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If you don't like the midwife you're assigned at hospital can you request a change?

(11 Posts)
Beatie Sat 19-Feb-05 14:16:44

I'm pregnant with my second and hoping to have this baby in a small midwife-led unit.

It's what I wanted last time but I ended up having to be induced. My labour and birth worked out fine considering but I attribute this to the wonderful midwife I got. During the course of my induction and time in the labour room, I encountered 3 midwives. One administered the second dose of prostaglandin. She was lovely.

The next one I saw broke my waters. I immeditaely disliked her. I didn't like her manner and I didn't like the way she handled me. I had two doses of prostaglandin administered by two other midwives without much pain but this horrible midwife really hurt me when she checked me internally. She was quite flippant in her manner and acted as though it was a full gone conclusion that I wouldn't continue in labour on my own and I'd need the syntocin (sp?)

Oh yes, and to top it off, she sent me back to the antenatal ward and forget to tell them I'd had AROM. I was in labour and didn't actually know it - and neither did anyone else until a nurse found me in excrutiating pain trying to be quiet behind my curtain on the shared antenatal ward!

I went back to the delivery room and that's probably when I got the painful internal. And then something wonderful happened. There was a shift change and I got the most fantastic midwife. A midwife who read my birthplan and made every effort to follow it.

Anyway - I digress. What I want to know is, if I end up having to have this baby in the hospital and I get assigned a horrible midwife, am I allowed to ask for a different one?

misdee Sat 19-Feb-05 14:19:07

yes, and make sure u ask. with dd1 i had horrible evil midwofe, but as a 1st time mum i didnt know any better. really wished i requested a change.

acnebride Sun 20-Feb-05 19:51:51

my antenatal teacher certainly said you could - ask to see the midwife in charge and talk to her about it. is that right? anyway, the point was you didn't have to say to the midwife herself 'i don't want you, bu**er off' which I would find hard to say even in labour.

that looks like 'butter off'. wasn't meant to be. or am i hungry.

gish Thu 24-Feb-05 16:40:04

yes you can. as acnebride says you can talk to the senior midwife on the labour ward. If no joy ask to speak to the Supervisor of midwives. Thats in Scotland - not sure if the system is any different in England..........ask at your next antenatal to make sure.

charleypops Thu 24-Feb-05 16:58:37

So can you change midwives once you've started labouring in hospital even half way through a shift? ie, you don't have to ask to change mw before you go in do you?

gish Fri 25-Feb-05 22:00:21

Charleypops I am not sure what you mean........I am assuming you mean if you knew the midwife that was going to be attending you in hospital. (If thats the case you would be fairly lucky, most women in the UK don't have any idea who that will be until they get there).

If that was the case and you knew you didn't want a certain midwife to be with you then you can ask at any point in your pregnancy NOT to have her attend you in labour. Put it in writing to the folk mentioned in the previous post and anyone else you can think of. Contact AIMS if you have any difficulties. Hopefully you will have it settled before you go in to labour and it will then no longer be on your mind.

If like most other women you won't meet your midwife until you arrive on the labour ward it is your right to change at ANY point during your labour.

franch Fri 25-Feb-05 22:12:56

Hello Beatie

Yes you're definitely allowed to ask for a different mw. The advice below is good. In my case, the horrible mw hated me! (Because I had the nerve to mention that I'd just been told I wouldn't need another vaginal exam for another 4 hours - like you, I'd had a very painful, bloody one earlier and also was just entering a calm phase after several traumatic episodes.) When I requested no VE at that point she said 'Are you telling me how to do my job?', shouted at us a bit and stormed off, saying she'd find someone else to take over. After leaving us alone for a long time she returned saying she couldn't find anyone else and 'Unfortunately, I'm going to have to deliver your baby.' The rest of the experience was utterly horrible - she delivered DD in stony silence and even when I thanked her for delivering her safely she just walked out of the room.

So: if you don't like your mw, don't waste any time, sort out a replacement yourself. I certainly would next time round.

BTW, if you want to discuss your concerns about this or anything else with some NICE mws, have a look at the ukmidwifery email group. I joined this recently and am finding it extremely helpful and supportive.

Good luck - and see you back on the Sept board

jamiesam Fri 25-Feb-05 22:15:16


Asked this specific question of the 'talk your birth through' mw when pg with ds2. With ds1, mw was, to be fair obviously extremely busy, but she really endeared herself to me and dh, when he said to her that I really wasn't coping with the pain, and she said 'well, yes, she's in labour'. Bi*ch! Of course, if she'd actually walked into the delivery room for ds2, I don't know what I would have said, but thankfully she didn't

Anyway the afterthoughts mw (as she's called here) told me to get dh to talk to chief mw if b*h walked in to labour room. As she put it, it's in no-one's interest that you lack confidence in your mw. Didn't actually call her bi*ch, of course.

charleypops Fri 25-Feb-05 22:35:19

OMG Franch I'm gobsmacked (and I hate that word) You poor thing. Did you complain or let anyone know how she'd been with you? That is so nasty and unprofessional.

Gish, thanks for your reply - sorry i wasn't clear. I meant after you'd been admitted so your last para cleared that up for me. You never know though, the other advice might be handy if I discover I'll know my team beforhand and one of them appears to be like poor Franch's

Good luck Beatie!

franch Fri 25-Feb-05 22:40:26

Yes charleypops we complained about the mw and many other things! Got a very good letter back and were told she'd been sent for communication skills training (not for a personality transplant, which is what I'd have prescribed)

charleypops Fri 25-Feb-05 22:45:16

Good for you Franch! Hope she got a bolloc**ng

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