been some crossed wires.

Thank you xx

MostlyCake Sat 22-Jun-13 19:21:00

OP - dont worry about the baby being back to back at this stage at weeks 34-36 mine was back to back and at the last appointment (37 weeks) he had turned round.

All midwife appointments I've had have been very quick as well and I have felt shoved out the door. If there's anything to worry about though they will tell you but perhaps you could ask for a longer appointment next time to talk through your fears?

LittleBearPad Sat 22-Jun-13 21:18:20

The list is an excellent idea. Hope your appointment goes well.

ceara Sun 23-Jun-13 12:43:10

I'm glad you were feeling stronger yesterday and hope today is another good day.

I have my own difficulties with these issues and you must remember that the emotions and fears you feel are real, valid and not your fault. (Not always easy, I know).

I have found that clinicians try to be understanding and sympathetic if you disclose your fears, but every woman is different and to get the help you need (rather than me, or the clinician's stereotype of someone with your history) you need to be quite blunt and straightforward in spelling out what your triggers are, what has helped you in the past, things you would like to try. I find it easier to write down my history and these pointers and hand it to the clinician so I don't have to talk about it if I don't want to.

There is a book called
"when survivors give birth" by Penny Simkin which might give you some ideas. There is also a booklet online titled sensitive practice guide at www.sstaffs.gov.UK/pdf/SPG1.PDF which is mainly about treating adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse but contains much that is relevant for anyone with something in their past which makes some types of medical treatment especially hard.
Good luck for your next appointment.

BraveLilBear Mon 24-Jun-13 11:47:00

Wanted to add two quick things - firstly, I have also just had a totally underwhelming mw appt (36 wks) with little information given about baby's positioning etc and notes not properly filled in (ie presentation, fetal heartrate, engaged or not all not filled in).

Also, my baby 'might be a bit back-to-back' at the moment. I'm not worried about this though - there's a long time to go and some good advice above.

I also mustered up the guts to say that I have anxieties about intimate examinations. The response I got was akin to 'well there's not much we can do about that, we try to maintain dignity but there's no other way to do things. Maybe hypnosis might help.' Wasn't very happy about this.

Ceara that leaflet is great - my specific 'issues' are different to that, but the advice to health care practitioners is exactly how I'd like to be treated. I'm seriously considering printing out some of the relevant pages...

Hope things are well OP.

steakchipsandfriedeggs Mon 24-Jun-13 19:59:15

Hi Brave, that's awful! I'm so sorry you've had such a disappointing visit. I have my next appointment on weds and I'm taking OH with me because I'm worried i'll just clam up and not ask anything. I understand how upsetting it can be to feel your worries and concerns are not being taken seriously.

I've also heard back from my community midwife team regarding antenatal classes, apparently they are on a drop in basis so hopefully these will help calm any nerves. It also seems that the midwife I have been seeing is a temp to the team and I have a neighbour who is also not terribly impressed with the standard of care she is being given by her, so whilst its frustrating that this is happening, it is reassuring to know that I wasn't just driving myself mad :s

Hope you're ok, I'm sure we can both get through this x

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