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IVF and childbirth

(9 Posts)
wahwah Wed 30-Jul-08 12:44:05

My sister is 11 weeks pregnant following IVF and has just seen a community midwife. She wanted to have a short discussion of her birth options and was told that a home birth was too risky following IVF conception and she was too old to deliver at the midwife led unit (she's 39).

Naturally she was a bit gobsmacked as I had homebirths at 38 and 41 and my age wasn't a factor, only mine and the baby's health. We also live in the same town, so it can't be anything to do with local policy. Is this midwife a bit bonkers or does it seem as if there might be some sense to what she is saying? I've had such a great service from my local midwives that I hope they don't have a loon on the team spoiling it for the rest of them!

Any thoughts would be very welcome....

Seabright Wed 30-Jul-08 12:49:16

I had IVF and am 38. I was automatically marked as "high risk" because of the IVF and (I believe) that any high-risk pregnancies are treated in the main bit of my hospital, not the midwife lead bit.

But why all IVF is treated as high risk, I don't know. In our particular case the reason for needing IVF was nothing to do with me, so it's not because of some underlying medical condition.

I suspect many hospital decisions are made on a tick-box basis

wahwah Wed 30-Jul-08 12:59:58

Thanks, Seabright, that's really interesting. I'll get googling again!

HuwEdwards Wed 30-Jul-08 13:03:33

I think that after all the physical and emotional effort of enduring IVF, hospitals want to mitigate all risk as far as poss.

Onlyaphase Wed 30-Jul-08 13:09:08

I had a stand-up arguement with a midwife at 40 weeks pregnant as she said I should be a high risk pregnancy after IVF. I still can't see why IVF gives you a high risk pregnancy, and she couldn't back it up or explain it at all. I was so cross at the time, I wrote all over my notes saying that I disagreed with this midwife as she couldn't substaniate the claims she made.

All the other midwives were fine, it was just this one muppet on their team. I do think now that it is just their way of making sure you feel that everything possible will be done to look after you. Irritating though to be told at 40 weeks you have a high risk pregnancy when the previous 38 weeks have been low risk.

TattyCatty Wed 30-Jul-08 13:18:07

A friend from my NCT group had IVF, and was allowed to have a homebirth, no questions asked as far as I know. She did end up transferring at the last minute and eventually had her DD in the local delivery suite (no midwife led unit available around here), but otherwise would have gone on to deliver at home too.

I had IUI and was classed as a high risk pregnancy due to an underlying blood condition. Despite having no issues with this condition throughout the pregnancy, and the consultant being happy to sign me off at 39 weeks, he still insisted on booking me in for induction at 41 weeks as he deemed all "assisted conception" pregnancies to be high risk and didn't want me to go any further overdue. Thankfully DD had other ideas and arrived of her own accord at 40 + 3!

Both of these experiences are from the same hospital, so just shows that personal opinion goes a long way in these decisions.

BetsyBoop Wed 30-Jul-08 14:27:51

there is some research which suggests the IVF singleton pregnancies are at slightly higher risk of problems for example see here

However I would have expected most of any potential issues to have been picked up at routine scans etc?

I'm guessing that part of it is the medical profession wanted to ensure as far as they can that nothing goes wrong, given the extra effort that went into conception.

That said a friend of mine had her IVF son (I think she was 38 at the time) in the water pool at the local MLU with no pain relief & a 5hr labour. As she said herself, "I might have needed a bit of help at the front end, but the end of the process was just about as perfect as it gets" grin

Maria2007 Thu 31-Jul-08 14:25:48

I think it's just a matter of people being extra careful because of the difficulty in conceiving, sometimes they overdo it & name an pregnancy 'high risk' without any medical reason- this has been the case for many friends of mine who have had IVF. In reality though, IVF pregnancies are no different from any others, the mode of conception makes no difference whatsoever. If there are problems, as with any other pregnancy, they will most likely appear during the pregnancy.

My pregnancy is IVF too (am now 39+3) & nobody has said throughout the whole pregnancy that I'm high risk, so at my hospital the policy is clearly different. In fact, they have insisted my pregnancy is completely fine & low risk (my age is 35). I do think I'd personally prefer not to go over 41+2 or so (at the most) just because with an IVF pregnancy we know our date of conception exactly, & I'd be feeling increasingly uncomfortable & worried if my pregnancy becomes too overdue (but I'm still hopeful that I won't go too much over! Wish me luck)


Seabright Fri 01-Aug-08 08:37:33

Article in yesterday's Guardian showing no link at all between IVF and high-risk pregnancies

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