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What should you expect from community midwife care?

(11 Posts)
mrsbean78 Thu 17-Sep-09 11:03:01


I really need advice. I'm Irish but living and working in the UK for 8 years (as a health professional in the NHS).

I'm 31 weeks pregnant and I'm becoming increasingly unhappy with my midwife. Went this morning and hubby came for first time - got in at 10.05 was out at 10.10. Midwife had not met hubby and didn't even introduce herself! I introduced him and she didn't even look at him! Didn't speak to me the whole way through the obs, either apart from to say: 'Nothing to report?' I said I was having some severe rib pain that was waking me up in the night (actually woke up screeching last night) and she said, 'that's natural'. End of. Put test results into my notes, didn't say a word about them or my BP so I had to check them myself afterwards (though assumed they must be okay as surely she'd tell me if they weren't?).

From the very first visit, I have felt that as soon as I get in the door she wants me out again. When I tried to discuss options for births way back in week 12 her sole 'advice' was 'it's up to you' (even though it's my first and I knew nothing about the options at that point). She weighed me as being two stone heavier than I was and two inches shorter giving me a BMI of 29.7 when it was 26! She also rolled her eyes when I asked about swine flu back when it was the Big Deal of the Moment (I am also severely asthmatic).

I just wrote it off as one of those things.. I work in the NHS, so initially I thought it must be her caseload or a bad day or or or but as I get closer, I find I really need someone to ask about stuff and don't think I could ask her anything. My own mother and all her sisters never had a natural labour - all had C sections - and I am nervous about this. A few members of my family also had stillbirths at around my stage so I am panicking the more and more pregnant I get and having nasty nightmares. I tried mentioning it to her and she didn't even respond except to say 'oh that won't have any bearing on you'. Wasn't even making eye contact with me!

I went to the asthma nurse for regular review about a week ago and she was so lovely and it was so easy that it really made me think.. also, I would hope I treat my own patients with a bit more regard (or at least friendliness) than I'm getting from this lady. Also, will she be providing my breastfeeding aftercare? I don't care if she's not my "mate", I don't care if she's not even that friendly if she's just checking my pee and blood but if I really need advice, I don't think I could trust her..

Help! What do I do??

1mum1 Thu 17-Sep-09 12:09:05

I think it's pot luck. I had a funny woman this morning but I've had lovely ladies up until now. Luckily we have resources like this where we can share certain concerns with each other. The other good thing is I've never had the same person twice! But I've probably seen 10 different midwives and only one has been a bit odd. Best to keep chatting as this always puts things in perspective. You may have some luck with your GP to ask advice too. Good luck - there's always someone out there to help x

mrsbean78 Thu 17-Sep-09 12:14:24

I'm afraid I'm stuck with this one. She is my midwife. I'd have rathered rotate to be honest (well I would say that, lol!)

Deeeja Thu 17-Sep-09 14:18:31

She should be part of a team. You can ask to change to another midwife.
Sorry she has not been helpful to you.

wasabipeanut Thu 17-Sep-09 14:35:20

You can contact your head of midwifery via your local hospital. I did this with my 1st pg after midwife forgot to check my pee sample as she was in such a hurry to shove me out the door.

My "new" midwife was ace, did home visits and was supportive of the fact that I wanted a home birth (sadly wasn't to be but not for reasons that she could control). She said to call her when I got pg again and I took her up on it.

They're all busy but yours sounds like she's out of order to be honest.

reikizen Thu 17-Sep-09 14:40:44

That's a real shame. I think you will have to accept that she is a bit crap (busy or not!) and maybe change to antenatal care at the hospital? If you need advice on anything preg related in the meantime I'd ring the labour ward or antenatal ward at your hospital. Am very sad to hear about her dismissing your fears about stillbirth though, quite shocking really. If you do want to complain the Supervisor of midwives is the person to contact.

blondieminx Thu 17-Sep-09 15:56:43

If you're not comfortable with the way she's looking after you (and I can well see why you're not - this woman sounds very abrupt and dismissive of yur worries which isn't helpful to a first timer!) then do have a word with the head of midwifery at the hospital so you can get someone more sympathetic, and also of course so she becomes aware of the effect this woman is having on the ladies in her care! And inaccurate recording of data (your measurements for calculating BMI) is a very real concern...

There is a very good book called Your Birth Rights by Pat Thomas which I would recommend, it explains all the birth options and I found it really helpful (I'm pg with my first too).

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy! smile

lupa Thu 17-Sep-09 16:46:04

I don't think you need to put up with this at all. Her attitude sounds completely unreasonable to me. You're perfectly within your rights to request another midwife. As reikizen said, try to speak to the supervisor of midwives, don't make it personal, just say you don't 'click' and you'd be more comfortable with someone else. Be insistent though! Midwives can be really pushy, be pushy back! Good luck.

londonmidwife Tue 22-Sep-09 12:51:58

I suggest you contact either the manager for Community or one of the Supervisors of midwives and ask for a change of midwife. It should be possible, though you may have to travel to a different clinic.

They should ask for reasons and its up to you how much you want to say.As a midwife myself I have had clients who just felt they couldn't get on with me (although thankfully rare!)And I have taken on clients who were not happy with their original allocated midwife, with a good result.

The behaviour of this midwife sounds as though she is in a pattern and I doubt that her manager/supervisor will be hearing of problems for the first time. It is their responsibility to help/teach her to improve.Your information may be what they are waiting for to trigger an intervention.

Picante Tue 22-Sep-09 12:53:08

I changed midwife as I wasn't happy. You are completely within your rights to do so, even during labour.

HalfMumHalfBiscuit Mon 28-Sep-09 19:26:39

I had a rubbish midwife last time and have changed to a different one this time. I go to a different clinic to see her but I feel a lot happier and feel that she is more professional and I am safer in her care. If you are worried please say something. She could miss something either with you or someone else!

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