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First midwife/hospital appointments

(19 Posts)
lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:14:50

Hi all. I found last week that I'm pregnant and have no idea how many weeks, due to super irregular periods. I filled in the self referral form for my local hospital (in London) and they only got back to me a week later and said can you come in for the first midwife appointment on a particular day next week. It's fine for me but it turned out DH won't be able to make it due to an important work meeting - so I called back to try to change it, but they said it's either that appointment or I'd have to wait until May. They said the imaging department will also just call and say what date I need to come in for the dating scan - but I have to travel (couple of days at a time) for work every now and then and so I now worry that they'll set a date for the scan that I myself couldn't make due to work. Im very anxious to have these appointments as soon as possible, though, because i don't even know how far along I am and have so many questions and worries...

So, could I ask you whether it is normal that the maternity department just give you a specific time and date and then you have to work out how to make that time?

How do you manage to get off work for that if you don't want to announce the pregnancy yet? Does the DP usually come along to the midwife appointment, but if so how do you possible manage to both get time off work without revealing what for? Thank you for your help sad

DeliciouslyHella Thu 13-Apr-17 14:22:34

To be honest, some appointments you get a choice and some you don't. I've generally found that hospital based appointments have less choice than those through community based midwives. The scans are often very fixed in stone as the scanning departments are so busy and there is a set window of opportunity for each scan.

You don't have to have DH attend your midwife appointments with you - legally, he is entitled to 2 antenatal appointments off from work unpaid, but the majority of fathers I know use those for the 2 scans.

The easiest way to ensure you can have time off is to tell your line manager in confidence. Other than that, you'll need to use annual leave.

summerfruitsquash Thu 13-Apr-17 14:24:36

DP/H does not have to be there for the booking appointment. It's mostly paperwork and very boring (I've just had my second one of these today!)
If you've already tried to rearrange it and been told there's no availability then I think you just have to go with what you've been given.

For the dating scan, again, you can rearrange to a time that's more suitable if they can accommodate otherwise you're stuck.

Not telling work, can't you just say 'hospital appointment' and leave it at that?

Emma2803 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:26:10

My husband didn't come to my booking appointment, just bloods and medical history etc. He only ever came to my scans. Plus I told my work straight away as you have to be allowed to attend maternity appointments. I always got them to book me the latest appointment they had though as midwife appointments were in the afternoon in my place

Emphasise Thu 13-Apr-17 14:28:13

Agree DH doesn't need to be at the midwife appointments. Most wouldn't be able to anyway

JonSnowsWhore Thu 13-Apr-17 14:33:51

Don't they still make the partner go outside for most of the booking in appointment?

The bits where they ask if you're going ahead with the pregnancy of your own free will, whether there's any problems at home etc? So if any women are being pressured or abused etc they would have a chance to say & get some help.
I'm terrible I drag my poor partner everywhere just to keep me company but didn't take him to the booking in appointment as it was just paper work

lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:34:37

Thank you so much for your replies - that's all really helpful to know! I just feel a bit lost still, I have no idea how all of this works...

So how would you book a community midwife appointment as opposed to a hospital one? I was confused when they called as their website says the first appointment will be "in my community", but now when they called they said it takes place at the clinic.

I'd rather not tell work just yet, but it's useful to know that DH will be legally able to get time off for the scans.

lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:37:23

Thanks for all the info regarding the nature of the midwife appointment - that's really useful to know.

DeliciouslyHella Thu 13-Apr-17 14:37:44

That sounds like it is your community midwife. They may work from a clinic (which could be based at a GP surgery, children's centre or another style of clinic) or they may visit you at home. It really depends on the set up where you are. This is opposed to women who have more in depth care due to being high risk of complications, and may be seen by doctors and midwives at the hospital.

Heirhelp Thu 13-Apr-17 14:38:13

Do you have an HR department? I just told work that I had a hospital appointment and they did not ask any more.

You will need to know DH family's medical history.

lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:46:54

Deliciously The clinic is at the hospital, though. Does that still mean it could be the community midwife, and they just use the hospital facilities?

Heir Thanks, that's helpful to know. I feel like if I say "hospital appointment" at work they'll instantly guess what it is... But we both have relatively flexible hours anyway so fingers crossed the scan date will be fine.

I just wondered how people do this generally - it sounds like the usual thing is that you have no option but to say at least that it's a hospital appointment?

arbrighton Thu 13-Apr-17 14:48:00

I went to booking appt on my own, and am going to the rest of the midwife appts on my own. It was a full hour and wouldn't have been very comfortable for him being the person he is, I know everything that is needed for medical history on his side.

He'd have to take pretty much a half day off for each one as they're an hour round trip from work (and the hospital for antenatal is an extra hour round trip beyond). He's been to the 12 and 20 week scans (one when he was off at Xmas anyway) and will drive me to/ from my anti D jab. I ring him after each appt and tell him the gist anyway. But who needs to watch someone having their blood pressure taken and pee dipped?

You need to go to this first appt asap and move things for the scan since you are unsure of dates.

DeliciouslyHella Thu 13-Apr-17 14:48:22

Yes, it can be. I've had 3 different sets of midwives through my pregnancies, and one of those worked from a clinic inside the hospital. They will explain who and where your care will be provided by at your first appointment.

lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:51:04

Also, does the ease of getting appointments differ a lot between hospitals, or is my current experience the standard? Sorry about so many questions.

lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:53:01

OK, thanks all! Yes, I'll keep the appointment and will go by myself then.

ForTheSakeOfFuck Thu 13-Apr-17 15:09:32

Depending on where you are in the country and how over-stretched your services are, it can be "this date or nothing for weeks (if at all)" or you might get a bit more flexibility. I'm currently pregnant with twins and we had a scare, so scans and appointments weekly at the moment. For 99% of them, it's been "here's your appointment - be there or else". I've reorganised two - one to another date because it clashed with an event that had cost thousands of pounds to organise, and oh my god the fucking horrible nasty shitty consultant made me feel like an irresponsible baby-killing criminal. I think she just didn't want to reorganise an appointment that she'd made when she hadn't even warned me that she was going to make it in the first place - it was a specialist referral in another city miles away. The second one I reorganised because I was driving back from that very appointment and wasn't going to make it on time to the afternoon one. The MW was absolutely lovely about it. So you just never know.

Eeeeek2 Thu 13-Apr-17 15:52:41

Just ask your husband about family medical history, him, parents and siblings for anything potentially genetic.

First midwife appointment is form filling so is very boring, in fact they're all a bit boring apart from I think it's about 16 weeks when you hear heartbeat for the first time. It's wee sample, blood pressure and blood tests, then the later ones are bump measuring too.

arbrighton Thu 13-Apr-17 15:55:59

My appts are more complicated as I'm split between consultant and midwives due to Zika risk but they don't seem to have worked out how to fit it all together.

Midwife isn't that flexible- it's tuesday or tuesday. But a bit of wriggle room back or forward a week.

@Eeeeek2- heartbeat not guaranteed even at 16 weeks, they don't allow midwives to offer it in all areas to avoid worrying mums to be if it's not found and with mine, had to be clear I understood that not finding it wasn't a disaster before she'd try

lovelyday0 Thu 13-Apr-17 16:58:36

Thank you. It's good to know this is just how it works!

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