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Urgh, first contact with maternity services didn't go well :-(

(190 Posts)
Blueskyrain Tue 25-Oct-16 10:43:04

If anyone remembers my previous posts, I'm pregnant with my first (only 5 1/2 weeks), and very, very nervous. I've got a severe phobia of needles, and the prospect of pregnancy terrifies me. But I want it, so I'm trying to just get on with it. I don't have a GP as yet.

I saw on the midwife pages of my hospital that I could self refer, so I thought I'd get the ball rolling that way. Apparently, no I can't. I have to register with a GP first, and see my GP first. Some faff but ok.

I mentioned my needle phobia and that I'd need to speak to them, or see them first to work out some way of me being able to do the blood tests etc, and her response - we see a lot of women with issues with needles. They just get over it. You might need a lot of injections/bloods etc, and there's a lot worse to come with labour pain, so most woment just get over it.


Thanks a lot.

I'm now having a good cry and am in a complete panic about things. She didn't say it nastily, but she had all the tact of a block of stone, and has made me feel 10 times worse.

Floggingmolly Tue 25-Oct-16 10:47:43

How do you suppose they can "work out some way" of you being able to do the blood tests? Maybe you could do some sort of hypnotherapy course? But it's not really something to expect from the maternity services, unfortunately, you have no idea how over stretched they are.

teainbed Tue 25-Oct-16 10:51:31

Make a GP appointment. They can talk to you about your needle phobia. The person on the phone sounds unhelpful in a 'not my job' sort of way but maybe you can get some numbing cream or other support for the needle phobia from the GP. Good luck.

Blueskyrain Tue 25-Oct-16 10:52:09

What I expect, is them not to make me feel 10 times worse,.To wish I wasn't pregnant at all, and this would all go away.

Practically, be willing to talk to me about options for sedatives (I've known people that have done this to enable them to have injections etc), or even saying that I need to discuss it more with my GP, and maybe they can give me something. Not to tell me basically to man up and there's worse to come. It would have been quite obvious by that point that I was crying on the phone.

The fact is either we (and if I have to pay to deal with it privately so be it) find a way of me remaining calm in injections, or I won't be having any.

Blue2014 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:53:31

I had a needle phobia (not severe anymore, I used to throw up at the sight of them) until I had to have IVF and self administer my injections at which point I had to decide which to focus on - the anxiety or the fact that I had no choice if I wanted a baby. Each injection has got easier and easier (currently 34 weeks)

Have you got a local iapt/primary care mental health service you could refer to? Honestly maternity services won't help you with this - there is no other way around it. But a course of therapy might make a difference?

SpeakNoWords Tue 25-Oct-16 10:54:24

I had a phlebotomist snap at me "it's not about you it's about the baby" when I mentioned I was v nervous. Not helpful!

But, she was the only unsympathetic one that I met, the rest were very good. I was referred to a specialist midwife counsellor who helped come up with things that would help. And, over two pregnancies, I have become significantly less scared of needles and can now do blood tests etc without too much trouble. So I guess I have become desensitised.

It's early days, and when you have your booking in appointment with your midwife you should be able to discuss it in more detail. They should be much more sympathetic compared to the one you spoke to on the phone.

martinisandcake Tue 25-Oct-16 10:55:16

What do you need to have injections or blood work for?

GinIsIn Tue 25-Oct-16 10:56:10

I'm sorry you are upset, I have a phobia of needles too and have really struggled with the blood tests, vaccinations etc. Am 24 weeks now. Unfortunately while the person you spoke to was tactless, she also wasn't wrong - there is a certain amount of needle exposure that is necessary and unavoidable, and it's down to you how you deal with that. I would look into CBT as an option, but it isn't the responsibility of maternity services to provide that.

GinIsIn Tue 25-Oct-16 10:58:27

Just to add - one thing that my midwife did, which really helped me, was to combine bloods. So instead of having to have blood tests at my booking in and at the NT testing, they just did it the once. It made it much easier. Worth asking for that.

Maudlinmaud Tue 25-Oct-16 10:58:51

Op I can relate to your phobia. But I just taught myself to relax the bloodworks are absolutely necessary in pregnancy. They just become routine after a while.

frikadela01 Tue 25-Oct-16 10:59:55

The person you spoke to could have had a bit more tact but like others have said this isn't for maternity services to deal with. I'd look into getting some sort of therapy to help you deal with this. I highly doubt a gp would be supportive of sedation whilst you're pregnant unless absolutely necessary.

mouldycheesefan Tue 25-Oct-16 10:59:57

I had an injection phobia as a child. Had Valium for injections. Now I have no problems with injections and blood tests because I have had so many with ivf and then cured me. There is truth in what they say to that effect.
It may be a challenge to find a sedative that is safe to take in pregnancy so I would explore hypnotherapy or treatment for your phobias. It is unclear who was like a block of stone, the GP, the rceptuonis, the midwife? You Ay she didn't say it nastily she explained that pregnancy is a time when some people get over these phobias, me included.

What was the answer or advice you were looking for?

Babyiwantabump Tue 25-Oct-16 11:00:16

I don't think you will be able to be sedated for blood tests . Especially while pregnant as the risk to the baby would out weigh the benefits of the sedation.

Numbing cream and therapy are the only options- but first lot of bloods are taken at around 11 -13 weeks alongside your first scan so you don't have a lot of time .

Are there hypnosis cd's available? On I tunes they have a lot of hypnosis stuff.

SpaceDinosaur Tue 25-Oct-16 11:00:51

They're very unlikely to sedate you with drugs because that can be harmful to your baby.

You know you have a problem. You know you're going to be exposed.

Get some help. STAT! Look for a hypnotherapist or anyone locally to you who will see you to help you. Book an "intensive course" and give it your all

TeddyIsaHe Tue 25-Oct-16 11:01:33

I don't think sedatives will be an option for you whilst you're pregnant - the likelihood of damage to your baby will prevent a Dr prescribing them. Have a look into hypnotherapy treatment for your phobia, it honestly can work wonders! It gives you the ability to work past the mental block that causes the phobia to manifest and become worse.

Midwives are stretched incredibly thinly, and have an absolutely massive case load, I know that's no excuse, but they truly don't have time for anything outside the normal parameters. The onus will be on you to be ok for your tests, not you mid wife I'm afraid.

user1474627704 Tue 25-Oct-16 11:01:50

She wasn't nasty, and told you the truth. Midwifes are far too busy to have a long chat with you about your phobia, I'm afraid.

Since you have to go to the GP anyway, why not talk to them? It's not fair to expect the maternity services to talk to you about it when you aren't even their patient yet.

WaxingNinja Tue 25-Oct-16 11:02:19

I'd suggest you look into some private CBT now and start it as soon as possible.

I'd be incredibly surprised if you find anyone that would be willing to give you sedation whilst pregnant purely for the purpose of having a blood test or being exposed to needles.

So best you crack on with looking for some help for yourself now rather than leaving it any longer.

appalachianwalzing Tue 25-Oct-16 11:05:11

I know someone who had CBT for her needle phobia, arranged through the NHS (can't remember if it was GP or not) when she became pregnant. She found it hugely helpful.

I think you're fast forwarding ahead to all the scary bits: try and focus on the next steps for now, and when you see the GP, maybe ask about CBT. If that doesn't help enough, it might make them consider other options.

For most HCP, you'll be the 10th person they've spoken to and I think sometimes they forget it's all new. Try not to panic though, it may not feel like it but there's lots you can do that may make it feel manageable- my friend was able to handle a few necessary injections, with support, which she never imagined would be possible at the start.

rosie1959 Tue 25-Oct-16 11:07:15

I agree she wasnt wrong if a little brusque I also had a fear of needles before I had my children You can get over it as it has to be done I have had blood taken loads of times since and with someone who is really good at it you dont even feel it Its just the fear over what really happens I have hurt myself more stubbing my big toe than the paid needles cause
Really got over it when my DD was diagnosed with diabetes at just 8 years old and she got on with doing injections daily with little fuss and has had many injections blood taken and even a central line put in with out batting an eye

Blueskyrain Tue 25-Oct-16 11:08:35

For me, its bad enough that I hope they will prescribe some sort of sedative, because I honestly think the alternative is me just refusing to have the tests. They'll have to balance out risk to the baby compared with me not having the tests at all.

I had one really small injection about 6 years ago, and I didn't sleep for several days beforehand, I had the emla cream, had to lie down etc, and I am far, far worse with blood tests than an injection. I'm on the verge of a panic attack just thinking about it.

I'll have to have a chat to the GP. Hopefully at the point they see me shaking and in floods of tears about this (which is inevitable), they'll actually work out some way of helping me through htis.

I wish I wasn't pregnant right now :-(

mouldycheesefan Tue 25-Oct-16 11:11:45

Op ypu are not taking the advice of people here telling you to explore cbt and hypnotherapy. Crying at the dr will not make them sedate you. If you choose not to have blood tests that is your choice and it is you putting yourself and the baby at risk.
I sympathise, I had it too, now cured as I say by ivf injecting.
Turning on the dramatics for the dr is not the answer. Take some responsibility and start to get some counselling and therapy arranged. All this stress is not good for the baby you need to bring it all down a notch.

mouldycheesefan Tue 25-Oct-16 11:12:52

Just to add, it's not a straight choice of sedation or no needles. You have had lots of good advice here, start to explore those options.

frikadela01 Tue 25-Oct-16 11:13:20

For me, its bad enough that I hope they will prescribe some sort of sedative, because I honestly think the alternative is me just refusing to have the tests. They'll have to balance out risk to the baby compared with me not having the tests at all.

I hate to sound harsh but it's you that's making that choice to put your baby at risk with sedation, not the hcp.

You really should look into therapy asap.

Maudlinmaud Tue 25-Oct-16 11:17:36

Seriously op. It gets easier the more you have them. I have my bloods done at least once a month now for a condition.
I don't even feel it and look the other way whilst chatting to the nurse.
The first time will no doubt be difficult for you but deep breaths and think of your lovely baby and the exciting times ahead.
Good luck with your pregnancy.

LineyReborn Tue 25-Oct-16 11:21:06

Genuine question, OP, but why will 'they' have to balance the risk? You need to try and meet them half way here I think and (a) register with and see a GP or practice nurse asap, and (b) explore counselling options.

Even if you weren't pregnant, you'd be best doing these things. There will be times in your hopefully long life when you may need medical interventions.

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