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Previous medical history implications on care(9 Posts)
Today I had my 16 week check up with the midwife and asked about something I'd noticed in my notes. My care had changed from MLC (midwife led care) to HML (basically consultant led). No one had told me this... Reason being 6 years ago I had a hole in my heart closed. It was day surgery and keyhole. Since them I've been fine. The hospital are running tests on me and baby just to check all is well. Apparently even if all is well I won't be allowed to have a midwife led birth and the water birth I was hoping for. I know the most important result is baby and me being healthy and well at the end of it all but I'm just disappointed and angry at the lack of communication between the doctors to me. Had I have not noticed I would have still been dreaming of a serene hypnobirthing water birth. Has anyone else been in a similar position? Would love to know the outcome. Scared they'll force me to have a caesarean.
They can't force you to do anything, neither do you have to be allowed to go to MLU. I'd have the tests and discuss any implications but it is your choice where you give birth. AIMS will help you if you need back up, but as long as you have discussed any risks/ benefits then you make the decision. Your body, your baby.
Firstly, a CS is fine - I'm facing my second in a few weeks and my first was brilliant.
Secondly, could you not use your hospital's water birth pool? All the big hospitals seem to have them, that way you are in hospital in case you need additional care but could also have minimal intervention if things go well?
Stand your ground - the whole 'I wasn't allowed...' culture that seems to be accepted in pregnancy and birth drives me nuts. Imagine it was a woman's partner saying she could it couldn't do things or make decisions for herself - that would be labelled as abuse!
Have a full conversation with your consultant about this. They should have done this first.
I am naturally cautious of the "I want a home birth so it's my right" thing if taken without getting both sides of the story. This is because of a tragedy in my family (many years ago). Making an informed choice is vitally important, and you have every right to that information.
Yes, it may mean they recommend a hospital birth.
No, it doesn't automatically mean a C-section unless they warned you of this?
Most hospitals have birth pools and birth centres: if yours does not, you could transfer to one that does? Given that all hospitals have doctors! For example, mine has the MW centre one floor away from the labour ward, making it safer for consultant-led patients than one a drive away.
I had a hole in the heart fixed twice in the same way as you ten years prior to giving birth. I was shared midwife and consultant care, this was sort of pointless but only meant that 2 of my appointments were at the hospital instead of GP surgery with midwife so it didn't bother me. I had already decided that I wanted hospital birth so no issues there. They did however want me to have iv antibiotics after giving birth.
I contacted the cardiologist I used to be under and he wrote to my midwife/consultant saying that there were no residual issues following the hole in the heart being fixed and there were no extra precautions that would be needed. After this I was told u didn't need antibiotics and could have a water birth. I didn't in the end but that was for other reasons. Suggest that you contact cardiologist and ask for a summary for your midwife, etc. it really does calm them down after all they aren't heart specialists so tend to be cautious unless told by an expert that it's ok.
Hope this helps
Actually it is a common misconception that every woman has the right to use birth centre or mw led unit the hospital can refuse you access to their birth centre as it is on their premises and most have strict criteria of who can use it. However they couldn't refuse you a home birth.
However the consultant should go through any potential risks with you and if you have no residual problems with your heart then hopefully they will agree tht you can use mw led unit, they are assessing you for your safety anyone who has had heart surgery would be seen by a consultant it would be negligent not to risk asess you.
Thank you everyone, especially good hearing your story Iamrandom. I think it is the fear of the unknown worrying me, the fact that it hadn't been communicated. Also of course the worry that there may be something wrong or more risk associated. I'm a first time mum and had got my head around the kind of birth I hoped for (obviously you can never guarantee that happening), now to have little control over it just scares me and the lack of information about it makes me feel even less like I know what will happen. I have a heart echo in a few weeks so will speak to the cardiologist then to see what they recommend. Thank you all for your comments, I know whatever happens most important is a healthy baby and healthy mum at the end of it. Just a bit daunting! X
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