Thinking about TTC but needle phobia means I'm terrified. Help!(16 Posts)
Hi all. Brand new to Mumsnet (so be kind! Haha).
My husband and I are talking about trying for a baby later this year but I've a real phobia of needles. I know most people don't like needles but my phobia is way beyond that. It's the thought of it more than the pain if that makes sense?
Anyway, I wanted to know roughly how many injections/blood tests are required (and at what stages) during an average pregnancy.
Hoping you can help with this one.
I was exactly the same as you. I was terrified. At my first booking appointment with midwife i explained and she was lovely. Throughout my pregnancy i gave blood at first booking appointment and then at 20 weeks. My fear of needles meant that i had no pain relief and i was fine. I had a needle after the birth in my thigh i think that was to help deliver placenta but i had my gorgeous baby in my arm and didnt even realise it happened.
Even after giving birth i still have a phobia of needles.
At the booking in appointment at around 8-10 weeks they take bloods for blood group, full blood count, can't remember what else. Bloods for your 12 week scan for risk factor for Downs etc. Anti -D at around 28 weeks if you're rhesus negative and potentially after the birth too and more bloods at some point. This does vary according to your area slightly. They check for anaemia throughout.
After I gave birth I had a post partum haemorrhage, so I had a lot of needles stuck in me. A drip for fluids, infusions to stop me bleeding, drugs to stop me being sick, pain relief, various drugs and they all needed to be done now. What I'm saying is, you can't predict that you won't have to have any. And obviously you may not have a choice so have you looked into somehow dealing with your phobia in some way?
I had a needle phobia and this was a big consideration for me with DC 1. Totally understand the thought of it vs pain as you say. The number of needles really depends on how your pregnancy and birth go, how many tests you choose to have done etc. I needed very few in dc1 preg and none at all for the birth. I still had a phobia afterwards.
One of my subsequent pregnancies was a totally different ballgame with gestational diabetes and quite a lot of intervention at the birth. The 3x daily insulin injections during pregnancy did cure me of the needle phobia eventually. But it was awful to start with (took me literally hours to administer the first injection) and I wished that I had tackled the needle phobia beforehand. That's what I encourage you to do!
Usyally just booking bloods, flu and whooping cough vaccination (flu is seasonal), then 28 week bloods. I (personally) wouldn't avoid the vaccinations just because you're phobic-whopping cough is for your baby not you.
I have also had to have several blood tests, blood thinners and steroids because I'm mildly preeclamptic. I wasn't expecting them as I assumed my pregnancy would go without a hitch. The steroids were terrifically unpleasant but I rationalised that they were for my baby and I'd pretty much do anything to keep this baby safe. Have you considered hypnotherapy? It's supposed to be very good for phobias.
I was exactly the same as you! Unfortunately when I had finally decided I would ttc and would probably turn down blood tests I found we needed fertility testing so after months of sobbing and shaking over the thought I had hypnotherapy, had no expectations of it working but it did!
If I use Emla cream to numb the arm and don't look I can do it! I never thought I would be able to so I can't recommend it enough. I feel very proud having managed to get over a 20 year phobia that has had me fainting just at the thought of needles up to now.
I had needle phobia pregnancy cured it. I had bleeding nothing serious but on and off throughou the pregnancy and u do whats nest for baby and fears ere put aside. Its a few seconds of pain for a beautiful baby. To be honest they do an initial blood test and another before first scan and u can decline downs but thats anothrr at about 20 weeks. Then if all goes well u could have natural birth like a water birth with gas and air. So not many really when u think about it count to ten and its done x
I wasn't phobic as such, but prior to becoming pregnant I'd never had blood drawn before, only the odd vaccination, and I was terrified.
It's excellent exposure therapy.
By the end of my second pregnancy (which included one memorable morning involving a TORCH screen and a glucose tolerance test) a blood test is nothing and I'm no longer remotely afraid of needles.
My DH had hypnotherapy for needle phobia and it helped him considerably.
I was similar with thoughts of needles before we started TTC, ultimately I decided a baby was more important than my needle phobia.
I still don't like them but have got over it to a certain extent, I had to with my second pregnancy as I ended up with gestational diabetes and had to inject insulin. DH did the first few for me, but I got braver and managed to do them myself by the end. I was so proud I felt like I should have been given a certificate for bravery or at the very least a sticker!
You may have a very straightforward pregnancy with the minimum of needles but you do have to be prepared unfortunately for the fact that things may not be so straightforward. Good luck!
I think you do need to look at tackling your phobia tbh as the number of needles you are exposed to will be totally dependent on what kind of pregnancy and birth you have - something which you have very little control over.
I had a straightforward pregnancy but ended up being induced after going very overdue and had all sorts of drips etc ending in an emergency c-section. DH had to give me injections at home for a week afterwards. Even if everything goes as clockwork you will still have to have the basic tests and vaccines outlined above (well, you don't have to, but it's in the best interests of you and your baby).
It's also worth bearing in mind that as a parent you'll have to hold your child for vaccinations, during which you'll need to remain calm for the sake of your baby. So it's worth seeing if you can access help to combat your fears now.
Don't let any of this put you off trying though. It will be worth it in the end!
Thanks everyone to your advice.
@RichardHead - I must say you made me laught at the idea of a certificate or stickers! Hahaha I think that should be mandatory.
@Monstamino I think I'll be ok with having to hold a baby to get injections. I hold my dog still at th vets when vaccinations are required. I just look away and it's fine. As I say it's more the thought of the needle pressing so far into my skin the it pierces it. Also it's inner elbow area that really freaks me out. I had to get a vaccination last year and was able to do it (eventfully) but it think that was because it was at the top of the shoulder as opposed to the inner elbow! Also my husband had to hold my hand throughout the build up to the injection! . Don't think his hand has recovers fully since I squished it to death!
@SerenityReynolds & @justtheonethen I had thought about hypnotherapy. But like you Im sort of sceptical. How many sessions were required and what types of thing did it involve? Was it expensive (if you don't mind me asking)? Where did you find your hypnotherapist?
Thanks again all in advance.
Hey Popcorn, I've had this exact same question over the last few months!
I've been needle phobic for as long as I can remember & have avoided them like the plague but they're never as bad as I'm afraid they're going to be. I've had a couple of blood tests which aren't pleasant but really are over within a few seconds.
My husband and I are planning on ttc in May / June so I've been using the intervening period to try and get over my fear a bit - I had the flu jab which I was a shaking mess before but honestly swear to God I hardly felt it. I also got some dental work done which I'd needed for ages & was too scared to do. I required 4 needle shots to numb me which 1 was painful but none were as bad as I thought they were going to be. Like others have said it's the mind that builds it up rather than the actual pain of it. As strange as it sounds if you get the chance to `practice` before you're pregnant e.g. flu jabs Tec it should help make you feel less anxious. Thinking that the baby needs the tests is what helped me confront my fear in the end. If only I could think the same way about losing weight!
How many needles you're exposed to will also depend on whether you conceive naturally or not! I needed IVF (many injections!) and now pregnant, am on daily injections for a clotting issue!
I only had one session which I couldn't believe! Was £65. If you're in south London I'll pm you her number. I just had a Google and went for someone I liked the sound of
My DH was referred by his GP! This was about 15 years ago though. He reckons he had 3-4 sessions.
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