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scared of having blood tests done in pregnanacy

(30 Posts)
leenabree Thu 11-May-17 10:02:23

Hi

I've recently found out I'm pregnant (only 5 weeks) but I am already panicking about blood tests. I hate anything medical, so going to get blood tests and waiting for the results cause me a lot of anxiety, panic and passing out! I know I will need to have the ultrasound scan but can I refuse some of the blood tests?

If anyone has refused their blood tests, please let me know.

I know testing for anemia is important, but can they not just to do a skin prick test for HB levels in patients who don't want the FBC done?

Thank you

Leena

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Thu 11-May-17 10:05:22

I don't know anyone who has refused blood tests. Can you explain your anxiety to the midwives?

I mean this in the nicest possible way but a needle in your arm is nothing compared to giving birth - whether it is vaginally or by caesarean.....

Firewall Thu 11-May-17 10:07:42

I was exactly the same as you. Unfortunately, I just had to grin and bear it and keep the thought in your head that you're doing it for baby. You soon get used to it by the end. And the discomfort is nothing compared to giving birth!
I guess you can refuse it, however in the best interest of yourself and baby it's another one of those sacrifices you make.

moonlight1705 Thu 11-May-17 10:09:42

I am petrified of blood tests but I was given the numbing cream (helped a lot) and a very sympathetic nurse who let me just cry.

I also had three hypnotherapy sessions to help with the panic and found it extremely useful....would that be something you could do?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 11-May-17 10:16:20

I was also very worried about blood tests as I hate them due to having had a bad experience as a child. I think you should try and take steps to address your anxieties and then have the blood tests. They are important and as other posters have said, during labour and delivery you may need to have a cannula, an epidural or other interventions which you need to be able to deal with.

The first few blood tests were difficult but now after having my two children I am fairly blasé about them now and can easily cope with having them. I'm glad that it's actually improved how I feel about them.

GirlcalledJames Thu 11-May-17 11:13:19

Ask your GP for help with the anxiety. There is no way round the blood tests if you want to minimise certain risks to the embryo/fetus.

leenabree Thu 11-May-17 11:24:49

Thank you for all your responses. I will definitely speak with my midwife about my fears at my booking appointment.

I did read some peoples posts on other forums that they've refused these tests with no issues- I just don't want my stress and anxiety over this to affect my developing child...

VimFuego101 Thu 11-May-17 11:40:39

They don't do the blood tests for fun. Which ones were you thinking of refusing?

GirlcalledJames Thu 11-May-17 11:45:47

I think those posters on other forums are being quite irresponsible. Of course, most pregancies aren't affected by most of the issues tested for, so the most likely outcome of not testing is that the fetus is anyway unaffected. Similarly, the most likely outcome of driving over the limit is that no accident happens, but this doesn't make drunk driving safe.
The point is rather that fetal development can potentially be affected by hundred of things, and testing for the most common and most devastating ones improves outcomes overall. I want my unborn child to benefit from all of these medical advances.
For example, if a blood test hadn't picked up high TSH in the first weeks of pregancy, there would have been a good chance that my daughter's organs wouldn't have developed correctly. It's amazing to me that the small discomfort of one blood test and a tiny pill every day can avoid this risk for her, and I'm very grateful.

leenabree Thu 11-May-17 11:59:26

I was thinking of refusing the FBC, just because I had a bad experience with this in the past and it brings me all sorts of anxiety.

I could probably handle the others...

Gooseygoosey12345 Thu 11-May-17 12:10:01

Blood tests are no fun but often the thought of them is worse than actually having them done. If you're really worried you could ask to go to the phlebotomist, they would be the most experienced with drawing blood so you could feel reassured and it'll be done quickly and painlessly. The tests are important and you'd never forgive yourself if it meant something was missed that could have been picked up and prevented complications.

JulietMontague Thu 11-May-17 12:54:07

I didn't have all of mine when I had DD, particularly the later ones checking for aneamia etc. I don't think people have much sympathy with just how debilitating a phobia this can be. I've now got a condition that means I have to have blood tests every few months for the rest of my life sad I cope in the following ways:
-See a familiar nurse each time who knows about my phobia and knows to do it quickly
-put on numbing cream at least 90 mins before
-lie down while they do it
-I also take someone with me to distract me
-Waggle my toes in the air - the blood is forced up to your head and stops you fainting
-Have a treat afterwards - reward myself for doing it!
Be kind to yourself - unless you've suffered this phobia, it's impossible to understand it fully.
Good luck flowers

leenabree Thu 11-May-17 13:06:00

Thanks you Juliet, it's nice to hear from someone who understands my fears.
How did your midwife/Dr react when you refused some of the tests and the anemia test later on? I am planning on tell them I don't want them because of the level of stress/anxiety they bring to me, but I'm not sure how they will react. Will they force me? Make me feel guilty?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 11-May-17 13:17:32

They can't force you (that would be an assault) and they can't make you feel guilty if you know it's the right choice for your baby and you.

JulietMontague Thu 11-May-17 13:32:17

They definitely can't force you. I came across midwives who were kind and supportive and some (mainly at the hospital) who were very unsympathetic, but you just have to stick to your guns. Just don't let them spring them on you, if you decide to have them do it on your terms and be prepared.

leenabree Thu 11-May-17 13:43:22

If I was to get these blood tests privately (from a phlebotomist) where maybe I could feel more comfortable, would they accept these results, therefore not requiring me to do more blood tests?

I'm just trying to find solutions to avoid these blood tests in hospital.= environments...

JulietMontague Thu 11-May-17 13:48:18

I don't see why they wouldn't accept private tests but talk it through with your midwife first, they might have other ideas like coming to your home or having them done at a community centre (I did this, it was better because it calmed my anxiety, lots of cushions and pictures on the wall!)

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 11-May-17 13:48:38

I don't see why not as long as they test for what is required.

putputput Thu 11-May-17 13:49:12

Most of your blood tests will be done by your midwife. Wherever possible they will do tests together to minimise the amount of times you're pricked. The FBC is really important, it's done at the same time as several others and is literally just a case of them putting another bottle on to the needle that's already in place.
It must be horrible having such a phobia but these tests are important for you and your baby. They don't do them for fun, they are often the first sign that something is wrong.

ShiningArmour Thu 11-May-17 13:49:42

Could you have the tests done at your GP's instead of hospital? I understand how crippling anxiety can be, ask your gp if there's any help in addressing your anxiety, I know people who feel similar to you.

SumAndSubstance Thu 11-May-17 15:37:18

I second what Juliet said above. I have very serious medical phobias (so much so that I was consultant led for that reason in second pregnancy!) I spoke to my GP about it as soon as I found out I was pregnant, which really helped. I had all my blood tests done at the GP's surgery with a lady I know there who knows what I am like. They also managed to 'condense' (if that's the right word) the essential bloods into a smaller number of tests for me. Nobody was unkind or pushy about this. There are things that they can do.
I would definitely speak to your GP or midwife about it at the start, as it really helped me throughout the pregnancy that it was flagged up properly in my medical records!

BentleyBelly Thu 11-May-17 20:05:52

I have rare antibodies in my blood, they have appeared since I had my first child. If I had refused the blood tests we wouldn't know about them and my child could be at risk. My recommendation is to not refuse them. It really isn't that bad, I promise.

Sprogletsmuvva Thu 11-May-17 21:14:03

It's not just routine screening: if you get ill during the pregnancy, you are likely to need a blood test. In my case it helped rule out a preg-related cause, but ruling one in would obviously be even more important.

(And of course you're going to get people posting on t'Internets about "I didn't have XYZ healthcare measure and it was fine." Those for whom things went catastrophically wrong aren't likely to be posting about it...)

PrincipalCelestia Fri 12-May-17 09:54:12

The blood tests are too important to not have.
I have just had some results through from my 12 week bloods which are below normal, I am now receiving extra scans and monitoring because of it.
Will my pregnancy be normal if I hadn't have known about this low result? The odds are in my favour so most likely yes. But the risks outweigh the chance, so I'm glad I know.

You need to focus on dealing with your phobia rather than how to get around the tests. Your midwife will take you seriously when you explain your fears, as will the nurse taking your blood.

There are many procedures during pregnancy which are a bit...unpleasant...to say the least.
I'm not fond of the approach of 'think of your lovely baby' as you undergo uncomfortable and often painful examinations as a way of distracting you, but something like a blood test is a means of ensuring that your baby, and YOU progress through your pregnancy safely. So focus on that and use it as a tool to combat this phobia, which you CAN break free from.

So please get the tests.

Gooseygoosey12345 Sun 14-May-17 19:36:45

You don't have to go private for the phlebotomist, you can request it at the hospital. Even if you did decide to go private it wouldn't matter if they accepted the results because at least you would know, however I can't see why they wouldn't. I know it's scary but I have had literally hundreds and nothing has ever gone wrong or made me not want another. I know that's not really reassuring because it's not your experience but I hope it helps a little

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