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When should I carry my notes?(56 Posts)
Just looking for a quick bit of advice here. I'm 28 weeks pregnant with my DC1, work in London but live in North Hertfordshire so it takes me at least an hour and a half to get home (assuming I'm not waiting for tubes or trains).
I always take my notes with me if I stay away from home for a night or go on a day trip far away, just in case, but should I start taking them to work as I'm so far away from home? And, when do you think I should start doing this?
I'm 36 weeks and have only been carrying them for about 10 days, mainly because I'm being monitored for pre-eclampsia and feel quite out of it and fully expect to pass out somewhere and wake up in hospital!
Mine aren't that big though, just a green A4 booklet that I fold in half and keep in a brown envelope.
Wow it's amazing that I guess these notes are not standard size!
Mines are not big A4 size and in a green plastic wallet so I can easily fold and put in handbag! Def not a hassle to carry around especially at this stage!
I've had 3 other children and never thought that notes were bulky I guess different boroughs, hospitals, countries have different sizes!!
I haven't started carrying them around routinely yet (25/40) - my commute is a similar length. If anything happens to make it higher risk or I was travelling outside of my county I'd probably take them with me though. Otherwise, dunno - maybe 34/40 as an arbitrary number?
Still don't think I'll start carrying them just yet.
If I'm awake I can give as good a history as is in the notes.
They'd need to retake blood samples (no lab will issue a cross match on the basis of a piece of paper from another hospital...) or use emergency blood anyway.
If I'm not conscious then there's a palpable bump equivalent to dates as a clue now but there might be bigger problems! & if it's a perimortem section then the odds for both of us wouldn't be great either & they can stop faffing about reading my notes & get to it. Cue anecdote of the Obstetrician being fast bleeped to Resus then going about to faff and meticulously scrub/prepare for surgery - returning to the Urologist holding a baby & more effective CPR going on. </cheery thoughts!>
But to be a big hypocrite - when working with pregnant ladies it was handy if they carried their notes!
I commuted to central London from Kent so probably a similar distance to OP and carried them with me full time from 30 weeks. Was a pain but oh well, just got to be thankful I didn't need them.
I'll probably start about 24/5 weeks? I have pointed out to mw that if they want us to carry them for 9 months they should make them handbag sized but they didn't seem to take it in. But it's just sensible - if they're too big/heavy then they're not really fit for purpose.
MW at hospital refused to see me til DH had gone home to get my notes - I'd come in worried about bleeding & had just forgotten to bring my notes. I thought that was mean.
I'm nearly 30 weeks and this week having been working 70 miles away from home. Have been keeping notes in boot of car, mainly because of how far from home I am really...
I was told when pregnant with dc1 though at booking in to keep the notes with me at all times. Thought this was odd tbh, as I miscarried last year before I had even had my booking in?!
I had a funny turn at 26 weeks last pregnancy, and the day assessment unit told me to come in, but only after I'd gone home to get my notes! As I could have gotten a direct train to the hospital from work, and I ended up getting a taxi from home, I then decided that it was easier just to carry them around after that.
I started carrying them at 28 weeks this time round, on the theory/hope that sods law would mean that I wouldn't need them till after 40 weeks..
They do have a bee in their bonnet about the notes but as I wrote mine myself at my booking in and am very clear about what they say I am not intending to carry them round with me. If I go I in unconscious I trust they will act appropriately to the situation and if I had them in a bag there is no guarantee that it would end up in hospital with me or they would look in it anyway.
When I arrived in labour with my first there were no staff available so no one gave my notes a second glance. Obv I took them in for my elcs with number 2 though!
With DS I never had them except appointments but got told off when I visited a friend and went into hospital around 28 weeks for reduced movement.
This pregnancy I take then everywhere as I have placenta previa so could bleed at any time - and have.
Mine are A4 in a white plastic folder but still bulky even in a big bag I use to carry DSs changing mat and nappies etc.
I think they are important to update rather than have a picture but common sense about when to carry them is probably needed.
Obviously take them on trips and holidays and if you have a long commute like OP seems a good idea. Taking them to the corner shop may be a bit excessive.
Also the further on you are the more important it is to have them
On DD1, I think I carried mine from about 30 weeks - but only if I was going to be more than 30 minutes from home.
On DD2, I was in Belgium and had no notes - just a card with my patient number (and possibly barcode). Every room in the hospital seemed to have a computer & they could access my notes on that. It did occur to me that this wouldn't be a lot of help if something happened when I was away from Brussels.
I fell on my bump at 24w and got loads of grief for not having my notes with me. "you should carry them as soon as you're pregnant" was the advice. They checked the baby anyway and all was well, but didn't ask my blood type so didn't give me the anti-d I should have had. The notes are SO heavy though it's ridiculous. Need to change the system somehow!
I photocopied the relevant page of information and folded it in with my scan pics. Full version lived in my car.
I only carry mine when I go to an appt. I'd feel ridiculous carrying them about everywhere! Can you imagine just going to the shops and trying to make a toddler hold hands plus shopping plus notes?
I was at about your stage, OP, when I was wondering the same thing.
Then bang on 29 weeks, I started bleeding at work and went straight into hospital - no notes. They didn't mind too much, and at least DH was able to go home and bring them in that evening (1.5hr round trip), but obviously there is key information in there which the hospital might need to know (bloods etc) and if you are anything other than low risk, it is even more important to have them with you.
I concur with those who put them in a folder - mine turned into a complete mess in hospital with pages detaching all over the place, so better to be sure it is all together.
Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy
According to my midwife ALL the time. Kind of the point isn't it? A baby/ situation can happen at any time after all unfortunately. It's a drag though as its heavy....
Don't want to carry all of it photocopy and keep in an envelope in your bag. Can shrink copies to a5? Seems an idea at least?
I carried them at all times, right from the start.
Just got a bigger handbag (more like a satchel) that had my notes, spare knickers and maternity pads and water as well as all the usual handbag stuff.
When I was pregnant with DS, I had a scare when I was working in central London at 34 weeks - my midwife told me not to come home to go to our local hospital (would have taken about an hour/hour and half to get from work to the local hospital), but go to the nearest in London. They told me off for not having my notes with me
This time round, I'm currently 23 weeks and intend to start carrying them from next week/week after when I go into London (assume when I'm local to my house I'll not bother as I'd always pop home first).
What I have done, is taken the notes out of the bounty folder (not advertising for them anyway!) and dumped all the
adverts leaflets, put my scan photos elsewhere etc and just take the notes.
Of course, this might be a good excuse to get yourself over to style and beauty and ask for advise for a new handbag that's big enough to carry the A4 folder of notes in it.
totally ridiculous that from dot they expect you to carry them with you at all times, completely impractical.
Thanks, everyone. Really interesting to hear everyone's opinions and it has really made me think about it from a wide variety of perspectives.
I must admit I had been put off because it seems a bit of a faff because they aren't the smallest things in the world but I do have Crohn's disease, asthma and some medicine allergies and should I be unconscious...well doesn't bear thinking about.
Thanks, everyone! (Might treat myself to a new handbag though!)
Realistically, it depends what's in them.
If you have a complex medical or obstetric history and the information contained in the notes is critical to the health of you and the baby, then I'd say carry them all the time from as early as possible.
If you're having a straightforward pregnancy and the notes will not add anything to standard care if you were admitted in an emergency, I'm not sure I would bother.
Never did last pregnancy - never got the chance to to be honest with going so prematurely.
This time around I'll probably chuck them in the back of the car after next midwife appointment (praying I make it - it's past the point I gave birth last time) and leave them in there... with how pants transport links are locally - there's no way I'll be arriving at either the hospital or the GPs surgery in anything other than car - or ambulance, in which case hubby would be following in the car anyway.
I long since ditched the cruddy Bounty folder (never quite felt comfortable carting around a huge "HOOO GUYS I'M PREGGAZ" sign) and have them in an A4 folder of my own. Bounty pack had fallen apart by the time I got home from booking in appointment under the cumulative weight of the junk mail.
I ended up in a&e yesterday after a car accident but didnt have my notes. Could have been seem so much quicker if I'd had them.
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