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anatal care(7 Posts)
Hi everyone. I am 9 weeks pregnant, live in London but am originally from Finland. I am finding the UK system with anatal care really confusing and I was wondering if anyone here could help me? I went to see a GP for the first time on Tuesday, 4 days ago, after calling in to say I had discovered I was preggers and needed to book an appt to find out what happens next. The whole thing seemed completely pointless. He basically just weighed me and gave me a pile of leaflets and I was out in ten minutes. He told me a midwife would call me to organise the rest, but I haven't had a phone call. How long am I supposed to wait?
I travelled to Finland two days later, which is where I am now, and went to see a nurse here too (have to do that in order to get the Scandi maternity pay I am entitled to but obviously it isn't convenient for me to travel back and forth for every single scan and test and visit). I sat in her office for nearly 2 hours giving alls sorts of info about illnesses in my family and learnt all about the scans I need to take and up and coming nurse and doctor visits I need to schedule. One thing for example was a blood and urine test they told me needs to be done in week 10.
She also said based on my illness history I needed to do a glucose tolerance test. But the doctor I met in London mentioned none of this to me. Why? Or is it the kind of stuff the midwife usually deals with? Is the midwife from the health centre or from the hospital where I am due to give birth? Who should I contact if I want to start my pregnancy care now? Or should I just wait till they contact me?
The trouble is that I travel so much for work that I have really limited slots when I can do all the necessary scans that this weird indefinite waiting seems really stressful. What should I do? I know this probably seems totally neurotic, but as I am an older mum-to-be I really don't want to miss any of the scans and tests to see the baby is healthy. And today when I saw the Finnish nurse it seemed it is all really important to do it at the right time. Neurosis!!
OOPS just realised it is spelled ANTENATAL.
You get the general idea.
All the things the nurse did for you will be done by the midwife at your booking in. This usually happens after 8 weeks. I had mine at 10 weeks. She should sort out your scans and any extra tests you need. The glucose tolerance test doesn't happen until 26 weeks ish. Unless you are high risk you might be suprised at the lack of contact with services throughout pregnancy. There's not much they can do at the moment and it's pretty much a case of just monitoring you throughout.
Here you have a booking in appointment with the midwife at 8-10 weeks where she'll go through all the things youve just done in Finland, take blood, urine etc. She'll arrange scans and further midwife appointments. Youll probably get a call in a couple of weeks to book this appointment, if youve not heard by 6 weeks I'd probably call your gp to chase. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
I just want to add that worrying is very natural. I'm at 28 weeks with my first and am only just chilling out. Remember that bar any problems your body knows what to do. I get the feeling that in countries with privatised health care (don't know of this is the case in Finland sorry) it can become over medicalised to the point where women are seeing doctors every couple of weeks throughout, this just isn't the case here in the UK unless like I said you are high risk or have preexisting health issues.
I think most people are surprised at how little they see a midwife/professional during pregnancy in the UK.
Both pregnancies I didn't see a midwife until around 12 weeks. The GP just 'booked me in' to my local hospital so that I was 'in the system' and gave me some basic advice (take folic acid etc) when I had an appointment to let them know I was pregnant. The midwife then gave me a book explaining everything at 12 weeks - what to expect and when.
In the UK, everyone gets offered 2 scans:
The 'dating scan' at around 12 weeks. Bloods are usually taken at the same time as this scan. You can also choose to have special bloods that combined with the scan help give you a risk factor for your baby having certain conditions such as Down's and more serious conditions.
The 'anomaly scan' at around 20 weeks - this checks the health of the baby in much greater detail.
You only have more than 2 scans on the NHS if risks are identified that need closer monitoring - such as twins etc.
This tells you a lot more:
If you are worried, you can probably phone your local midwife to discuss your concerns. Your GP surgery should be able to give you their contact details.
Thank you so much! That calms me down a lot. It sounds like a similar system to the Finnish one then; I think as this is a small country with still a high level of social security you sort of feel a bit more connected to the nurses and doctors. But this may also naturally just be because here I am operating in my native language and am in a culture I am more familiar with. I guess I'll just feel a bit more secure with all these new things once I feel like I am in their system and that they are looking after me. I think I will call them and request a meeting due to my work trips. I love this website! I wish I had more real-life friends who knew about all this and were going through it with me. You people are great!
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