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Too scared of my midwife to ask for help

(21 Posts)
AKMD Mon 09-Nov-09 10:09:10

I have heard some stories about some midwives not being the nicest, most sympathetic people in the world but never expected to get a horrible one myself. At our first appointment I went home in tears because the MW was so awful. She raised her eyebrows at my weight and wrote it down as 10kg more than it actually is (I'm a healthy size 10 so was a bit hmm), would not stop going on about the benefits I could claim from the council (none of which apply to me and yes, I did tell her this) and then declared that her responsibility was to the baby, not to me, and that our next appointment would be at my house so that she could check for signs of alcohol/drug abuse and domestic violence and wouldn't stop going on about that either. The first 2 things were just irritating but the third had me freaking out that she thought that I was an unfit person to be a mother and would try to take the baby away. At the appointment at my house it was fine as I had my husband and my mum there for backup (!) but at the last 2 appointments I've had with her she has been incredibly patronising and keeps exchanging glances with her assistant every time I say anything. I lied on the medical questionnaire she gave me as I definitely didn't want to tell her that I had counselling for depression a few years ago and even though I've been feeling very overwhelmed during my pregnancy I don't want to go to her or my doctor at the same practice for help as I'm just too scared. Can I change midwives and go to one at a different practice or is there something else I can do to get help?

Iloveautumn Mon 09-Nov-09 10:14:45

Oh my god, I am so shocked by how this midwife has treated you...

Is there more than one midwife at your practice? If so, then simply book your next app with a different midwife.

If not (I've never been to a practice with more than one midwife) then do you feel brave enough to contact the head of the team of midwives to explain how you've been treated and ask to see someone else?

If not, you can contact PALS (your surgery will be able to give you the number) and ask them to deal with it on your behalf.

You don't need this when you're pregnant and need to keep well away from this awful woman.

Hope you are ok.

EccentricaGallumBANG Mon 09-Nov-09 10:19:38

Phone to speak to the supervisor of midwives and ask to change to someone else.

babyboom1979 Mon 09-Nov-09 10:21:21

I would put in a serious complaint -- she should be the one who is scared of you!

How terrible that you feel you need to walk on eggshells and are not getting the support you need.

I would not be suprised if other people have spoken up. My friend had a horrible consultation with a gp when she first found out she was pregnant and never said anything. Several months later we found out the GP was fired bc so many people had complained of ill treatment.

Regarding your depression, countless of women have suffered this. It is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing that you should have to hide.

Pls stand up for yourself and don't be afraid to get the care and treatment you very much deserve!

luciemule Mon 09-Nov-09 10:22:33

In the first instance, I'd speak to the practice manager and ask to change midwives.
Could you afford a private midwife if not?

Or could you change practices as long as she didn't cover that practice too!

This behaviour is terrible and not acceptable. You caould also contact the hospital you're under and ask their advice.

raggie Mon 09-Nov-09 10:30:31

angry You poor thing. I've had a couple of not-so-nice mw visits, but nothing in this league.

You MUST try to get an appointment with someone else and should state the reason why even if you feel too anxious at the moment to make a formal complaint. Maybe you can complain properly once the new mw has reassured you that it's snotty-nose with the problem, not you!

A lovely mw makes SO much difference to how you feel about the pregnancy she can really set the happy hormones flying if she treats you right......never mind during labour. (I imagine...I'm 37 weeks with DC1 at the moment)

tasmaniandevilchaser Mon 09-Nov-09 10:31:40

hello, couldn't read and run, was so shocked at how you've been treated, she sounds truly awful.

Just wanted to add, get some moral support for calling, as I can imagine it's quite stressful, just thinking about calling up and asking for a new midwife. I often get emotional when complaining about something that's really upset me, so get your Mum or DH to be with you when you call. Plan what you're going to say. You may not have to explain it, I don't know how much detail they would want, but just in case you need to spell it all out, make a brief factual list about her inapppropriate behaviour and how it made you feel. As Iloveautumn suggested PALS would probably be good for support.

Hope that you get a lovely midwife soon and enjoy your pregnancy. Let us know how it goes.

Crapweasel Mon 09-Nov-09 10:34:20

You have the right to request a different midwife - no need to give any explanation if you don't feel up to an argument.

I've refused to see the (only)midwife based at my local surgery as she is a neighbour and a complete cow I just said "I'd prefer not to see her" and alternative arangements were made with no questions asked.

By the way, not clear from your OP if you are aware that part of the booking in process is always done at home - you weren't singled out by her in this regard. And yes, it probably is for the reasons she gave you, it's just that a professional midwife would never dream of actually saying this to the patient!

AKMD Mon 09-Nov-09 10:38:32

Thanks for the advice, I wasn't sure if I was just being silly. In answer to your questions: we are buying a house at the moment so definitely couldn't afford a private midwife, although we did seriously look into it; it's a big practice but there's only one midwife so I would have to switch practices; I know she works at other practices but I don't know which one, and she also works in the delivery unit at the hospital :s.

I will call the practice today how to get in contact with the midwife's supervisor so I can change. I'm just a bit nervous about making a complaint as I could very well end up with her during the delivery.

foxytocin Mon 09-Nov-09 10:39:55

I would also write the the head of midwifery and request a different MW. You don't have to give any reason why. If you go to there is a great template which you can adapt (even if you are not planning a HB). You may have to see the new MW at a different practice in town as I did but it totally was the better option than seeing the one normally at my practice.

it is important that you feel confident enough with your midwife that you can discuss having depression in the past. by no means it means that they will involve SS in your case. You do need however to make them aware that you may require closer monitoring during and after childbirth and that is for the benefit of you and your baby and your dh.

good luck.

foxytocin Mon 09-Nov-09 10:40:58

X-posted. when I changed MWs, it was definitely logged that she would not be attending me at the birth.

StealthPolarBear Mon 09-Nov-09 10:49:18

what a bitch!
" declared that her responsibility was to the baby, not to me"
unless I am completely wrong about this, the MW is there for both the baby & the mother's health - I think you need to mention that, if that is the attitude she's working with, it's dangerous

Iloveautumn Mon 09-Nov-09 10:56:23

I don't think you should have to change practices just to see a different midwife. If you are feeling a bit wobbly about this would your partner contact the midwife team on your behalf?

I would be surprised if they haven't had any other complaints about her.

foxytocin Mon 09-Nov-09 11:00:53

no, you don't have to change practices. I went to the antenatal appts only at a different practice. that way I avoided seeing the other MW completely, so I wouldn't even just bump into her, for example.

AKMD Mon 09-Nov-09 11:07:40

Foxytocin, it would be a big relief if I could have a similar opt-out. I do NOT want her attacking me with the episiotomy scissors!

The other problem I've had is at the 20-week scan the hospital said that the antenatal classes for my due date are now all fully-booked and had been for a few weeks. My midwife said that we would talk about classes at our next appointment (2 weeks to go) - what can I do? This is my first baby, I am clueless about labour, feeding/washing a baby, changing nappies etc. As I said before, money is tight at the moment so we can't pay for NCT classes.

foxytocin Mon 09-Nov-09 11:14:49

Here is the letter, copy and pasted from the home birth website. it is the letter I used as a template and adjusted to suit my needs. even if you are not planning a home birth, it is a good one.

Sample Letter

(Your name, address and any hospital reference number should go at the top)

Dear Head of Community Midwifery,

My baby is due on (date) and I have booked a home birth under the care of the XYZ team of community midwives.

I am writing to inform you that I do not wish Midwife X to be involved in my antenatal care, or to attend my labour and birth.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, and really do not wish to create additional work for you or your staff. However, I feel that Midwife X does not support my aims in wishing to give birth at home/in water/standing on my head/whatever.

I am worried that her attendance at the birth might have a negative effect on my labour, and am not prepared to take the chance of this happening. I am also concerned that seeing her during antenatal appointments could make me anxious.

I do not intend to make any negative comments about Midwife X's skills; I am sure that she is perfectly competent and that she has provided wonderful care to many women. It is simply unfortunate that we do not get along/she does not appear to support home birth/etc..

I am sure you will understand that I do not wish to discuss this matter with Midwife X, or with anyone else. I would be grateful if you could arrange for another midwife to take over my care, who is supportive of my desire to give birth at home.

On a positive note, I met midwives Y and Z at previous antenatal appointments and was very pleased with the care I received from them. I would be delighted if you could arrange for either of these midwives to take over my care.

Yours faithfully,

A Stroppy Mother

As far as antenatal classes go, for several reasons I never attended any and was similarly clueless before my first dd. If I had this book it would have been all I needed to know. buy it, read it. I also did natal hypnotherapy at home and I found it very good. It is comparatively cheap and you can get them second hand. In fact if you are interested I am about to sell mine as my baby making days are over.

let me know if you want to pick my brains further. smile

foxytocin Mon 09-Nov-09 11:17:23

ps, i chose to write rather than ring because I was so furious as well as feeling emotionally vulnerable by then that by ringing I may have come across as unreasonable. It means also that they have to acknowledge your letter in writing so there is a paper trail of what you and they have said.

StealthPolarBear Mon 09-Nov-09 11:17:39

lol at giving birth standing on my head - why did no one ever tell me that was a good idea??

Neeko Mon 09-Nov-09 18:45:54

Sorry just hijacking thread to thank foxytocin for the natalhypnotherapy link. I've been wanting to get a CD but was looking for a recommendation. smile

AKMD Hope you've got it sorted and have a happy pregnancy.

BlueCollie Mon 09-Nov-09 19:04:38

AKMD - give me the phone number I'll ring for you. How dare anyone speak to you like that especially when they are there to offer you support and advice.
You can refuse to be seen by any health professional trust me I am one. If she comes near you in the hospital when you give birth ask her to leave the room and also ask for the MW-in-Charge say that you don't want the cow near you (maybe not use the word cow!) and they have an obligation to assign another MW to you. If they try and use the old 'she's the only one on, or that isn't poosible' stand your ground and ask for the Clinical site manager...also ask for the clinical site manager if she is the MW-in-Charge.
I know you are probably feeling vulnerable and worreid about how this may impact on you if you do refuse her to attend to you but trust me I expect the other MW's are well aware of how she is and will not treat you badly for asking for another MW.

Hope this help and good luck xxx

Trudi2009 Mon 09-Nov-09 22:33:50

AKMD with regards to pre natal classes.

What I have found is that they are good for meeting and chatting to other mothers but I went on a private course because the courses near me were fully booked and was a little peeved as there was nothing in the course that you couldn't find on google, a good baby website or your average maternity book like 'What To Expect Where You're Expecting.' I feel I wasted my money. If you're cash strapped I would buy a book and ask your midwife, friends who have had kids recently or people on this forum about any questions you may have from reading the book. Books helped me much more than the course.

... and get rid of that terrible midwife.

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