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Midwife did a sweep last night without asking

(353 Posts)
Katnisnevergreen Mon 17-Dec-18 09:10:03

Hi all, I’m just after some advice. I went to the maternity unit last night with bad contractions (am 39 weeks) which had been building over the past few days to every 3.5 mins.
When the midwife was checking to see how dilated I was, it was really painful, like trying to get away painful, and I could really feel her moving around.
When she finished she said ‘I’ve done you a sweep too...’
is this out of order as I didn’t ask or want one?

Katnisnevergreen Mon 17-Dec-18 09:11:04

Also, it’s had no effect, apart from making me bleed quite a lot and giving me horrendous back ache.
I’m a first time mum so don’t k is if this is normal or not

oser Mon 17-Dec-18 09:11:12

I'd say out of order considering you're not even past your due date either. You should've had an option i think.

BWatchWatcher Mon 17-Dec-18 09:12:20

She was probably trying to hurry things along for you.

HPandBaconSandwiches Mon 17-Dec-18 09:12:39

Yes it’s out of order. She should have explained and asked your consent. And you should highlight the issue/complain.

Women have put up with things just being done to them for far too long. Obstetrics and midwifery as a whole is outrageous in lacking autonomy for the patient.

CuppaSarahsCuppaChristmasCheer Mon 17-Dec-18 09:14:02

Not on at all. Every time I've had an internal in early labour they always asked if I wanted one while they were there No one has any right to do that without your permission.

Jackshouse Mon 17-Dec-18 09:14:03

Definitely out of order. She should not have done a medical procedure on you without your consent.

JacquesHammer Mon 17-Dec-18 09:14:07

Absolutely not normal, she should have asked for your consent.

53rdWay Mon 17-Dec-18 09:15:00

Definitely out of order! She should have asked you if you wanted one.

crispysausagerolls Mon 17-Dec-18 09:15:39

I wouldn’t worry about it - maybe she should’ve asked but perhaps she thought it was best and didn’t want to be told not to 🤷🏻‍♀️ Sometimes it’s best to just trust people to do their job.

babysharkah Mon 17-Dec-18 09:15:59

I would imagine it would just make sense to do it while she was there? Is there a specific reason you didnt want it?

Littlebluebird123 Mon 17-Dec-18 09:16:08

Have you gone back in?
Bleeding should be checked really and back ache is normal for labour but means things are moving along.
I don't think she should have given you a sweep without talking to you unless there is something in your notes to say you wanted it. But it would have been done to help as it sounds like you're in labour but it's not progressing as well as it could.

Riotingbananas Mon 17-Dec-18 09:16:45

perhaps she thought it was best and didn’t want to be told not to

Even more reason to ask then.

WereYouHareWhenIWasFox Mon 17-Dec-18 09:16:54

I think she probably thought it was doing you a favour. This happened to me and actually I was fine with it, (I had very very quick straightforward births) but of course she should have asked you first.

Dotty1970 Mon 17-Dec-18 09:17:13

Report this, she is totally out of order, consent is required choose what for any procedure or examination.
You consented to checking dilation only.
Report her

53rdWay Mon 17-Dec-18 09:18:28

perhaps she thought it was best and didn’t want to be told not to

She shouldn’t be in the job if she thinks like that.

Katnisnevergreen Mon 17-Dec-18 09:18:38

The thing is, my birth plan highlights that I am not overly comfortable with an internal exam from the off, and I just now feel that I won’t consent to one next time I have to go in.
I am sure she thought she was helping, but I was vulnerable and in pain, and now feel violated.
It hasn’t helped, if anything everything has slowed right down again, so her help didn’t do much

JacquesHammer Mon 17-Dec-18 09:20:09

You absolutely need to raise it OP.

No medical procedure should ever be carried out with consent.

I hope you’re ok flowers

Namestheyareachangin Mon 17-Dec-18 09:20:36


I wouldn’t worry about it - maybe she should’ve asked but perhaps she thought it was best and didn’t want to be told not to 🤷🏻‍♀️ Sometimes it’s best to just trust people to do their job.

Are you bloody high??? It is NOT OK to perform medical procedures on people without their consent in situations where they have capacity. And to suggest she did so SPECIFICALLY to avoid the OP witholding consent raises it to the level of an assault.

Under WHAT other circumstances other than a pregnant woman seeking medical attention do we expect people to surrender not just the autonomy to make decisions about their care and treatment, but even the right to know what decisions are being made???

You are actually insane if you think that is acceptable.

Jackshouse Mon 17-Dec-18 09:21:12

It does not matter if the midwife thinks it is in the posters best interests or even if she thought it was necessary to save the OP’a life (it’s wasnt necessary to save her life) medical professionals need to seek informed consent where possible. The midwife will be well aware of this.

Celebelly Mon 17-Dec-18 09:21:34

She definitely should have asked. Not everybody wants a sweep, and even if you did, she should have checked with you first. Just because someone is pregnant doesn't mean they lose their right to consent to procedures being done to them.

Namestheyareachangin Mon 17-Dec-18 09:21:50

OP you should report it at the highest level and insist on some action being taken. She will take this high-handed approach with other women too and could do someone real harm. I'm so sorry this happened to you and I hope you deliver soon and safely. flowers

Katnisnevergreen Mon 17-Dec-18 09:24:24

Thank you for responding all of you, the mixed responses are exactly why I am unsure.
I didn’t want one because they don’t have much chance of working and I am not overdue. I thought it was just going to be an exam to check how dilated I am (not very).
In regard to the bleeding, I panicked when I saw it, as I’d gone to the loo to get dressed, and another staff member just looked at my pants and said that it was fine.
I rang up again a few hours later as instructed and got told it’s fine as long as it’s not dripping.
It’s the only maternity unit near by and I thought it would be wonderful as it’s new, but now am worried about the rest of the process.

Namestheyareachangin Mon 17-Dec-18 09:24:49


I would imagine it would just make sense to do it while she was there? Is there a specific reason you didnt want it?

The question should be, is there a specific reason the midwife DIDN'T ASK FIRST? What possible justification could there be for her not seeking the OP's consent before doing a procedure on her, or even saying "I'm just going to do a sweep now so you may feel a bit more discomfort than usual' if she was under the (totally misguided) impression the OP didn't need to be asked???

I'm a bit appalled how many posters think the midwife wasn't 100% in the wrong here!

Orlande Mon 17-Dec-18 09:24:57

Totally not OK.

Especially not OK if she did it without consent because she thought you might not consent!

The same happened to me in labour and I wish now I had formally complained. There's no excuse at all.

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