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Group appointments during pregnancy?

(25 Posts)
RubyrooUK Fri 21-Sep-12 19:22:43

I'm currently 15 weeks pregnant and due to have my 16 week appointment next week. A midwife from the hospital phoned today and said: "Oh hi, we're changing our system so at 16 weeks, you have a group appointment with other women about the same period of gestation as you."

I was a bit confused and asked why. She said it was great to meet people and get together in a group. She asked if it was my first baby, which a quick glance at my notes should have shown her it was not (I have one DS and have miscarried several times.)

I said I'd prefer to have my own appointment if possible. The truth is that I am absolutely terrified after miscarrying. I have dreams all the time about finding no heartbeat and despite a good 12 week scan, I can't let go of this idea. I haven't told anyone apart from DH that I am pregnant yet, as I am so scared of making it real in my life, then losing the baby again. So with all that in mind, when I see the midwife, what I really want is personal reassurance that everything is ok.

I don't feel like I could talk about this stuff in front of other people. For me, I don't see midwife appointments as a chance to meet people or make friends. I just want to know my baby is ok and that hasn't always been the case in the past. Appointments are totally medical things for me that I have to get through to get the baby at the end (I hope!).

Anyway, the midwife reluctantly agreed that I could stick to my old appointment. But was I unreasonable? My DH felt this was just a cost-cutting measure to see women in a group and thought I was right to ask to be seen alone if I had concerns, but maybe I missed the point of the whole thing? Anyone else had this?

NatashaBee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:29:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrswee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:30:03

You are not at all unreasonable! a group midwife appointment is a ludacris suggestion. Midwife appointments are more often than not a time to discuss very private personal things.
Hoestly who thought of that idea!! possibly a man!

horsebiscuit Fri 21-Sep-12 19:33:32

That is the most depressing cost cutting measure I have heard of in a long while. You should name and shame the health authority.

OodHousekeeping Fri 21-Sep-12 19:38:56

I wouldn't be happy with that either

RubyrooUK Fri 21-Sep-12 19:47:24

Thanks everyone. I'm so super-sensitive about my past pregnancy history that the idea just really horrified me. But glad I wouldn't be the only one uncomfortable with it.

LonelyCloud Fri 21-Sep-12 19:53:59

That does sound dodgy.

I wouldn't be happy with that either. How are they planning on maintaining patient confidentiality in a group appointment? I wouldn't want the midwife talking about my personal health information or doing routine tests in front of other pregnant women, and I would feel uncomfortable raising questions about my personal health in front of other pregnant women.

Secondsop Fri 21-Sep-12 20:02:56

I would be seriously unhappy with this, both because I don't like group situations at the best of times and also because I don't like the idea of discussing sensitive medical issues in front of other people. I really hope you manage to continue with the individual care that you need, and that the rest of the pregnancy goes well.

Asmywhimsytakesme Fri 21-Sep-12 20:03:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wearymum200 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:07:35

That is a rubbish idea (grp appointments, really?) I would firstly say no, then no again and then, if you can face it, make a massive stink. Patient centred care anyone?
Fwiw, I have a totally unremarkable obstetric history, but still would not be sharing it with a bunch of strangers.
Will they be expecting you to share delivery room too?

JanuaryMommy Fri 21-Sep-12 20:09:14

What a stupid concept anyway. How do you measure BP/urine etc in a group, surely you still have to deal with each individual? and I don't remember any information that had to be given or whatever...was just a standard appointment....Understand, if it was like week 10 appointment to explain future care and what happens next etc....

RubyrooUK Fri 21-Sep-12 20:09:36

Funnily enough weary I did actually have to go on a ward while I was already in labour with DC1 due to bed shortages...hmm.

nextphase Fri 21-Sep-12 20:12:28

They changed the booking appointments here to a group session between DS1 and 2. I refused to go. At 9 weeks there was no way I walking into a group and people I may know finding out I was pregnant before any scans.

I popped into the childrens centre on my way back from work one day, and picked up the paper work. The rest of the appointments were individual.

I think they also dipped urine in that session, but no bp.

sparklekitty Fri 21-Sep-12 20:39:17

Gosh, I would not be happy with this at all. I've not experienced mc but have ongoing mental health issues that I really wouldn't feel comfortable talk about in front of others (non trained profs might not feel comfortable hearing what I have to say either!)

I understand the idea of it being a chance to meet others but couldn't they give you individual appointments but offer people a chance to come early and chat to others etc? Sounds like money saving, how awful. You are def not being unreasonable or over sensitive.

Secondsop Fri 21-Sep-12 20:42:04

sparklekitty: precisely! There are other ways to meet people for those who want to (and not everybody does!) without it being enforced during appointments that are meant to be about medical care for mother and baby, not a social club!

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Fri 21-Sep-12 20:43:25

Yuck, I wouldn't be happy about that at all.

noblegiraffe Fri 21-Sep-12 20:47:08

How bizarre, I would not like that at all either! My 16 week appointment was all form filling and admin so I don't know how they could do that as a group anyway.

You said you were worried about not being able to find a heartbeat - the midwife at my 16 week appointment said that they don't listen to to the heartbeat until much later in the pregnancy any more so that might be something you need to be aware of.

Rhubarb78 Fri 21-Sep-12 20:47:47

that is a terrible idea! What happened to confidentiality? I wouldnt be happy at all.

coffeeandcream Fri 21-Sep-12 20:52:40

I also would not be happy with group appointments. They are still medical appointments at the end of the day, where private, senitive personal matters are discussed. Confidentiality should be everything.

If they are going to introduce something like this, it should be offered, not insisted upon, patients should have a choice.


RubyrooUK Fri 21-Sep-12 21:03:12

Thanks noble I've heard lots of places don't do 16 week heartbeat listening. I just wanted the chance to raise my mental level of worrying with the midwife about the heartbeat without a whole load of people going "oh god....". smile

Panzee Fri 21-Sep-12 21:06:20

Oh dear god that sounds awful. My 16 week appointment was spent discussing my nuchal results and Downs testing. Great subject for group discussion! shock

RubyrooUK Sat 22-Sep-12 14:11:16

Hm, just discussed this with a pregnant friend in real life and she had to attend a group session before booking in at her hospital. To get your booking in forms, you had to do the group session first.

She said it was fine but you couldn't really ask anything individual. Also she felt a bit uncomfortable at such an early stage in case she met anyone she knew. And she was annoyed that she had to take three hours off work for it, rather than a detailed one-to-one.

Still not a fan of the idea.

cakebar Sat 22-Sep-12 14:15:41

YANBU shock at this. Either you have no issues so want to be in and out asap or you want to discuss private things. There's no much inbetween at that stage? Also, lots of people bring their DHs and other DC to appointments which would be really annoying.

SkinnyMarinkADink Sat 22-Sep-12 14:29:26

Good god, that is disgraceful. the care of pregnant women in the nhs is going dramatically down hill. all this cost cutting is going to end in tears and law suits in no time.

I don't blame you for not wanting a group appointment, i would refuse also.

Re 16 weeks heart beat. my midwife told me that as a rule they don't do it anymore as lots of times they couldn't locate it and it was scaring women and having to be sent for scans.

However, after being very sick in hospital i explained my worries and after lots of poking and prodding she heard baby.

If you have a decenct midwife she won't have a problem putting your mind at ease.

whatsoever Sat 22-Sep-12 15:54:03

This is a terrible idea. I don't want my urine being tested in a group, I don't want my BP being tested in a group, nor the fetal heartbeat being looked for (it was done in my 16 weeks appointment). There are a million other things I wouldn't want to discuss - diet, weight (if relevant), mental health, anything that was going wrong "down there", sex life etc etc.

These are all things I've discussed with my MW but not with a bunch of non-medical randoms who have no obligation to confidentiality.

How crap. I would have refused too.

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