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Tip: Listen to your body!

(18 Posts)
AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sat 28-Oct-17 19:22:43

I'm sure the vast majority of us have no prior medical background before falling pregnant and therefore heavily rely on advice and help from our midwives and the midwifery team at our ante natal triage centres when we have queries or concerns.

I'm not someone that 'bothers' my midwife lightly when it comes to aches and pains, and it takes a lot for me to phone the triage regarding an issue. However, last night, I came down with a lower back ache and stomach cramps that could only be likened to a horrendous period, along side of this, I also had major discomfort in my c section scar. I rested up for the rest of the evening, nothing changed. I went for a walk this morning, pain still there.
I finally caved and rang the triage as deep down I knew something just wasn't feeling right.
I hadn't experienced anything like this in my previous pregnancy nor at all in the 30 weeks I've been pregnant with this baby. It didn't feel like your generic 'pregnancy' aches and pains. I could tell something was just, different.

The triage advised me to take some paracetamol and phone back within two hours if the pain was still persisting. I assumed should my pains still be there, they'd want me to come in to be assessed, right? 30 weeks pregnant, out-of-the-blue painful onset of uterine cramping, bad lower back pain and a sore c section scar? Nope!
Their response when I phoned and told them I was still in pain?

"^We're not overly concerned to be honest, we don't think you need to come in at all. But, if you want to, it's your call".
^
Now, as I mentioned at the start of this, I'm not a medical professional, I know nothing about the ins and outs of the effects pregnancy has on the body, so when I'm told by a team of midwives that they're not concerned one bit, I automatically felt a bit silly for ever worrying in the first place!

That being said, I made the decision to go in and get checked out. Three hours later my results come back showing I have a serious bladder infection!
Some of you may know, some may not, but a bladder infection/UTI - if left untreated during pregnancy, can progress to a kidney infection, pre term labour or low birth weight of your baby.

Moral of the story - if YOU feel there's something wrong, no matter how small or trivial it may be, please go and get checked out.

I'd have never forgiven myself if I hadn't gone in today and as a result, ended up with a small baby or delivering too early!

ViserionTheDragon Sat 28-Oct-17 19:43:16

Thanks for this OP.

Let us know how you get on, hope you recover soon [fowers].

ViserionTheDragon Sat 28-Oct-17 19:43:50

I actually meant to end my post with flowers.

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sat 28-Oct-17 20:19:52

Thank you love!

I'm just relieved I went and got myself checked out. I'm lucky that i live a stones throw away from my hospital, for if I'd lived quite a distance away I may have taken the midwives advice and not bothered because she really didn't seem fussed about seeing me whatsoever!

I've been prescribed a course of antibiotics and if they don't seem to be working after a few days, I'm to go back in! So it's lucky I went in when I did really.

ForeverHopeful21 Sat 28-Oct-17 22:41:21

Well done for listening to your gut! Whilst I believe that medical professionals mean well, I think it's sometimes too easy for them to go down the route of most common answer rather than actually paying attention to the individual.

I've been unfortunate enough to have received poor advice from doctors on more than one occasion. Like you say, if you feel there is something wrong, get a second opinion.
Get better soon! x

CL1982 Sat 28-Oct-17 23:25:49

Op-I did the same yesterday. I am very glad I went in. They were also similarly 'muh' about it.

Always worth going in!

ScarletSienna Sat 28-Oct-17 23:28:44

If you feel up to it, it’s worth contacting PALS so that feedback is given about listening to patients and signs to look out for. Speedy recovery, OP and CL.

KMoKMo Sun 29-Oct-17 07:23:35

Excellent post.

I had my first at 28+4 and trusted the medics who told me all was fine. I saw or spoke to 6 midwives and doctors for a week before DD arrived.

In hindsight I was treated as an overreacting first time mother and I wish I’d been firmer that something wasn’t right.

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 29-Oct-17 11:41:34

Thanks for all your comments!

It's sad that so many of us get brushed to the side because 'aches and pains are normal in pregnancy'. I understand that not everything can be picked up and diagnosed over a phone, which is why I fully expected them to want to see me, I was shocked at how much they played down my pain.

Definitely stick to your guns and harass, harass, harass! It's always better to come across as a hypochondriac, fruit loop pregnant lady and wind up getting an actual diagnosis, than to ignore your symptoms as midwives suggest and result in something much worse! X

Kespepper Sun 29-Oct-17 11:53:57

Being a healthcare professional (not a midwife) stories like this always make me sad. The fact of the matter is that as a healthcare professional you deal with more or less the same thing everyday and you also have your share of people who complain about what seemed to me to be the smallest silliest thing. The difficult thing is to remember that even the smallest silliest thing can be a big deal to the person experiencing it. I always tried to treat any question seriously. I eventually left the NHS as I felt I was becoming too emotionless. That being said everyone in the healthcare profession does an amazing job. If you do not feel that your issue is being taken seriously enough then I really would suggest that you escalate the problem, get a second opinion or even write a complaint. It is your right as a patient to be listened to and to have a valid explanation if the midwife is not concerned, ask why. Now I am pregnant I am sure I will be the most difficult patient ever.

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 29-Oct-17 12:09:55

@Kespepper I didn't mean to shun the entire NHS industry, for, as a whole, the work they do is remarkable and we're so lucky to have free healthcare in the U.K. But it does seem that a lot of pregnant ladies are kicked to the kerb regarding their concerns, when it actual fact, there is genuinely something wrong that needs to be dealt with.

It's almost like the phone calls the midwives receive at the triage are dealt with the same way each and every time. "You're in pain? Take a paracetamol, that'll cure you!". Granted they're busy, but it's their job to check over, assess and give peace of mind to pregnant ladies who have absolutely no idea what's going on with their bodies. X

Kespepper Sun 29-Oct-17 12:51:59

Sorry I didn't mean to suggest that you were shunning healthcare professionals. I actually completely agree with you. Healthcare professionals become too detached from the emotion, and I believe assume that the patient is making a mountain out if a molehill rather than believing something is wrong. If you believe that something is wrong, and consistent pain is a big red flag then we need to push the point and question the midwife and if necessary as for another opinion. I left the NHS because of this detached attitude. As you say trust your own body, trust what it is telling you and if you feel you aren't being listened to or taken seriously escalate, complain and ask for explanations. smile

Pollymae1991 Mon 30-Oct-17 11:33:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LS83 Mon 30-Oct-17 12:41:39

Unfortunately a lot of normal aches and pains of pregnancy are very similar to the abnormal. A lot of UTIs etc are picked up by chance through urinalysis etc. There are a def a few bad eggs in every industry but the majority of healthcare professionals are trying to do what is good and right at all times.

Pollymae1991 Mon 30-Oct-17 13:55:47

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AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Tue 31-Oct-17 08:49:14

Oh @Pollymae1991 I'm so sorry to hear you've experienced a negative backlash from so many people simply for doing the right thing and being concerned about your baby.

I'm glad to hear everything is fine with both yourself and your baby, and even happier to hear that you stuck to your guns and decided to get checked out. Try not to worry too much about the people at your workplace. It's your pregnancy, not theirs, and they especially have no place to comment if they've never been through the fears and worry of carrying a child themselves. flowers

Unfortunately, it does seem all too common for us to hear the good old "You'll be fine!" line from a plethora of people in our lives, usually those closest to us are the worst culprits in suggesting that we just wait things out and see how it goes.

Admittedly, I'm usually someone that gives things some time before phoning for advice, but since I trusted my instincts and actually discovered something was genuinely wrong I definitely won't be hesitating to call the hospital with any future concerns as soon as I notice something isn't right.

Pregnancy is an amazing but truly terrifying time, unless we can definitely say with 100% certainty what's causing our pain/reduced movement/ache etc, then we should, without fail, be seen to.

Best of luck for the rest of your pregnancy!! X

Soon2bemum2017 Tue 31-Oct-17 09:35:31

This is a good message OP and the lady that posted above about the normal problem still being big to that expectant mother is spot on!

The first time i went to Triage i was told by the doctor she wouldn't see me for reduced movements again unless i could give her physical proof i was tracking movements hour by hour throughout the day. This completely threw me for the resr of my pregnancy and i was too scared to call triage incase i spoke to the same doctor again.

I also experienced occassions where i was told by a doctor they were going to admit me for overnight monitoring only for me and DH to wait around to get afmitted etc and for shift changeover to kick in and a new doctor come and tell us she wasn't interested in monitoring and to go home.

My DH hit the nail on the head when he said medical care for pregnancy is very opinion based and you see too many people with too many opinions.

RaeCJ82 Tue 31-Oct-17 10:19:10

This is so true. I was in latent labour for 6 days. I was in absolute agony and the pain wasn’t subsiding between contractions. I couldn’t lie down so spent 6 nights sat up on the settee getting next to no sleep. I found the midwives so patronising when I rang them. They spoke to me like I was a kid who couldn’t handle the normal pains of labour. I knew that something was not right though.
My waters eventually went and there was meconium in them. I went into hospital and spent another day in absolute agony, progressing no further than 6cm. I eventually had an EMCS and was told that there was some kind of blockage and that DD would never have come out naturally. I knew something wasn’t right and although I understand that they couldn’t know this, I just wish they hadn’t treated me like a silly little girl who couldn’t handle pain. That was not the case at all.

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