Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Family insisting I need consultant-led care

(23 Posts)
SpannerPants Sat 28-May-11 14:24:42

Sorry if this is a bit rambly, I'm just getting more and more stressed out!

I'm currently 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. I've been lucky and had a relatively trouble-free pregnancy so far, until Wednesday when I got admitted for 2 days with protein in my urine, headaches and swollen feet/face. BP was ok so they just monitored me for 48hrs and let me go home yesterday, they just said to make sure I see my midwife in the next week.

Anyway, my mum (has had 4 babies, all OP, 2 forceps deliveries, 1 EMCS and 1 ELCS) and my dad (a GP with 40yrs experience including 2yrs in obstetrics and still does the odd home birth) both keep telling me that I'm high risk and need to be under consultant led care because they both think I'm going to have problems during labour. As far as I can gather this is because I had a fairly petite frame before pregnancy (30 inch hips and size 3 feet) and I've got SPD so find some positions painful. I had a growth scan during my admission and the baby is on track to be 7.5-8lb at term and is head-down but I can feel him moving from one side to the other several times a day.

My preference would be for as low intervention as possible, possibly water birth with gas and air and I've been listening to hypnotherapy stuff and practising breathing exercises, but they both keep telling me there's no point as I won't be able to cope with the pain and will end up with an epidural +/- EMCS. My mum has gone so far as to say I should demand to have an ELCS! (And thoughtfully provided me with a daily mail article saying all consultant obstetricians insist on ELCS for themselves hmm)

I'm really starting to struggle with them constantly ringing me telling me I need to make sure I'm under consultant led care and that I should be demanding extra scans to check position etc. I can feel myself losing confidence in my body to give birth to this baby and the thought of labour is now terrifying me. It's making me very anxious about the whole pregnancy and I dread answering the phone.

Any idea how I can handle this? At the moment I just smile and nod and try to change the subject, but they won't stop going on until I agree with them.

coccyx Sat 28-May-11 14:31:16

My mum is a touch under 5ft and size 3 feet, had all 3 children at home and around 8lb mark.
They need to back off.
Why do you need a scan to check posotion, midwife can do that

VivaLeBeaver Sat 28-May-11 14:32:56

Doesn't sound to me like you need counsultant led care. More importantly it doesn't seem like either your midwife or the Drs you saw at the hospital think you need consultant led care. So I would be led by their expert opinions/knowledge.

Your dad may well be a GP, but as he has 40 years experience then maybe some of the opinions he has are a bit outdated? Doctors in the 70s used to make a thing about shoe size and do pelvic diameter scans, etc. Nothing like that at all now as research has proved it to be a load of bollocks.

The DM article was typical DM crap. One of my friends is a consultant obstetrician and she had a vaginal birth. Most junior female obstetricians I've known have had vaginal births with the odd emergency section thrown in. Never known any of them opt for one.

You don't need scans to check position unless your m/w isn't sure of position on palpation.

Your family doesn't sound very supportive saying you won't cope with the pain, etc. How do they know you won't? They don't at all. I would definetly stop answering the phone for a bit, just bluntly refuse to discuss it with them.

Good luck!

RibenaBerry Sat 28-May-11 14:34:19

Honestly, I think you need to be brutal with them if you want them to stop. I would go with "I have listened to your views and I've thought about them, but I'm happy with my decisions about care and I really don't want to discuss it any more. Let's talk about something more fun" and then suggest a baby topic you will dissect with them - prams or nurseries or whatever.

Hard to do to your own family, but sometimes necessary...

irishqueen Sat 28-May-11 14:42:00

I am 5 3! Size 3 feet and have popped out 3 7pounders with just gas and air! My granny is under 5 foot and had 8 normal births. You cannot predivt how you will cope but everything looks to be in your favour
Ignore them but play it by ear! No shame in pain relief ( I mmissed out on any for ds as he was too quick and felt cheated)
Stick to your guns

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sat 28-May-11 15:07:00

You poor thing no wonder you are starting to doubt yourself. Why not see your midwife be honest about what they are saying and how you feel. Can dp tell then to back off if you can't?

Wormshuffler Sat 28-May-11 15:12:17

Both of mine were OP and I am small too they both stayed high up and I ended up with CS' that because of my size then? When I asked at my post natel app, they said it was just a coincidence.

chipmonkey Sat 28-May-11 15:12:30

Say "Yes, Mummy, yes Daddy!",.........
Then go and do your own thing!grin

Wormshuffler Sat 28-May-11 15:15:48

Even if you are consultant led, you can still aim for the delivery you want, it just means you will be in the right place if intervention is needed doesn't it?

PrincessScrumpy Sat 28-May-11 15:17:02

I was told dd would be 8lb or more - she arrived at 39+5 and was 6lb 14oz. Doesn't sound like you need the stress of consultant care. I'm expecting twins and so am under a consultant - scan and consultant every 2 weeks. A nurse comes and takes all the bp and tests urine then the consultant comes and asks how I am, reads the scan results to check measurements (which are fine) and last time they prodded my tummy a bit and said "that's fine". Didn't think to ask why. Don't think they do much more than mw and mws are the ones to speak to about natural birth techniques etc and your concerns.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 28-May-11 15:18:04

I don't understand your post Wormshuffler?

OP isn't talking about a MLU as far as I can see. Most hospitals where women are midwifery led care they give birth in the same place as the consultant led care women. Just means they can't use the pool. grin

TheSecondComing Sat 28-May-11 15:22:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wormshuffler Sat 28-May-11 15:23:01

Ahh I'm getting confused, here it's a case of midwife led care at our local hospital, or consultant led in the next city.

Playdohinthewashingmachine Sat 28-May-11 15:24:49

Get your DH to phone them and say "You're starting to really upset Spanner with all your hassling about the birth. I understand that you care about her, but you are not her doctors. Back off. Do not mention this again to her" And if they don't, get him to go around and ask if they are excited about their new grandchild, and whether they think now is a good time to put a spanner in their relationship with their daughter?

My parents don't listen to me at all, because they think I'm still six, but they acknowledge that dh is a proper grownup, so he only has to say 2 words to them and they roll over and practise sitting up and begging.

Playdohinthewashingmachine Sat 28-May-11 15:25:22

Sorry, too many spanners ...

ohanotherone Sat 28-May-11 15:31:35

I am only 5ft 2", had pre eclampsia and SPD was induced at 38 weeks but the midwives dealt with the induction, DS was 8lb 3oz and I had no pain or drugs or intervention. The birth was in a consultant led unit but I didn't see any doctors at all during the birth, just a day before to suggest induction so I think your patents have ridiculous notions.

I really think this scaremongering will not help you at all.

Tell your partner/sister/aunt whoever best to ring your parents and tell them that they are upsetting you and that you don't want to discus the birth with them anymore.

SpannerPants Sat 28-May-11 15:32:26

Thank you for all the advice - sounds like I need to be a bit more assertive, after all this is my baby and my birth! My mum has always been quite controlling and seems to be seeing this as her 5th baby - it doesn't help that she has insisted on buying almost everything for the baby so I feel guilty about not listening to her.

I'm booked into the midwife led unit but it's on the same floor as the consultant led unit/operating theatres, just at the other end of the ward. I keep saying to my parents surely this is good as if I did need medical care in an emergency it is literally metres away! The midwives that I've met have all been really good as well, very helpful and caring despite being busy.

DP is very good at handling my parents so I might get him to have a word. Right, off to sit on my ball and practise my breathing!

WoTmania Sat 28-May-11 15:36:41

If it helps reassure you - I'm 5ft2in, was 8 stone pre DC with size 3.5 ft adn no idea about hip measurement but 26 inch waist, all ,my babies were 8lb 7oz (yup, all 3) and the last two born at home all 3 were nice easy 2nd stages DS! was Back to back but still fairly easy birth.
My mum had awful experiences and kept on about them. My experience was completely different to hers. Mostly, IMO, becuase I knew about active birth, gave birth upright and in the hospital with DS1 didn't let them bully me into laying on my back like they wanted to. You sound clued up and wellprepared.
Good Luck. Stick to your guns and if you can explain to them how little their comments are helping. They are probably just worried for you but thta's no excuse

QTPie Sat 28-May-11 15:44:19


You may or may not need more intervention (and a CS) - who knows! Not you, not your parents.

Personally, I think that YOU are doing the right thing: TRYING to be relaxed, aim for a relaxed natural/water birth, do hypno-birthing/relaxation/pre-natal yoga (the works!). From what I have heard, the more relaxed you are, the less your body "fights" the birth, the more likely you are to have a less painful birth with less intervention. As you say - doubtign your body isn't going to do anything for you.... sad

Phone your parents, explain all of this. Say that you think that they have valid opinions, that you have listened to them, but you want to trust your own body and do it your way (you are an adult and perfectly entitled to make your own choices). Explain that they really are not helping now and that them making you doubt your own body will not help anything. Say that you love them very much, but you want this to be an end to the matter and to their advice. Give them one chance, then start screening your calls and avoiding them until after the birth. harsh, but true: you don't have many weeks left - you need to focus on you, your body, your relaxation and your state of mind.... After the birth, completely wipe the slate clean and start again - get them involved.

Maybe giving them practical jobs/tasks (like making you meals for the freezer etc) might help them to feel helpful/involved in a way that practically helps you (rather than stresses you)?

It is funny, but medical people tend to be the WORST when it comes to things like this. We had a couple in our NCT group and "Mr Stressy" (as we dubbed him) had a medical degree (but moved into Medical Sales because of the stress....). Thre stressful/traumatic birth and the aftermuth actually broke their (Mr Stressy and his partner) relationship apart, they split within 5 months of the birth and a nasty custody battle followed.... That is another story!

The toll of a situation is often not "what actually happens" (be it pain, intervention or CS), but how those involved handle it. If you are open-minded, confident, relaxed, empowered and supported, then YOU can make the right choice when that time comes. Your parents obviously care about you an awful lot (and want to protect you), but they are just going about it the wrong way.

Best wishes for a good end of pregnancy and a beautiful birth.


PacificDogwood Sat 28-May-11 15:58:37

OP, you need to move grin!

Sorry, I can just feel my hackles rise as your mum has bought most things for the baby - my parents live in another country and irritate me with unwanted gifts and advice (note to self: Grow Up, PD blush).

I don't think your height/shoe size has anything to do with anything. Short women give birth to 'normal'/big babies all the same - after all what matters is the shape of your pelvis and size of babies head + position + efftiveness of labour etc etc.

Re protein in urine, swelling etc: these things may be a first sign of pre-eclampia which is why you will be asked to see your MW a bit more frequently than otherwise necessary. Your dad being of the medical persuasion is likely worried that you will develop pre-eclampsia, or even worse, full-blown eclampsia. It sounds like your parents have little faith in how competent the care is that you are receiving - do they have reason to be suspicious ie bad experience in the family or in your father's professional experience with the obstetric care in your area?? Just wondering....

Now is the time to frame the relationship with your parents in the manner you want to go on: "Thank you for your concern, I understand what you are saying, but you are not helping me. I will follow all the advice I am given, but you need to be there for me, support me and not tell me what to do." If you do not draw lines in the sand (nicely!), you will not find it easy to parent your child in the way you see fit and wiill find yourself critisised at every turn.

IMO at the end of the day in what mode you deliver your baby doesn't matter all that much as long as you feel you had a positive birth experience - and that comes from feeling that your choices have been respected and listened to, and trusting those who look after you.

Anyway, very best of luck to you; hope everything goes as you wish it to go and your parents will turn into doting grandparents who remember Their Place grin.

LunaticFringe Sat 28-May-11 16:12:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PorkChopSter Sat 28-May-11 16:32:50

Threaten them with having an unassisted birth in a yurt in the middle of a forest?

Then they might see you are actually being quite sensible.

PacificDogwood Sat 28-May-11 17:46:34

Yy, threaten to freebirth grin

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: