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Blood tests in pregnancy... Scared.

(15 Posts)
Changing2011 Sun 14-Aug-11 20:34:12

Hi, I am 13 weeks pregnant and next week I have to attend hospital for another scan and blood tests. I am not good with blood tests. From what I remember from my last pregnancy, they take quite a lot! And I get very faint and panicky. I am scared! Can anyone reassure me, seriously, I would rather get on with labour than face the needles! It's the main reason I ruled out an epidural last time and I didn't even change my mind when I was 5 cm! I know the tests have got to be done...

RollingInTheAisles Sun 14-Aug-11 20:43:40

I am the same as you but actually (and unbelievably) got used to it during pregnancy.

Also what helps me is asking to lie down while they do it (practically impossible go faint then which takes away that horrible sicky feeling), thinking 'it's for the baby', asking the person doing it to talk to you about something unrelated, and lastly thinking 'whatever happens it will be over on a couple of mins and so it doesn't matter if I feel scared or faint I just have to turn my head and sit still'.

You will be ok!

NigellaLawless Sun 14-Aug-11 21:15:46

Hi, I am notorious for getting faint with needles, so whenever I have had blood tests taken I always tell teh midwives 'I am really bad at this and might get faint' they always get me to lie down. i tell them that i am not ignoring them but won't look at them until all traces of the needles are out of sight and they have all been really great adn understanding.

Bizarrely though the pregnancy seems to be getting me over my fear, due to sme BP complications in the last month I have had at least one if not two blood tests a week and they have had to take blood from the veins on the back of my hands (which has always been my greatest fear), but i think because its happened so often now I am learning there is very little to actually be worried about (that said I still lie down and won't look at them wink)

Good luck and don't be afraid to tell the midwoves about your worries

Changing2011 Sun 14-Aug-11 21:38:58

It makes me feel worse when I lie down.. The room spins and I feel as if I cant get away. Oh, I really should be used to this by one, I have a long term condition that requires a blood test every six months! It's the actual quantity they take for all the abnormality tests that worries me. Gaaaaah!

Zuzi Tue 16-Aug-11 12:21:16

Changing, I am so with you on this one! I have my 28th week blood test tomorrow and just thinking about it makes me feel sick. This is my third pregnancy and I still winge about it. I have to take my children with me to the appointment which helped in the past as they provide some distraction. Usually I lie down too but pregnant and being on my back is actually quite uncomfortable. Let us know how you got on.
(I was threatened with cannula in my last pregnancy and underwent hypnotherapy to try to deal with my fears of needles.)

Changing2011 Tue 16-Aug-11 18:02:30

Good Luck zuzi! You mean there are more tests after these 14 week ones! Oh no. I am sterling myself for the inevitable. Even to the point of telling dp he can't come to the scan where they do the blood tests (he is worse than me for needles and won't be at all supportive) and I am taking no nonsense mil instead! I just know I will get the cold sweats and shakes when I get in that room. I will let you know how I got on.

notcitrus Tue 16-Aug-11 18:44:46

I'd ask when the wait for blood tests is less bad - at my huge hospital you have to wait often over an hour in the mornings, but if you come mid-afternoon you can walk straight in.
I'm fine with blood tests as long as I'm not given long to think about it.

If it's just the tests for Downs etc you can always decline them if you aren't that fussed about knowing - I've had all the other blood tests which isn't much blood taken (1 or 2 tubes)

monkeymamma Wed 17-Aug-11 22:40:36

aah you poor thing I'm exactly the same (but getting used to it now I've had a few appointments - they seem very keen on taking loads and loads of blood!). I've found that telling them how I feel beforehand really helps, they are used to people with the same problem and you can also ask them to chat to you/distract you like RollingInTheAisles suggests. I can't watch it coming out!! LAst appt my OH came with and it did make me want to put on a bit of brave face so that really helped :-)
SO nice to hear I'm not the only one though! And reassuring you feel this way with DC2, Changing2011 - each time I get scared about the needles I think 'good god, how am I going to cope with labour?'!!

YBR Thu 18-Aug-11 12:58:16

Although my dislike of needles is mild, I have the problem that my veins are often hard to find and sometimes they have to try twice to get enough!

When they took the bloods from me around 13 weeks it was for Down screening only, and so less than the MW took at booking in. Also it was done by the hospital Phlebotomy people and it was over before I realised.

These people must take blood samples every 5 mins every working day and so are much better at it the MW and Docs for whom it's just a small part of the job.

Perhaps that helps?

Changing2011 Fri 19-Aug-11 17:29:51

Update... I was ok. There was no one waiting so I marched straight in, sat down, barked at the poor lady that I wasn't very good at blood tests and could she be quick blush and she got on with it. She tried to chat to me but I couldn't answer her until afterwards. I asked her if it was nearly finished and she said just one more tube to go... She did say that if she stopped, I would only have to have it done again so I shut up! After I was a bit wobbly so sat and drank some lucozade but I'm so glad it's over. Until next time! Got to have another soon so will start psyching myself now. What a baby. Scan was great too! Baby in much better position for photos this week. Good luck to all you needle phobics x

Purplebuns Fri 19-Aug-11 18:09:46

I am needlephobic and have emla cream which I put on each arm about, 1 1/2 hours before my tests. You will need a dressing, something plasticy to put over the cream. The emla means I can hardly feel it as it is a local anaesthetic. I still need to lie down! Emla cream is about £3 from the chemist or your GP will prescribe smile

InachisYarns Fri 19-Aug-11 18:14:18

I was terrible with the needles. Still am. Ask to lie down, pick a spot on the ceiling and concentrate on breathing, slow and deep. Deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Before you know it, it's done.

ragged Fri 19-Aug-11 18:16:01

Glad it went well.
I refused all blood tests in 2.5 pregnancies, no regrets (and no resulting problems, either).

Changing2011 Fri 19-Aug-11 18:41:51

Really ragged? I didn't know you could refuse. Knowing me I'm such a worrier I would not rest if I didn't have them even though I can't get my mind off them when I do have to have them. I have kidney problems so I have to have regular kidney function tests anyway, I really should be used to it! It's not the pain, i hardly feel it, it's the not being able to get away and the thought of it. Its funny, I can have tattoos or injections no problem, it's the blood coming out I hate.

ragged Fri 19-Aug-11 19:38:23

Of course you can refuse -- you can refuse anything they do as routine or suggest. It's your body. They may moan but if you are quietly firm about it most MWs will clearly respect your wishes about most things. I did agree to a post-partum blood test when there was concern about possible pph.

I had some bad experiences giving blood & from blood tests during pgcy, so it wasn't a decision idly taken, that helped me feel strong about it. Good luck in future, whatever you decide smile.

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