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To think this is a waste of a GP's time?

(34 Posts)
Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Apr-13 08:24:09

GP as in doctor, not grandparent grin

I'd like some perspective please as I'm struggling with this and a bit miffed.

Last week I walked into my gym (have been a full member for some considerable time) with my 12 week old baby (just wanted to pop my head in and had dc with me).
Straight away one of t he instructors came over, which was nice, thought they just wanted to see baby. So we start talking and I said I wanted to check the place out (has had a refit) before coming in the next day to start back with some exercise.
So they ask if it was a normal delivery and I say no, had a caesarean.

They seemed a bit confused about what exercises I could do (I'm not confused about this. Very confident about what's safe and working within my comfort levels) and suggested i speak to my GP. I tell them I've had my 6 week check and my GP is happy for me to start exercising.

At this point there's two of them (starting to feel a bit unwelcome and uncomfortable now) and I'm being asked to get a doctor's letter to say I can exercise.

This seems ridiculous to me. What do they imagine my doctor is going to say? To specify which bloody exercises I can and can't do?
And I'm 3 months postnatal. When do they stop trying to use a GP' time to cover their arses?
I did agree as frankly I felt embarrased and a bit intimidated but now I think it's a waste of my doctor's time (and mine frankly, it's hard enough trying to get the time to exercise with two small dcs and dh has limited time he can help out with them for this)
So aibu? Wwyd?
Help please wise women of mumsnet. I have a wobbly post baby body that needs sorting out.

trinity0097 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:29:39

Waltz in wearing your gym kit, hand over your card, proceed as normal, the person on reception is not going to know you've had a baby from looking at you in your gym kit!

5318008 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:29:50

I imagine the gym has insurance issues hence asking you for a doctors letter

Awww congrats on your baby.

deliciousmother Wed 10-Apr-13 08:30:37

Hi Em,

You don't need a letter, as far as I am aware. I am a physio and never come across that before! Usually I get referrals from GPS for core stability and continence issues for post natal. If you want some guidance, bust get a referral from the GP for physio as they can sort you out with basic core stability exercises.

The instructors probably have no clue about post natal exercises which is why they were uncomfortable-something that is not right, as they should have been taught basics when they were training for their qualifications.

You can def try out the Cardio machines for starters so don't be put off.

PM me if you need more info etc

BoyMeetsWorld Wed 10-Apr-13 08:31:25

Yeah I think they're just covering themselves legally - no real harm to get a letter? Though admittedly they could have just explained that in a nice way...

deliciousmother Wed 10-Apr-13 08:31:41

I meant ''best to get a referral"
Not bust!

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Apr-13 08:32:13

Thanks for your replies.
Good point trinity that had crossed my mind. I might do that today. <coy chuckle with hand over mouth>

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Apr-13 08:34:44

The thing is I could get a GP letter as my doctor is very nice and would probably do it as a favour, but it's going to slow down my ability to get to the gym and I think it's a waste of his time. Feel a bit like if I bend on this then they'll never learn grin

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Apr-13 08:35:29

Thanks delicious. That's a good point.

RevoltingPeasant Wed 10-Apr-13 09:25:20

Emily waltz in as above, and if any instructor approaches you as they remember you, say, 'I rang my practice and my GP said you're a precious loon I'm fine to exercise'.

Doubt they'll push it.

macdoodle Wed 10-Apr-13 09:35:49

I'm a GP. This is not a NHS service and a massive waste of resources. It should incur a charge as its outside NHS practice. I personally wouldn't do it as I am no expert in post natal exercises. We have 7000 patients imagine if just 10% asked for some kind of letter (and yes they do) once a year. Taking say 20 mins each time. That's 230 hours ie about 30 days work on nonsense.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 10-Apr-13 09:36:21

YABU OP and thank you for caring about your doctor's time (I'm a GP!). Every GP gets hundreds of these requests and they use up time that should be spent caring for patients. Most GPs already do 4+ hours of paperwork a day and it's getting worse all the time. More paperwork = less time actually seeing patients which is what most of us want to spend our time doing smile. It's frustrating for us and also frustrating for patients as it is a waste of their time too.

I'd do what revolting suggests. It's not a lie as your GP has already said it's fine to exercise.

1stTimeDad Wed 10-Apr-13 09:45:46

As most people have pointed out, the letter from the GP is to cover their backs, because at the end of the day you have had major abdominal surgery just three months ago, and they want to ensure you have healed well and that there are no complications that they need to consider, for example whether it was a planned and fairly typical c-section or an emergency c-section that has resulted in further complications.
The requirement for the letter might seem a bit onerous but not everyone is going to be honest when asked the same questions you were or they may omit necessary information which without knowing could lead to a serious injury.
With regards to other peoples comment about the instructors training should cover what exercises pre and postnatal women can do. Not necessarily this is actually a specialised area within sport and exercise because of the changes that can occur to the body as a result of pregnancy and the changes to hormone levels, which means a range of regular exercise movement can lead to injury if performed, overstretching of ligaments is the most common and takes a while to recover from.
I supposed it might take some time to get a letter from the doctor, but I would view at as at least the gym you go to care enough to want to make sure your good to go, rather than just leaving you to get on with it and potentially hurt yourself.

macdoodle Wed 10-Apr-13 09:48:02

I'm not sure think post natal exercises would be included in a GP training ?

AnyoneforTurps Wed 10-Apr-13 09:51:35

1stimedad GPs are there to treat sick people, not cover the gym's back. If the gym want medical back up, they should pay for it, not waste tax-payers' money. As macdoodle says, it's not just a matter of one letter. The average GP has 2000 patients, so cumulatively this sort of thing is a massive waste of time - time that is being lost to patient care.

WutheringTights Wed 10-Apr-13 09:51:52

The arse-covering drives me up the wall. I wanted to join a post-natal dance class at 6 weeks post baby for some gentle exercise and to meet other mums. I had an easy delivery and recovery and explained to the teacher that I was very active right up to labour and had been doing some long walks every day since the baby was about 2 weeks old so I felt ready to start something else. I was told that I needed to be signed off by the GP at my 6 week check. I dutifully booked the 6 week check and walked to the GP surgery with the pram (a 45 minute brisk walk). When I arrived, the GP said that I shouldn't have been allowed to book an appointment as they don't do 6 week checks any more (implying that they're a waste of time) and that they'll check how I feel at the baby's 8 week check. I asked about the dance class and he pointed out that if I had walked to the appointment, and was planning to walk back, I'd be fine with a little light exercise class. I felt a right idiot! Still wasn't allowed to join the class though so just went to the gym and did an adapted version of my old routine without telling any of the instructors. Baby is now four months old and I feel great, really fit and healthy. I just take it easy on the weights and stretches, stop when I feel tired and avoid anything that feels uncomfortable; it's not rocket science.

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 10:00:27

Yanbu it would be a total.waste of gps time and at my surgery i would have for the letter, prob £20-30!!

I have never had this request from any gym that i have used. Thry recomend waiting 6-8wks ie once you have had yoir six wk.check.but that is it.

Just go in your gym kit as others have said, without the baby with you i doubt anyone will rememver to ask and if they do i would tell them.the gp.said it was ok verbally but doesnt waste time doing letters for stupid reasons!

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Apr-13 10:08:10

Thanks for all your replies.
I do feel it's unneccessary so I will do as suggested by trinity and revolting and just walk in.
I suppose hey could call security grin
I just feel that it's lazy thinking on their part. They dearly don't know know much about pn exercise (not really a problem for me) and are expecting my GP to give them protection that they don't really need.
If they push it I can ask their head office to write to my GP requesting medical information. Too far?

1stTimeDad Wed 10-Apr-13 10:09:49

AnyoneforTurps I appreciate the point you make however, pretty much every form of adverting for exercise now asks participants to consult their doctor first, this is to avoid litigation plain and simple. I’m not saying it is right, or that I agree with it, it’s just a fact unfortunately because the minority have spoilt it for the majority.
Namely those undertaking a physical activity that shouldn’t and then complain when they hurt themselves that they weren’t aware of the risk and someone should have spelt it out with sky writing.
All I was trying to do was point out that to the OP, that whilst she might be fine to exercise other people might have lied in her situation, so unfortunately there is a blanket rule in place. Whilst it might seem unfair the gym are trying to run a business and want to minimise the risk of injury and litigation.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 10-Apr-13 10:09:57

Too far?

No - great idea. Make them think twice!

AnyoneforTurps Wed 10-Apr-13 10:11:45

Whilst it might seem unfair the gym are trying to run a business and want to minimise the risk of injury and litigation.

Which is fine but they need to pay for medical advice, not leech off the NHS. It is not the GP's job to support the gym's business and it detracts from patient care.

Thumbwitch Wed 10-Apr-13 10:15:52

I suppose there is a point to it as it takes a while for the pregnancy ligament softening to reverse, and during that time you could do yourself some damage. However, the GP isn't going to know enough about the exercises - the gym instructors should have access to sufficient information to be able to look up what you can safely do themselves.

Come to that, I expect there is enough info on the internet for YOU to look it up yourself as well; find out what is recommended in terms of exercise, print it out and go back to the gym armed with the information - obviously the internet isn't infallible but it's usually relatively simple to work out which sites are more appropriate than others - and tell them that if they can't accommodate you then you'll go elsewhere and cancel your membership.

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Apr-13 10:18:00

Another problem with that approach though 1sttimedad is that it's so unclear. I know how to exercise (I had to walk there!) and they have no specialist knowledge. A letter om the GP doesn't increase their knowledge or make my exercise any safer. The GP is not going to be able to give a list of which exercises are safe and those that are not.
And how long ago would your surgery have to be to not require this letter? They seem to be making it up ass they go along. Even if I paid for the letter it's still a waste of the GP's time IMHO.

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 10:19:15

'consult your gp' which she has done at her post natal check. Fine. Waste time and money getting a letter from a gp... Not fine.

If the gym are that bothered they can just have the op sign a disclaimer, infact most gyms do nowadays anywat along with an introductory 'this is how you use the gym equipment' session.

If they want clearance from a dr for peoole they can pay for it.

1stTimeDad Wed 10-Apr-13 10:33:50

AnyoneforTurps I think saying that the gym is trying to leech off the NHS is a bit strong especially a few posters have pointed out they have to pay for this service, yes it is detracting time from the GP's day but at least it is creating revenue, which is why it is charged for its a trade off, time for service.

With regards to the comments about the GP will not give a list of exercises that the op can or can not do of course that is not going to happen. what the gym are looking for is confirmation from a person medically qualified to judge that the OP's scar tissue from the c-section will have healed enough to withstand the stress of exercise yet.

As a number of people pointed out the alternative is a signing a waiver.

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