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Midwife appointments abuse questions

(52 Posts)
layla888 Mon 08-Jun-15 15:08:45

So every time I have seen my midwife I'm 35 weeks btw she asks me basically if my husband abuses me well she doesn't ask as brash as that but it's worded differently but basically that's what she's asking. Has anyone else had this at midwife appointments? Last time she told me not to get offended by the question. My reply every time is 'again, no I think DH is more scared of me" - as a joke of course! But after being asked 4 times im getting a bit fed up. Anyone?

yummytummy Mon 08-Jun-15 15:11:08

Its because domestic violence has been shown to start in pregnancy. I wish my midwife had asked me i was being badly abused but couldn't tell anyone. As my exh was a go she made a stupid joke like i don't need to ask u that do i obviously. Obviously

yummytummy Mon 08-Jun-15 15:11:54


quesadillas Mon 08-Jun-15 15:22:38

My midwife last time said they liked to see each woman alone at least once, in order to ask these questions. They weren't repeated at further appointments though.

Frescoed Mon 08-Jun-15 15:25:54

When I had my first MW appointment there was a trainee MW with her, and she was explaining to the trainee that they aim to ask all women several times because as yummy suggests, it sometimes starts in pregnancy - and also because often women experiencing it may feel difficult about raising it, or may be more likely to have their partner attending all appointments so that they can't speak freely. Apparently they've got a couple of techniques for recording responses or enabling women who are always accompanied to still indicate there's a problem, but I'm guessing they don't get then all.

Dunno if this is just my area, but I guess I'd rather they'd ask than not - I'm not taking it personally.

sebsmummy1 Mon 08-Jun-15 15:28:09

Yep, I think it's standard. I was last pregnant a few years back and remember them saying I should make a mark somewhere on the form if I was being abused. That would indicate to them, without speaking to them, that I was asking for help.

I too thought it was very weird but I was told it was a safe guarding measure because domestic violence can ramp up or be triggered by pregnancy.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 08-Jun-15 15:31:16

My midwife asked at booking but not since. Makes sense that they would ask later though as often abuse starts in pregnancy.

yummytummy Mon 08-Jun-15 15:31:32

Its not weird to those who are or who have experienced it and if it picks up abuse at this stage it could potentially be lifesaving for the mum and the baby. I really wish my mw had asked me and not just assumed due to knowing my ex in a professional capacity

Hippymama1 Mon 08-Jun-15 15:33:08

I've been asked by my midwife when I am alone at appointments but not when my husband has been there and have never been asked by my GP when I have been there for ante-natal...

It's annoying but I understand why they ask - I would rather that they asked everyone and annoyed some than didn't ask someone who genuinely needed help and just needed someone to actually ASK them the right question - whether they were frightened of anyone at home...

I feel like you OP - my DH is more scared of me at the moment! wink

SurlyCue Mon 08-Jun-15 15:33:45

But after being asked 4 times im getting a bit fed up.

Good for you that you find it notiing more than a nuisance to be asked. That question is literally a life saver for many other women.

The reason they ask each visit is because, obviously enough i would have thought, things can change from one visit to the next. You may not have been getting kicked in your stomach at 12 weeks but it could have started by 20. Does that explain things a bit?

iamadaftcoo Mon 08-Jun-15 15:35:14

Um YABU when one in four women are abused by their partner. And it often starts in pregnancy.

Thank your lucky stars your answer to that question is No.

CrabbyTheCrabster Mon 08-Jun-15 16:01:42

MWs are trained to ask several times if possible for the reasons that others have pointed out - abuse often starts or worsens during pregnancy, and some women don't feel able to disclose abuse when first asked.

It's not a reflection on you, nor is she casting aspersions on your DP or your relationship. She is trying to identify cases of abuse and help the women concerned. If it bothers you, tell her that your relationship is fine and that you'd prefer that she didn't ask the question again.

coneywonder Mon 08-Jun-15 16:23:07

I am 36 weeks and have never ever been asked this and I go to most appointments on my own as dh works when I normally have them. It makes perfect sense as to why these questions are asked.

sianihedgehog Mon 08-Jun-15 16:25:41

I've been asked regularly . It makes sense that they do ask repeatedly, as other people have said. Just imagine if your husband DID start abusing you while you are pregnant, it would be almost impossible to bring yourself to bring it up to the midwife without prompting. For some women those irritating questions could be the thing that gets them safely into a new home with their baby at a really vulnerable time. It feels a bit insulting to the rest of us, but I'm sure the midwife is so pleased every time she hears you say that things are good.

Lolababy00 Mon 08-Jun-15 16:28:46

I've been asked. I think it is standard and again research has shown that domestic violence can start during pregnancy. My MW gave me a card too is he mr nice or mr nasty ? To be honest I think that it needs to be asked... not all relationships are loving ones .

MissTwister Mon 08-Jun-15 16:45:36

There's also the shocking (US though I think) statistic that 20% of murder victims are pregnant women - and this is pretty much all through domestic violence.

MissTwister Mon 08-Jun-15 16:46:25

Although I have never been asked which has annoyed me. They should do.

PotteringAlong Mon 08-Jun-15 16:51:02

I was asked at every appointment both pregnancies - in fact, with dc1 DH came to my booking in appt and she rang me later to speak to me alone and ask. Completely standard and I'm glad she asked, even though there are no problems.

Skiptonlass Mon 08-Jun-15 16:51:36

I've never been asked either! I think they really should, to be honest.

There are very good reasons for them asking. They're honestly not insinuating anything in your case, but they MUST ask. These questions are a lifesaver for some women.

Earthbound Mon 08-Jun-15 16:58:47

It's standard. And no reflection on you personally or your husband. They are not insinuating anything about your relationship.

It is also necessary. My husband didn't start hurting me until I was pregnant with our second and vulnerable. Then he pushed me down some steps and hit me once.

I'm nice and respectable looking BTW with a good job and so was he.

Thankfully midwives do ask these questions and she was very helpful when I started to cry in her office. I left him before the baby was born.

Roseybee10 Mon 08-Jun-15 17:00:47

I was asked at booking in but never again. Think every appointment is maybe excessive but can understand them checking in maybe once or twice after booking in.

Theas18 Mon 08-Jun-15 17:08:28

So glad to hear it's being asked. As people have said be glad you can just get annoyed by that question. It's a lifeline for some.

If asking is a routine as taking a BP then the midwives get used to it and the ladies get used to being asked.

Number3cometome Mon 08-Jun-15 17:17:01

I wish someone had asked me when I was pregnant with DC1. It would have saved me 13 years of being strangled, hit, kicked and being spat in the face.

Currently expecting DC3 with my new partner (well he's not new, but you know what I mean) and I am exceptionally glad that she asks and that I am able to say there are no issues now.

I think if these questions were routine years ago it would have saved a lot of heartache and possibly a lot of lives.

Be glad it's annoying for you, but don't take offence.

layla888 Mon 08-Jun-15 17:19:56

Don't get me wrong the first time she asked it was fine and obvious a routine question. But at every appointment is jist annoying me I just take it too personally also because our kids are in the same class etc I feel it's more personal cuz she knows me? Think I'm being oversensitive but I can see why it's important to ask. Basically I'm starting to think she thinks I am! Too many hormones everything is annoying me at the moment.

karatekimmi Mon 08-Jun-15 17:26:18

I haven't been asked, and I haven't had an appointment without DH, however I would rather they ask every appointment at the risk of offending me, than miss someone who needs help and support. My DH isn't abusive, and I know two of my midwives in social settings, however this doesn't necessarily mean that I am not in a domestically violent relationship. People hide things well.

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