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Private vs NHS birth

(60 Posts)
Sith Sat 13-Feb-16 11:13:15

Hi everyone,

I'm currently 7 weeks pregnant and I've been very disappointed about the NHS care I've received so far. When I first saw my doctor to say I was pregnant, she never mentioned having a flu jab, she said she was going to put me on referral for a consultant (as I'm 38) and it's never happened, and I wasn't given a pregnancy pack - I only found out this week that I should have one and that I've already missed a blood test I should have had.

The midwives unit won't see me until 10 weeks, I kind of feel a bit abandoned at the moment.

In short, my experience with the NHS care so far has been chaotic and uncaring. So I started thinking about the scariest part - what about giving birth? Will that be the same?

So to cut to the point, I was wondering what experiences anyone else has had of private births and if you'd consider it worth it?

I don't live in London so I've no idea where the private birth centres are around Worcester, but I think it's worth inquiring about.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts, thanks smile

babyiwantabump Sat 13-Feb-16 11:17:22

I think your jumping the gun a teenie bit - your GP doesn't do much will just refer you and no blood tests need to be done until approx 12 weeks , at the same time as your dating scan if you are having the combined screening.

The pregnancy pack is just full of advertisement and your midwife will give you the proper information you need .

I know it's a scary time when pregnant but don't worry you haven't missed anything yet!

babyiwantabump Sat 13-Feb-16 11:18:13

Oh and your consultant referral will probably happen at around 16-20 weeks .

Cnmorgan13 Sat 13-Feb-16 11:19:19

I was the same, didn't first see a midwife till I was 9/10 weeks. Nothing much they can do until that point

LaurieLemons Sat 13-Feb-16 11:33:01

OP you're 7 weeks pregnant, I don't know if you have health conditions but normally you won't have a blood test this early on. I wasn't given a pregnancy pack either, you're GP does nothing except refer you to a midwife. I had my booking appointment at 11 weeks and from there onwards the care was great.

lynholmerpark Sat 13-Feb-16 12:53:35

Be reassured this is normal as it is early days yet, though fully appreciate it feels a little bit like you are 'at sea' in these first few weeks.

You will be booked with a Midwife around 10 weeks gestation where they will take comprehensive information from you, give you health promotion information (e.g. re flu jab, Whooping cough vaccination, booklets), assess any high-risk needs (from medical history) and if necessary, THEY will refer you to a Consultant. They will also arrange your scans (initial dating scan will be around 11-13 weeks).

If you are considering looking into non-NHS care you will need an independent midwife. Suggest you look here:

Good luck.

alltouchedout Sat 13-Feb-16 13:01:50

But you're only 7 weeks, why would any of the things you mentioned have happened by now? What blood test do you think you should already have had? What pregnant x pack do you think a gp should be giving out before you've even booked in with the midwives?
Re the flu jab, you may not even need it. Flu season is almost over and the flu jab tends not to be available after late February, and you're likely to be at term by the time they start offering the jab again in September.

Lj8893 Sat 13-Feb-16 13:22:45

The first lot of blood tests needed are at your booking appointment with a midwife between 8-10 weeks. You haven't missed anything yet, it's just to early to put you in the maternity "system". Completely normal and you have had the same treatment everyone would get, in fact lots of women don't even see their doctor before seeing a midwife in pregnancy.

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 13-Feb-16 13:53:39

I'm under consultant care - decided by the consultant himself, when he was having a look at the booking in forms for 12 weeks scans. I saw him at 20 weeks. As everything is fine, I probably won't see him again. I don't think you have missed anything important so far. If it helps you at all, I've had two lovely births on the NHS.
I haven't really heard of many private units outside London - so you might be better off looking at which NHS hospitals are close to you (if you have a choice) and making a decision on which to use.
I'm in the south west - and the local hospital or home are the only options. Unless I wanted to travel an hour in the car to another hospital. Which would be my idea of absolute hell when in labour!
Good luck OP. I do understand that it's a slightly stressful time x

KittyandTeal Sat 13-Feb-16 14:00:26

You don't need the flu jab as were out of season now. I had one 10 weeks ago but my gp said it wasn't needed as were coming out of flu season now but she happened to have some spare knocking around.

It really standard not to be booked before 10 weeks. The only reason I was was due to previous loss. It's sad but 1 in 5ish pregnancies won't make it to 10 weeks, there's no point wasting mw time booking someone early (I know that sounds harsh but in practical terms in makes sense)

Consultant probably won't need to see you until much later along tbh if your only risk factor is age (which isn't too old really)

I don't think it's uncaring, it's just a practical way to spend money and resources.

I'm sorry you feel a bit left. My experience is that once you get booked and to 12 weeks mw become a bit more involved and you start feeling properly like a baby is coming.

Both my birth experiences (one live and difficult and one stillbirth) were pretty positive. I felt well looked after and cared for.

KittyandTeal Sat 13-Feb-16 14:02:05

Oh gosh, yes. Don't get excited by the pregnancy pack. It's just advertising

YouCantCallMeBetty Sat 13-Feb-16 14:52:57

Congrats on your pregnancy OP smile. I agree with pp that 7 weeks is very early for anything to have happened in terms of antenatal care. If you have a health condition or history of pregnancy losses that mean you think you should be more closely monitored then perhaps go back to your GP but otherwise I'd wait for your booking appt with your midwife.

Generally you will get mostly left to your own devices during pregnancy though unless there is a reason to do otherwise. You'll have your 12 & 20 week scans, probably 6 or so midwife appts over the course of the pregnancy and however many consultant appts they think you need on the back of your referral (and yes 20 wks for first consultant appt is not unusual).

If you think you'd like more input then consider an independent midwife as a pp suggested and you can always pay for additional private scans.

I will say that NHS midwife led units and delivery suites know what they're doing and the intrapartum care you get should be as good as you'd get privately. You may want to pay for additional ante & post natal care though if you would find that reassuring.

Good luck whatever you choose!

Luckygirlcharlie Sat 13-Feb-16 22:38:53

Hi. As others have said you wouldn't have had any of the things you mention by 7 weeks whether you went private or not. You can pay to have private scans to check all is progressing as normal though. Recommend Fetal Medicine Centre if you can get to London. I was NHS til 20 weeks in first pregnancy and then switched to private - midwife led. This time I went private from the start to ensure I was with a decent consultant. Despite the vast cost still nothing happens that early if you go private. I think my first apptment was at 8 or 9 wks for booking in and to meet him but none of the other stuff you mention. And being 38 doesn't make any difference to anything. I'm 40 now and nobody bats an eyelid or does anything differently! I think the cut off for being midwife led in private wing is 42 but that's about it. Definitely look into private if you can afford it but compare it to your local NHS hospital as it may be a total waste of money if facilities near you are great anyway. Try and relax and best of luck with it all smile

Stylingwax Sat 13-Feb-16 22:42:04

Where I live to be honest they don't even like you to see the GP, just the midwife, who I saw at 14 weeks. NHS care is brilliant, but In the first trimester there's really not a lot that needs doing.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sat 13-Feb-16 22:55:40

Flu jabs are normally only given between sept-jan and normally a bit later on in pregnancy.

Quite normal to not see a midwife until 10 weeks and that's in line with nice guidelines.

Your nearest private hospital is likely to be London or possibly Oxford. Though you could always have a home birth with a local private midwife.

dlwelly Sat 13-Feb-16 23:28:32

There's a lot of waiting at this point, everything seems to come round so slowly - your midwife appointment, first scan etc.

The care you've received so far is very normal.

I don't have any experience of a private birth to offer I'm afraid but had an amazing experience with the NHS.

The midwife team in my area were great, very friendly, personal and organised. I hope you feel the same after your booking and subsequent appointments. They can give you more information on your birth options too.

fbradf01 Sat 13-Feb-16 23:47:21

Hi OP.

Having had several miscarriages and then ashermans. I can understand your concern. I also just read the heartbreaking story about stillbirth on the forum and how increased monitoring can prevent it and is common in most other European countries. so maybe a bit emotional.
I had great care recently at st Mary's in London if you want to go private, you can then have all the tests early and regularly. I'd honestly pay out for this and I'm not rich by a long shot!
Also an early scan can help put your mind at rest, and are available everywhere.

littlepooch Sat 13-Feb-16 23:59:22

7 weeks is early and there is a lot of waiting around at this stage. I went to the fetal medicine centre for early scans and for scans after 20 weeks as after a history of miscarriage and trouble and conceiving I was very anxious. However the NHS care I received once things kicked in around 10 weeks was amazing and I cannot fault it. I think 7 weeks Is still early, there's not much they can do now and I would wait and see until booking in to see how you feel.

RedToothBrush Sun 14-Feb-16 18:31:23

Your expectations are unrealistic tbh.

When I first saw my doctor to say I was pregnant, she never mentioned having a flu jab

There's no point having one until the pregnancy is further on and you are past the point where miscarriage is unlikely.

she said she was going to put me on referral for a consultant (as I'm 38) and it's never happened

You are 7 weeks. Why do you need to see a consultant at 7 weeks. See above re: miscarriage.

I wasn't given a pregnancy pack - I only found out this week that I should have one

Really. Not that important. You are missing anything. You will get information at your midwife booking in appointment.

that I've already missed a blood test I should have had

A blood test at 7 weeks? Really? What's this one for? You don't need one at 7 weeks.

The midwives unit won't see me until 10 weeks

Yeah, that's normal, because there is not a lot they can do at this point. Unless you are having a problem with morning sickness or have a long term health problem which you are on medication for and need medical advice.

I kind of feel a bit abandoned at the moment.

You are just being impatient. What do you want from them at this stage? Genuine question. What are you expecting?

I think if you want attention and tests, then going private you might that - but honestly, you don't need a lot of this. The NHS probably show give more attention in pregnancy on the whole, but at the end of the pregnancy not the being. There is little to be gained from it. In fact a lot of appointments may be counter productive in being a cause of extra unneeded and unnecessary anxiety.

I doubt you would have had very much care by 7 weeks even privately tbh. 40 weeks is going to seem a very long time...

fbradf01 Mon 15-Feb-16 02:43:36

Ever heard the phrase if you don't have anything nice to say?
People come here for help and support not to be belittled!

Focusfocus Mon 15-Feb-16 03:32:46

What blood tests by 7 weeks ?? Flu jab at this time of the year? Nothing major happens before 12 weeks really... There's nothing amiss with your care from what you've received!

quicklydecides Mon 15-Feb-16 03:40:35

UK stillbirth rare is quite high and it seems to be related to the standard package of care not actually being good enough.
I would go privately and enjoy all the right amount of attention and scans.

Focusfocus Mon 15-Feb-16 03:47:12

quickly that's absolutely ridiculous and downright offensive at many levels. Can you provide data as in not tabloid headlines but real data that shows this supposed link between Nhs maternity care and stillbirths? If not then please don't post inaccurate scaremongering rubbish.

NerrSnerr Mon 15-Feb-16 03:52:18

As others have said OP you wouldn't expect any of the things you've listed so far to have happened yet. I would wait to see your midwife and discuss the options with her.

NerrSnerr Mon 15-Feb-16 03:55:10

I had my first lot of blood tests at the 12 week scan. The booking in was just a chat at my home and they did all the physical stuff (bp, bloods, height and weight) at the hospital.

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