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How to cope with needle phobia in pregnancy

(33 Posts)
Jj93x Tue 14-Jan-20 19:53:27

I’ve got a rather large phobia of needles, I obviously know I’m going to be subjected to a lot of them over the next 9 months and just wanted to know if anyone found any good ways to deal with it?

I’ve got my first appointment Friday and the midwife said she would take my blood and I am absolutely terrified. Obviously it has to be done, but is there anything I can do to help the anxiety?

It isn’t the pain I’m scared of, more so the thought of something being either injected into me or blood drawn from me makes me feel faint sad and I have actually fainted the last few times I have had blood drawn which doesn’t help.

I know there probably isn’t much I can do, but any advice that would help even a tiny bit is an improvement!

Sarahlouise86 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:00:28

If you are with the NHS then they can offer you therapy for needle phobia. I had my booking in appointment with my midwife last week and mentioned I'm not great with needs (I've fainted and hyperventilated in the past). The midwife offered to refer me to a therapy group for needle phobia so definitely worth asking if that is available!

Darkstar4855 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:04:29

Hypnotherapy?

Jj93x Tue 14-Jan-20 20:09:40

Oooh I didn’t know that! Thank you, will definitely bring this up on Friday

RubaiyatOfAnyone Tue 14-Jan-20 20:10:22

Close your eyes whilst they do it and concentrate on the fact that this is the first of many, many unpleasant things you would willingly undergo in order to keep your baby healthy and safe.
That’s what i did, anyway smile

CustardT Tue 14-Jan-20 20:14:10

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

LunaNova Tue 14-Jan-20 20:19:19

Therapy could definitely help, I held therapy for needlephobia when I was 16 (13 years ago). I wouldn't say it 'cured' me, I am still scared and anxious about needles, but I'm able to be a bit more rational and have developed coping techniques about having them done.

My GP was already aware of my needlephobia so it was already in my notes before I saw my midwife. My midwife decided not to take my bloods at the first appointment due to my phobia and instead gave me the labels to take to my first scan appointment so that I could have them done at the same time as the screening test blood test so I didn't have to have two blood tests close together (it might also be worth asking if this is an option).

Other than this, my midwife has been really good at letting me know when needles have been expected, so far I've had one blood test, my flu vaccine and my whooping cough vaccine and I've got another blood test next week (I'm now 29 weeks pregnant).

Definitely speak to your midwife on Friday and see what she can suggest. I also always lay down/lay back so I can't see what's happening and take my husband so I can talk my way through it and there's something else to focus on.

CosilyRosily Tue 14-Jan-20 20:23:12

I've been struggling with this during my pregnancy as I am a real fainter - I just explained to the midwife that I had a phobia so every time I need to have bloods done they send me to pathology rather than the midwife. I can lie down whilst its happening and take my time afterwards. I also try and eat plenty of sugar and stay hydrated before. Think it's quite tricky to faint when you're lying down and have loads of sugar in your system! I also take dh with me and get him to distract me whilst it's happening!

They are so understanding and will come up with a way to accommodate you - no one wants to be scraping you off the floor if they can avoid it!

user1480880826 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:24:09

I was scared of needles before I had my son. I would faint or come very close to fainting every time.

Once I was pregnant I just accepted that the needles were a necessary part of it and got on with it. It sounds weird but I really wanted my baby so the needles seemed like a very small price to pay. Ever since then I’ve had absolutely no problem with needles. I’ve even volunteered to give blood. I’m cured!

MustardScreams Tue 14-Jan-20 20:25:18

Errr you DO need the vaccinations during pregnancy, they are there to protect your baby from dying. So please dismiss @CustardT and their ridiculous statements.

user1480880826 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:25:23

Oh, and don’t listen to anti-vaxxers like @CustardT

Username19 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:26:53

The midwife will see lots of women with needle phobia so don't worry. Ask if you could lie down to have them taking if you usually feel faint. Anyone who takes bloods regularly will know how to calm you down so please don't panic. Congratulations smile

onceinawhilex Tue 14-Jan-20 20:28:19

I had hypnotherapy but to be honest I found it didn't really help.
I was really lucky and only had to have blood taken at booking appointment with midwife and 20 week check, no needle or anything during labour. I just shut my eyes and said to midwife don't tell me what your doing or when you are going to do it, just do it!
Good luck x

FATEdestiny Tue 14-Jan-20 20:28:57

I have a needle phobia, and have had 4 children. You're right in that the first thing to do is accept that you have no option but to face/have the injections. Once pregnant it's no longer about you, it's about your child now- it's Big Girl Pants time.

Some things that helped me:

- I asked every appointment if an injection/bloods would be needed at the next appointment. Better forewarned than surprised.

- I asked beforehand how many vials of blood would be taken (It's usually 3). Otherwise I'd think when they changed vials I'd think we were done and get stressed when a new vial was added. Forewarned and better prepared, again.

- The first thing I said at every appointment was 'i have a needle phobia'. I never assumed the HCP knew/remembered

- As a result of the above, it was usually advised to do bloods at start of appointment. Then I have time to lie down and recover afterwards. And no stressful wait.

- Always lie down for injection

- Tell HCP that I never (ever, ever!) Wanted to see any of the paraphernalia of injections. So get nothing out until I was in position and looking away and have cleared away fully before I turn to face them.

- Seek constant assurance that no needle would be inserted until I said I was ready. Ask for description of what's happening beforehand. (I'm going to tie this around your arm. I'm going to feel for a vein with my fingers. I've found a vein and am ready, tell me when you are ready).

- I do breathing exercises during the injection itself. Nose breath in, controlled breath out through pursed mouth. I never speak because I shut off from everything, closely eyes and focus only on breathing.

- keep breathing going and stay lying down when finished, at least until all paraphernalia is cleared away.

Aside from all of this, as I said from the beginning, accepting that you have to do this for the sake of your child helps a lot. It removes the drama and stress by accepting that you realistically don't have an option since it's a responsibility not a choice. The inevitability helped me a lot.

Danar89 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:30:45

I used to have anaemia and b12 deficiency and was so scared I never used to go for my injections and was put off having a baby as I was so worried about having to go through it - I am currently pregnant!Had my booking in ones done and they were horrific had to move me to a scan room and lay me on a bed, had some a few weeks ago and really tried to relax myself and told myself I needed it doing for the baby and I would be fine, they sprayed the children's numbing spray on my arm and can honestly say was the best experience I've had taking blood and she had to try both arms. Went again today for 28 week ones, used the spray had to try both arms again but I was okay, slightly hurt but once I calm down it is better I think it's more the thought of what's going to happen. Bit if a garbled response but you can get through it smile

Lunafortheloveogod Tue 14-Jan-20 20:32:34

Mine lets me lay down for any blood draw or needle at all, she also does them fairly close to the start of the appointment so I hand over my wee, she does my blood pressure and then I lay down and she takes my blood, after 16weeks she let me lay with the Doppler afterwards so I got to wait to feel 100% while listening to baby to take my mind off of the nausea n fainty feeling. I personally used to use numbing cream too so I was completely unaware of what stage we were at but I don’t use it now.

I also as weird as it may be ask her to tell me the appointment before if she’s taking my blood next time so I can pack a sugary drink, have change for a taxi and have ate something decent before. But I cope better with warning some people are better not knowing to the last kick so they can’t get worked up.

Persipan Tue 14-Jan-20 20:37:08

You should of course make your own decisions regarding vaccinations, but as someone who had whooping cough at age 12, spent six solid months coughing so hard from it that at times I threw up, and whose lungs were permanently affected by it, I would see the subject of vaccinations rather differently to how CustardT evidently does. I would be horrified if my baby were to catch it, and would do anything possible to protect them from it. I would encourage you to seek the support of your midwife to enable you to make choices about your healthcare without your needle phobia holding you back - I'm sure they will be keen to help.

4amWitchingHour Tue 14-Jan-20 20:44:08

My friend had hypnotherapy and it worked for her - the midwife had to say a specific phrase to her and she would then feel ok about it - weird, but effective!

Ignore @CustardT - whatever 'evidence' they put forward (if indeed they decide to) will be a whole hatful of bullshit. Plus the fact you need blood tests as well as vaccines in pregnancy.

bengalcat Tue 14-Jan-20 20:49:11

Tell your midwife re your needle phobia . It’s important those caring for you know and can help gig manage it / find a way forward .

As for vaccines flu protects you and whooping cough protects your baby until they’re old enough to be vaccinated .

FATEdestiny Tue 14-Jan-20 21:00:34

I know someone personally who's tiny newborn (about 10 years ago) got whooping cough in the time when he was too young to be vaccinated. He was very poorly and nearly died.

This happened before mums-to-be were offered the whooping cough vaccine. Imagine the guilt you'd feel if your tiny defenceless newborn got that sick and you knew you could have prevented it if you were braved/better educated.

Useful22 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:04:44

Def ignore* custard* that's how many babies die from whooping cough, stupidity.

As for the needles, pregnancy is actually great, it's like therapy. You get used to it as there are so many close together. Not helpful for when you start but maybe something to focus on.

LBB2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:08:41

I have a phobia of needles, blood, hospitals anything medical really but managed during pregnancy. You really don’t have a lot of blood tests! I think it was one at booking appointment, one at the 12 week scan (only if you’re having the combined screening test) and then one at 28 weeks (I had GTT done same time as 28 week bloods).
Then the whooping cough vaccine as well (I didn’t have the flu jab due to time of year I was pregnant).
I had all blood tests done by the phlebotomist and told them I was scared and may faint. I asked to lie down and didn’t look at anything and also asked not to be told what they were doing. DH came with me too. Good luck you’ll surprise yourself with what you can deal with for the sake of your baby smile

Elieza Tue 14-Jan-20 21:12:48

There was a thread on here last week about this very subject. I’d suggest you look it up and see if anything there can help you.

bathorshower Tue 14-Jan-20 21:17:50

Things that helped me were lying down, having two nurses there (this was after I panicked so much that we gave up on one occasion), using emla cream so I couldn't feel it - I'm fine with injections, but really not with blood samples. Not being able to feel it meant that I could look in the other direction and chat without entirely knowing what was happening.

Even typing this is making me nauseous, so you have my sympathy.

Jj93x Tue 14-Jan-20 23:31:52

@Persipan yeah I definitely will be getting all the necessary vaccines for the health of the baby no matter how scared I am smile I’m just hoping I can find some better ways to manage the anxiety that comes along with it haha! I would be horrified if my baby caught a preventable illness because of me x

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