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Furious with Midwife

(41 Posts)
FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 10:25:53

I have seen my MW once (am 22 weeks) when she booked me in and she asked what kind of birth I wanted.
We had a long talk about my preference for home birth or MLU birth but my fear of a hospital birth and how I'd like to avoid it at all costs.
I was referred to a consultant as its my first baby and my mum MAY have had pre-eclampsia symptoms with her first birth (this is highly unlikely due to the surrounding circs)
My BP has always been perfect and I'm a healthy weight and in my 20s so whilst I know it can happen to anyone, it's nothing to worry about. MW confirmed this and said home birth would still be very much encouraged in my case (we are 5 mins from hospital)

Now I see she has written in my notes that my planned place of birth is the labour ward with consultant led care!! WTF?! Has anyone else had this? Can you make them change it?
She's also ticked that we've discussed breastfeeding - we haven't at all!!
It's really made me panic and not trust her...

StayGoldPonyBoy Thu 10-Mar-16 10:29:31

Never had this but definitely talk to someone, especially if you've lost your trust in her, you don't want to be seeing her again! I'm sure they can change it.

mudandmayhem01 Thu 10-Mar-16 10:31:26

Is it possible there has been an administrative error, talk to her before getting furious.

MrsSparkles Thu 10-Mar-16 10:39:41

It could be to do with having to see the consultant - mine couldn't tick homebirth/MLU on my notes until it had been cleared by the consultant that I didn't need to be in hospital. Have a chat rather than be furious!

KayTee87 Thu 10-Mar-16 10:40:14

You can't be forced to give birth in hospital, have a chat with her in case it's a mistake.
My midwife has also ticked that's she's gone through breastfeeding when she hasn't angry

Artioo2 Thu 10-Mar-16 10:55:30

Doesn't sound like there's any need to be furious. If there's no reason you can't have a home birth then they're not going to force you into hospital just because your notes say so. It's more likely to be that she has to tick the ward option until you're signed off by the consultant, or just a mistake. And the, discussion of breastfeeding, if you are planning to breastfeed, usually seems to amount to 'are you planning to breastfeed', 'yes', 'great here's a leaflet'.

FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 11:06:29

Re breastfeeding: she has ticked that she's discussed how to breastfeed, latching on, understanding how a baby breastfeeds, getting off to a good start etc...

We have discussed nothing to do with breastfeeding and I haven't been given any leaflets. As this is my first, I haven't a clue how to breastfeed - makes me wonder what else will be glossed over without actually being discussed.

She's written about my labour ward "birth plan" twice in separate places in my notes - rather than just ticking the wrong box.

I appreciate it may be that the consultant has to make the call but it doesn't instill any confidence to see my worst nightmare being called my birth plan.
A tiny bit of communication on her part would be all it would take - she could have written - "home birth desired if poss" or something?

Deathclawswouldrunfrommykids Thu 10-Mar-16 11:13:15

I have a blood issue that means that my pregnancies have been high risk, but my labour (with singleton) was low risk. My understanding is that whilst you are under the consultant you are receiving "consultant led care" and this is only provided in a hospital environment.

You need to speak to the consultant about when they are happy to sign you off, baring in mind that midwives don't do formal planning for a home birth until 37 weeks. If the consultant won't sign you off, then you will probably need a meeting with the supervisor of midwives who can advocate your choices for you.

They cannot force you into the hospital and one of my friends just turned up at MLU too late for them to transfer her.

You can also refuse to leave home and insist on someone coming to you, but they don't have to send a midwife immediately, they may just send paramedics and the midwife will follow when she can.

In my situation I went into labour 2 days before I was due to be signed off by the consultant and ended up going into the hospital as my MLU is attached to the hospital and I didn't want to birth at home without the equipment they bring and leave with you at 37 weeks.

If you have lost faith in your midwife because she hasn't communicated the situation very well to you then you are well within your rights to speak to the supervisor and request a different midwife and I would recommend getting the midwives on board with your birthing plan early in case they do need to fight your corner with you.

Good luck in getting the birth location of your choice flowers

redexpat Thu 10-Mar-16 11:15:23

No, the consultant DOESN'T make the call. You do. It is your body. Remember that.

I would ask her nicely once. Could you explain why my notes say x? I'm certain I said y. I would like that changed please. Now.

mrsmugoo Thu 10-Mar-16 11:19:03

Hospitals can deny you access to MLU / birth centre though, they are within their rights to do this if you don't meet their criteria. (I.e signed off for midwifery care)

I don't meet mine as a VBAC which I'm gutted about so it's labour ward for me. I can decline monitoring and canula etc but I can't break into the MLU!

You can still choose home birth though.

FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 11:20:17

Thanks Deathclaws

I've left her a message to have a chat - it's a shame because, following our initial chat, I was really positive and confident because she'd been so supportive, so seeing my notes took the wind out of my sails a bit.

I know I can't be forced to do anything but the last three people I know who've given birth were all first timers and were all pressured by hospital staff - one was told that she had to come in asap "as the baby was in danger" then when they arrived she was told to go home as they were short staffed. Which makes me think you can be told any horror story to get you to comply - I'm probably really overthinking it!

Dixiechick17 Thu 10-Mar-16 11:28:31

Because I was seeing the consultant I was automatically under consultant led care which would have meant labour ward birth. I was signed back to midwife led care at 34 weeks and then deemed as low risk and used the birthing unit. This and breastfeesing wasn't discussed until 36 weeks. She's probably following procedure and if you are signed back to midwife led care then she can follow your original birth plan.

BlahBlahfuckingBlah Thu 10-Mar-16 11:35:46

Thing is though you can plan all you like but what's most important is getting the right care for you and your baby. I had a homebirth planned, my pool was ordered, gas and air delivered. My DD obviously hadn't heard of the plan as she was delivered by emergency section.

Rather than being furious you need to be flexible, yes it's your body but also you need to think of the risks

FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 11:47:38

Thanks Blahblah I've thought of the risks.

However it isn't always actual risks that mean you don't get the birth you want. Occasionally it's because hospital staff are keen for you to comply with rules/staffing levels/ shift patterns etc... And I don't agree that what's best for the mother is always thought of in that.

Definitely wasn't best for my friend to be pushing for 2 hours when she wasn't even 2cm dialated - because her junior midwife wasn't willing to give her more time.

My fear is not medical intervention if it's needed - a c-section and the huge needle and all the issues that might come with it doesn't bother me if its what's needed to save our baby. My fear is not having someone I trust making that decision.

DrWhy Thu 10-Mar-16 11:52:50

My first midwife has also ticked the box saying I want a hospital birth when I'd really rather be in MLU or possibly even at home - she didn't even mention it, I only noticed when I got home! I mentioned it to the second midwife who said it wasn't an issue and explained all the options locally (she was lovely) but hasn't bothered to change it on my notes.
I have a consultant appointment next (due to my mum having had a DVT years ago). After that I'll ask midwife 3 to change it officially if possible.
Hopefully when I move house I'll have a single midwife contact for the rest of pregnancy and can discuss with her. My current area doesn't have a midwife so I'm under 'shared care' which is a mess!

FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 12:03:17

DrWhy my situation is very similar to yours!

I think I'm a control freak so it's really scaring me how little communication there is - I found out I was being referred to a consultant by the letter dropping on my doormat.

The letter didn't say why I was referred so I phoned and asked my midwife and she said she wasn't sure!!

So now we're assuming it's because my mum may have had pre eclampsia but MW knew she was referring me in the booking in meeting and said not one word to me about it.

I don't understand why she couldn't just say "you'll get referred to a consultant because of abc, but don't worry, it's just a precaution"

I'm the same at the dentist - I really don't see it as a hardship for them to explain/talk me through what they're doing to me as they're doing it.

I've read on here that women have been given injections to deliver the placenta and internals with no warning/request for permission by midwives - i think that's appalling!

Artioo2 Thu 10-Mar-16 12:15:57

Regarding breastfeeding, I'd recommend watching some YouTube videos and taking a look at sites like Kellymom. You'll get much more practical information on how to do it and what to expect from this kind of thing than from the midwife in my experience.

SpeakNoWords Thu 10-Mar-16 12:37:12

Giving injections or examinations without consent is an assault, btw. Clearly it is beyond poor practice and should result in the midwife/HCP being disciplined.

If you're worried about loss of control, maybe consider hiring a doula? It can be useful to have a third party in the room, as a witness and as a trained advocate for you if you are finding it difficult to be listened to.

Regarding the consultant/home birth issue, it isn't decided until much later on. You can also opt for a home birth against the wishes of the consultant if you feel you need to, as it's not up to them to make the decision. I was under consultant care (for sensible reasons) but also saw the home birth team and planned a home birth with them. (Turned out that DS1 hadn't signed up to the plan, so the hb didn't happen in the end).

frozensmoothie Thu 10-Mar-16 13:55:07

Sounds strange. It's my first baby too and my mum had severe pre-eclampsia with me and I was delivered at 34 weeks. I'm booked as low-risk under midwife led care. Consultant care and not being able to use the birth centre/MLU has never been mentioned and I'm now 32 weeks.

LBOCS2 Thu 10-Mar-16 14:05:00

I'm in a similar position OP, except I'm further down the line than you - I'm 35+5! I had a consultant led pregnancy last time around, which was fine and it all went ok. But at every single appointment I've had in this pregnancy I've mentioned that I'd like a home birth or at the very least to go to the MLU, provided no risk factors crop up. Every single appointment. Which box is ticked in my notes? Labour ward/consultant led birth. It hasn't even been mentioned in my notes that I've expressed my preferences for a different birth than labour ward.

I have my 36 week appointment next week. As long as I remain low risk, I intend to kick up merry hell.

Good luck!

FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 14:44:04

LBOCS2 I'm with you there! I think I'm just disappointed that they look like they're going to put me in the position where I have to fight tooth and nail when it would be so easy for them to just give me some support/be straight with me.

frozen - it is weird! My mum' s supposed pre eclampsia happened 30 years ago and her subsequent labour had no complications whatsoever - my MW said, on hearing my mums story, that it's v unlikely she had pre eclampsia at all, yet still ticked the bloody box that makes me automatically a consultant led case!

I always thought it was assault for them to give injections/perform internals without permission, but doesn't stop them telling you what they're going to do to you, rather than asking if it's ok

mrsmugoo Thu 10-Mar-16 15:13:46

I think a good habit to get into is be very vigilant with what is being ticked / written in your book at each appointment and raise queries before you leave the room!

I've done this before - in my first pregnancy a midwife wrote cephalic in my book when my DS was breech and she'd just examined me! I raised it and she apologised and said she'd accidentally written it as habit and changed it.

FloLarkin Thu 10-Mar-16 15:17:17

Good advice there mrs - definitely going to be a lot more vigilant from now on!

SpeakNoWords Thu 10-Mar-16 15:20:41

This is where the word "no" is helpful.Or, if necessary, "no, I don't give consent for that" to be very clear.

At the moment, you've been referred to a consultant. If there's no actual issues that need their input, then they'll in all likelihood sign you off back to the midwives. I doubt you'll have to fight them tooth and nail. And as mentioned before, even if you still see the consultant, you can plan a home birth. It was not a matter of fighting for me, I just didn't back down when asked about a hospital birth.

NoArmaniNoPunani Thu 10-Mar-16 15:28:47

Thing is though you can plan all you like but what's most important is getting the right care for you and your baby. I had a homebirth planned, my pool was ordered, gas and air delivered. My DD obviously hadn't heard of the plan as she was delivered by emergency section.

Exactly the same thing happened to me. It almost became comical carrying my notes around with a massive 'planned home birth' sticker on the front.

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