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To expect an ETA from midwife/HV?

160 replies

smileygrapefruit · 14/07/2017 11:38

Just got home with newborn dc3 yesterday.

Was just getting out the shower and there's a knock at the door...the midwife is here. Had to answer in a towel sopping wet.

I've now remembered from the last two times how they always turn up unannounced. Am I just ment to sit in twiddling my thumbs all day? DH has taken other two dc out for the day and I was going to have a nap with dc3 but how am I supposed to do that if they could turn up at any time?!

Aibu to think they could just text to say "expect us between 10-12"?

OP posts:
gluteustothemaximus · 14/07/2017 13:35

I remember with all 3, absolutely loving the day they sign you off.

WomblingThree · 14/07/2017 13:36

I always assumed it was intentional, so you did stay at home all day and rest 🤣.

The problem with the availability of technology, is that people sometimes expect too much. When I had mine, the midwife didn't have a mobile, and managed just fine. Mind you, she didn't knock either. She just came in (and put the kettle on). I loved her visits and I would have been pretty gutted if I'd missed one. I was a stressed out mess, struggling to breastfeed and depressed. It was great to have someone bustling around being capable while I sobbed on the sofa.

I generally find though that people will treat you the way you treat them. If (general) you resent your midwife's very presence in your home, then why are they going to go out of their way for you. Yes they are doing a job, but they aren't your servant to come and go as you dictate.

Dancergirl · 14/07/2017 13:38

You don't HAVE to have a visit, they're not compulsory. Don't answer the door if not convenient.

ZippyCameBack · 14/07/2017 13:38

My midwives always gave a rough time and would let me know if they would be more than an hour late. It helped a lot when I had older children, with the first one I was quite ill and knackered so rarely not at home anyway!
The HV would not turn up at all, then phone three days later to let me know she wouldn't be coming.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 · 14/07/2017 13:43

Just don't see them. It's not a legal requirement!

Minkyfluffster · 14/07/2017 13:44

I know its annoying but visits are not set durations, I will never forget the kindness of one Midwife sitting for ages massaging my breast to try to prevent Mastitis on a Sunday evening when DD was a new born.

Her next appointment would have been fuming about her lateness had she had set their expectations of an arrival time without knowing what she was walking into at my house.

MatildaTheCat · 14/07/2017 13:45

As a former midwife it's really depressing to read how little community midwife visits in the post natal period seem to be valued. Midwives have campaigned relentlessly to preserve this service.

It's been cut to the bone; when I first qualified we did twice daily visits for three days, then daily until 10 days. Twice daily was OTT TBH. Daily has gone to first day,may six plus a discharge call/ visit if you are lucky.

Your mw will have arrived in work, picked up her workload which isn't known in advance, prioritised her list to get new visits done first and make some sense of the route to avoid unnecessary traffic delays.

She probably also has a clinic to get to and a meeting this afternoon to discuss 'changes' which have never yet benefited either her or her clients.

Please, please accept this imperfect service and cherish it. If she is late she's rushed off her feet. If she doesn't text it's because that will delay her even further. If you have literally just given birth you should be at home resting and if you are just out of the shower you sigh, smile and say how pleased you are to be receiving this uniquely fab service.

Or you could go privately.

Congratulations on your new baby and sorry for the rant. People genuinely have no idea how hard midwifery is.

sherbetpips · 14/07/2017 13:45

I remember waiting to go to the loo before my midwife/HV was due (said it would be morning). It go to lunchtime, and I finally seemed about ready to do a number 2 (having not done one for two weeks post birth) Yes sorry TMI. Anyway I had a very bad tear (pretty much front to back) so was very nervous about going. Nature took over and I had to go. Off I went upstairs and the minute I tried all my stitches, etc came apart, I then passed out, you can imagine the scene. I came round to the sound of the doorbell ringing, I was literally screaming from the toilet for someone to come and help me but alas she went away. When I eventually got out of the bathroom I called the midwife in hysterics and she came back and got me all sorted out. I remember sobbing to her 'you said you would be here this morning' and her arguing with me that she never did whilst both of us attempted to clear up copious amounts of poop and blood. Baby slept through all of it of course. Not my favorite memory.....

Clandestino · 14/07/2017 13:47

So yes, sit there and wait, be nice and offer a cup of tea.

Seriously? A mother with a newborn should just sit there and wait with a cup for a tea for a potential visit from the HV the whole day?
When I had a visit, we were told when to expect the nurse so I was ready. Seriously - either the healthcare is paid from my taxes and then I shouldn't look at it as a massive favour or it shouldn't be provided at all.
Recently, the NHS posts seem like people should consider it a massive privilege and favour that they get the healthcare they support from their taxes. It sounds like the British are being prepped to accept crappy basic healthcare unless the system is privatised.

Batteriesallgone · 14/07/2017 13:52

It's a valuable service and I'm grateful for it even though it is a bit inconvenient.

However, I dream of the midwives having an online page like on Yodel where it says your driver has 54 deliveries to make before you etc etc. They could just have a tracker and not have to spend time sending texts etc, and you'd be safe to assume if they are more than 5 visits away you can go have a shower in peace.

It's not likely is it?! And I'm probably done having kids now...still, it would be good Grin

Dancergirl · 14/07/2017 13:52

As a former midwife it's really depressing to read how little community midwife visits in the post natal period seem to be valued

It's not that they're not valued, but it's stressful for a new mum to have an unexpected visit that could be at any time when she could be feeding, dealing with a crying baby, asleep or in the shower.

Batteriesallgone · 14/07/2017 13:54

It's also stressful because the midwife will likely be a stranger. Would be different if you knew them and it felt more like a friendly visit.

LexieLulu · 14/07/2017 13:59

I was out one time when my midwife arrived, she called my mobile and said don't rush back, it's brilliant you're out the house!

Don't worry, they're human, they won't hate you for living your life x

Yokohamajojo · 14/07/2017 14:03

Well you know how difficult and painful it can be to do the number2 after childbirth? when do you think my HV turned up?

belmontian · 14/07/2017 14:07

Mine always gave slots such as 9-12, 12-3 etc which was fine. Except I always seemed to be the first call and it was always before 9, i remember with dc1 her scolding me because I hadn't had a shower yet and she wouldn't examine me tomorrow if I hadn't Hmm I dreaded the MW coming after that.

ilovegin112 · 14/07/2017 14:08

I had 2 visits a day from my midwife for 4 days and then once a day for another 6 , they even wemt and visited my husband before I left the hospital to make sure everything was ready for when I came out. Mind you this was n.i 18 yrs ago how thing have changed, I was so grateful for them coming and listening to my new mum worries

belmontian · 14/07/2017 14:10

As a former midwife it's really depressing to read how little community midwife visits in the post natal period seem to be valued

I personally think they are intrusive and a waste of time, especially when it is every single day until day 10. With my last I told her a few times (nicely) that it really wasn't necessary to come everyday and I think she seemed quite relieved!

belmontian · 14/07/2017 14:11

^Meant to add I think it should be optional as well. There are some who really rely on MW visits and feel reassured by them and others like me who find them a pain, especially because you never got the same one twice so spent every visit filling her in.

FlyingElbows · 14/07/2017 14:12

While it's not a legal requirement to see them it can backfire if you don't...

I had a bulldog of a hv with ds1 who insisted on coming at school run time, both morning and afternoon. After her 2nd failed attempt she left a nasty note threatening me with ss. I phoned straight away to express my displeasure and suggest she not come when I had to be out. Another failed attempt at school run time and I was entertaining two bemused and embarrassed social workers. They tried the "what about your legal obligation..." line and didn't get to the end of the sentence! I was horrified that a qualified social worker didn't know that there is no legal obligation on anyone to use the hv service.

My next visit was from his boss who was very nice, very apologetic, very annoyed at the total waste of their time and advised us to make a formal complaint. That hv was never allowed into my home and neither was any subsequent one. None of my children have suffered any ill effects.

TheFirstMrsDV · 14/07/2017 14:20

I was a community worker with a large caseload.
I would not have dreamed of just turning up at random times.
Its a really inefficient way of working
How many wasted journeys and time spent knocking at empty houses does it result in?

There should be at least a morning or afternoon slot fgs. I expect lots of new mothers would accept that.

GuntyMcGee · 14/07/2017 14:20


If it's not convenient to stay in, phone and reschedule the time or ask whether it'll be an AM or PM visit or ask if you can go to them for a timed appointment.

Community midwives are actually really busy juggling a workload and adding factors like set clinics to do, traffic, mileage, whether a mum or baby needs bloods taken (important as there are only set collection times for lab transport) and that's without other factors like feeding support, referring in ill women or babies, taking phone calls, the ton of paperwork to be done and the dreaded home birth/emergency call out.

If I'm spending time giving someone extra support or I'm at an emergency or home birth I can't go through my diary texting everyone on my visit list to tell them that can I?
And every visit will need different amounts of time to do everything that need to be done. Some days I can do 4 visits in 2 hours, some days it'll take all day to do 4 visits. I can't predict how a visit will go until I'm there actually in someone's house with them.

Community midwives do understand that you've got school run and school holiday entertainment and other appointments to go to or sometimes you just need to get out. It's not a problem, either give us a call and let us know you won't be in so we can reschedule or expect a note through the door with a plan for the next visit.

Remember that you're not the only person to be seen that day and have a little consideration for the person trying to do their job ensuring that you and your baby are well.
Or make a timed appointment in clinic and make an effort to go to the midwives instead.

TheFirstMrsDV · 14/07/2017 14:22

I am amazed they still do the 10 day thing
I had it with DCs 1 & 2 but not with 4 & 5.
The poor, busy mws were happy to pretty much leave me to it.


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Spudlet · 14/07/2017 14:22

I get that an appointment would be impossible, but a morning or afternoon slot would be helpful.

It's not that the service isn't valued, I was really glad to see the midwives when ds arrived. But if we have a second one, I will probably need to be getting up and about sooner because I'll have a toddler who needs his mum too, so a range of times for a visit will probably be something that I'd find very helpful. Even if that just means before or after 12, or similar.

Eeeeek2 · 14/07/2017 14:28

I annoyed my Hv before I'd even had the baby. She wanted to come and introduce herself 2 hour first visit at 28 weeks but I wasn't available on the day she wanted as I was at work. Couldn't I just free myself up and travel home to meet her for her visit.

The next date she came up with I was already seeing my consultant in the morning and midwife in the afternoon and there was no time to fit her in with the traveling between the appointments.

So she shortly said down the phone when was convenient then?! I suggested that she should come after I stopped work which was at 32 weeks to use up holiday so she'd still have plenty of time before I was due

buncakes · 14/07/2017 14:29

God I was so shocked when I heard that midwives would actually be coming to my home. I was annoyed that I was expected to have a clean house and entertain people when I had a newborn to look after.

Then when i had my baby there were times I could have sobbed with joy when the midwife came to the door. I didn't mind waiting in for them, I wasn't in the mood for going out and about a few days PP anyway.

I'm similarly grateful to my Health visitor for calling round and putting my mind at rest. I do get anxious as a new mum and it helps to have that reassurance that everything is ok.

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