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Antenatal 'care'

(14 Posts)
cassnstar Thu 02-Jun-11 15:10:19

Just have to get this off my chest. Does anyone remember how often they were seen for antenatal appointments 10years ago? I am 19 weeks with my third, 1st and 2nd were born 14 and 12 years ago.

I had a so called consultant appointment 2 days ago at Swindon hospital but it was with a doctor, who no doubt I will never see again. So I might as well have seen my gp and not travelled there and paid the parking. I have had a booking appointment and one check up with my midwife since I knew I was pregnant and the 12 week scan where they blood tested me for everything under the sun. That is it so far. With my other two I saw the midwife and my GP every other so many weeks and the consultant I would be under a couple of times, more if I went over dates. My midwife is lovely and says ring me if you have any concerns (she was the same one I had 12 and 14 years ago) but if I do ring no one answers and you have to leave messages. I don't think there is anything physically wrong with me but I have been so up and down hormonally I just feel totally left to fend myself. I saw my GP yesterday for an unrelated reason, the same one I had with my first two and said how I don't feel the 'care' is there anymore. He said come and see him anytime, bless him. He says he hardly sees any pregant ladies nowadays. Is it me or is this just crap? It cries to me of cost cutting and lets test you to the hilt but not ask you how you are.

Pootles2010 Thu 02-Jun-11 15:13:41

I don't see why you need to see a dr if you're ok? You're not poorly, so why would you?

It is worth seeing consultant rather than gp because they're specialist, so can assess you better.

I hardly saw anyone during my pregnancy, fine by me!

One thing I do thing they need to work on, like you, is the fact no one answers when you ring them, and they never ring you back.

benne81 Thu 02-Jun-11 15:23:59

The problem is that antenatal care has been transferred away from the GPs and is now very much in the hospital domain. The midwifes are overworked and over stretched and don't communicate well with the GPs (and often the patients). GPs are your family doctor and are keen to have input in your antenatal care but very little information is passed to them from the maternity unit. Obviously you don't want your pregnancy to be completely medicalised but it is nice to have continuity of care with someone who knows you well and can identify if there is a problem. Take up your GPs offer if you have any concerns, as its him you'll be going to see with the little one and if it outside his remit he can alway discuss with the obstetricians/midwifes.

cassnstar Thu 02-Jun-11 15:44:15

Thanks for your lack of understanding, pootle i nearly left my dh recently becausec I felt so shit. Medically i may be ok but i cant test urine only blood pressure. Think i will see my gp. Just big culture shock to be left to my own devices, its more diy on the internet care than anything else and i think it sucks.

harassedinherpants Thu 02-Jun-11 15:46:50

My dcs are 21, 20, 4.11 and I'm 10+3 now.

It's changed very much since I had the eldest two! You routinely saw the consultant then, and felt like I was always in the mw. I also had internals everytime someone went near idea what they were checking for looking back tbh.

Now I've had my booking in at 8wks and don't the mw again until 16 wks, unless I have a prob. I think it's normal with second and subsequent babies to not be seen so often unless you had issues with your first pregnancy.

Oh and I only had an internal for two sweeps and when in's all very different.

m1nn1em0u5e Thu 02-Jun-11 15:49:29

I totally understand Cassnstar, I was definitely seen more often with ds1 (8) than with ds2 (4), even though I had high blood pressure with ds1! My GP was lovely & I went to see him for reassurance about my blood pressure. I have recently found out I am expecting again, I phoned the Drs surgery last week & was told that there is no real rush, but to phone up on the morning & book a Drs appointment as normal!....Bit awkward to do this when I have 2 children at home for the next two weeks & I dont really want to take them to the appoinment! Looks like I will be waiting until school/nursery re opens!....

harassedinherpants Thu 02-Jun-11 15:51:20

Actually I would like a bit more "care" this time round as I've had a mmc in Jan and a mc in March so that's all very recent and has meant much worry for me. Unfortunately things like that aren't taken into consideration, although my epu has given me two early scans. They're rather fabulous there!

CBear6 Thu 02-Jun-11 16:28:20

I'm the same, I feel shunted off to one side and left to my own devices.

With DS (2009) I had a group session once the pregnancy was confirmed where we got all the leaflets etc., a booking-in at 10 weeks, scan at 12 weeks, and then midwife appointments 4 weekly from 16w to 32w, then fortnightly from 32w to 40w, plus a 20 week scan. I also had additional scans/appointments with a consultant due to regular bleeding.

This time round because it's my "second" pregnancy (it's actually my fourth) I'm left to get on with it. I had a booking at 10 weeks, a scan at 12 weeks, an appointment with the MW at 16 weeks, and my 20 week scan. I don't see the MW again until 28 weeks so from 16-28 weeks I've been on my todd with regard to antenatal care. After 28 weeks I won't see her again until 36 weeks, then 38w, 40w, and 41w (if I go that far).

NICE guidelines state that first pregnancies should have four weekly checks but in subsequent pregnancies no more than seven visits/checks are needed if the pregnancy is low risk. I personally think it's awful and that this should only be the case if the mother is comfortable with it, some women want more contact and others want less. I had a late mmc in my last pregnancy so to me the reassurance of hearing a heartbeat and having BP/urine checked is invaluable because it helps ease my worry that it will all go wrong again. As pointed out in another thread, you are four times more likely to lose a child to stillbirth than you are to cotdeath if you're in a low risk group and many organisations, including SANDS, have called for all women to be monitored more regularly in pregnancy not just high risk groups.

I find sites like MN to be invaluable in terms of support and they're always here, unlike the MW. It's a sad fact that many women have to be "pushy" or "a bother" in order to see a MW or OB doctor and that they have to insist/demand to be seen if the need arises outside of their scheduled visits.

Unfortunately there isn't a lot can be done to change the system. Maybe write to your MP or the Health Secretary?

Pootles2010 Thu 02-Jun-11 16:53:06

Sorry OP didn't mean to upset you, just didn't come across to me in your post that you were struggling so much, i thought you were just suprised at how much it had changed. Apologies for that.

Agree with others that you should take your gp up on their offer if that's how you feel.

Katiebeau Thu 02-Jun-11 17:08:17

These have been the rules for several years now. 1st baby X visits to MW, subsequent ones (if low risk) less..... What gets me is a specialist says I'm automatically high risk as I am approaching the dreaded 40. But no impact on how often I am seen as MW decided if I am high or low risk, not the consultant it seems. Still I opted out of the NHS here. Lovely, caring people in maternity service but spead so thin they are almost the equivalent of NHS marmite. This weakening of MW support started donkeys years ago.....

harassedinherpants Thu 02-Jun-11 17:17:45

Katie I'm 40 and not classed as high risk by mw either.

nannyl Thu 02-Jun-11 18:51:31

I must be VERY lucky.... Its my 1st..
I have seen my community midwife (at my drs surgary a 5 min walk away) at
5 weeks
(8 weeks was admitted to hospital with HG)
9 weeks (home visit)
(hospital scan at 12 weeks)
13 weeks
16 weeks
19 weeks
(21 weeks had anomoly scan at hospital)
22 weeks
25 weeks (tomorrows appt)

I am low risk, there are no complications and everything is going well.

Rootatoot Thu 02-Jun-11 20:30:24

Well, it's my 1st and so far I've had

1st appointment with MW at 10 weeks
Booking appointment with MW at 10 weeks
Scan at 12 weeks
16 weeks MW
20 Weeks Scan
25 Weeks GP
28 Weeks MW (3rd one, not seen same one twice)

Been to hospital yesterday and again tomorrow because of high bp. Was told it was high since 1st reading - news to me.

Next appointment will be GP at 31 weeks then won't see MW again till 35 weeks.

I agree with the PP. I feel that the questions I have asked have just been met with a 'tick box - leaflet given' by a rushed MW. GP has had more time for me when I've seen her & she said we are all seen much less than when she was trained which she doesn't like.

I feel I've learnt far more and had more support from Mumsnet and my friends. I feel MWs are just there to take blood etc and hand out leaflets.

Oh and MW yesterday told me that there was no record of my iron levels being checked (even though I'm not a meat eater and have had aneamia in past which I have mentioned a few times). She couldn't check if this was just something that hadn't been written in notes, as she didn't know the password to check the computer records!

Oh well!

cassnstar Thu 02-Jun-11 22:08:08

Been really interesting to hear all your opinions, so it's not just me. Might add I am 40, and since it is over 10 years since my last, I had PPH with my first and she was 9lbs5oz (but 10 days over and long not big) I am a 'complicated' pregnancy and so I went to see the 'Consultant' the other day that turned out to be a doctor. And I was called by first name the whole way through when I would like to be called Mrs by the Consultant like the 'old' days. Just seems all too casual to me.

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