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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:
belmontian · 14/07/2017 14:33

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

In my trust it is a legal requirement until day 10. The HV service on the other hand is not and people can opt out (although that is not common knowledge)

notangelinajolie · 14/07/2017 14:35

Feeling for you OP. I sent the HV packing just the day after getting home with DC1. DH had gone to work, baby was asleep, I was battered and bruised, stitches hurt like hell and I was literally seconds away from getting into the best bath in the world. She came back the next day instead.

But Midwife I'd be happy to see. I remember after first visit she would give an indication of who would be coming next day and roughly what time.

Congratulaltions Flowers

Proudmummytodc2 · 14/07/2017 14:39

Hi op sorry I haven't read the full thread.

When I was let out both times with my 2 DCs I was told the midwife would be calling round tomorrow and I will not be given a time and I said that's ok I will be at home anyway.

When the midwife turned up she said to me on the first visit that the midwife don't give a time to arrive as they like to catch new mums out to see how they really feel.

She said we have so many new mums that are struggling hub pretend to be fine have the house perfect ect she said we want to see what you really look like.

After my 1st visit I was given a time every day she was coming out after that and she actually was there for that time everyday.

It's annoying waiting but it's worth it to make sure there is nothing wrong with you or baby.

Go about your day as normal.

Congratulations on the arrival of your baby

smileygrapefruit · 14/07/2017 14:42


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.

Gunty, if there was an appointment given then I would be able to say it wasn't convenient. I was asking if IWBU to want to know what day and a rough idea I.e. before or after midday.

Seems most (even some in the profession) agree that this would make sense for all involved. No sitting in waiting all day for mothers and babies and no knocking with no answer for win imo.

I absolutely agree it's a great service and from reading some of these replies my area must be very good as they are happy to see you every day if needs be and equally mine today was happy to leave me to it til day 5 unless I need help beforehand.

OP posts:
Leontine · 14/07/2017 14:42

To be honest I'm shocked that they don't give at least an approximate time!

I have been seen by community nurse and I was always given an exact appointment time and if they were running late they would call to tell me. I also have community HCPs in my family and they give appointment times too.

Perhaps it's because I live in a low population area?

user1474460381 · 14/07/2017 14:49

Reading some of these comments I feel quite lucky really. When I had my son I was given a date a time, by letter, for each appointment well in advance with a note to say that they could be an hour either side of that time. Not once were they ever late and they were lovely too. I think it's bonkers that in some areas they don't even tell you they're coming!

Katedotness1963 · 14/07/2017 14:53

Can't you say you don't want visits? Both my boys were born in other countries and we just got sent home and told when to take them to the doctor for a check up...then the doctor would say when they wanted them back.

WomblingThree · 14/07/2017 14:54

So those of you moaning; what happens when the midwife is stuck with a poorly baby/mother with PND/at a home birth? Presumably she has to drop everything to rush to you at your allotted time. So then you'd be happy if she was trying to help you with something and she buggered off before you were sorted to get to the next person?

It's 10 days out of the rest of your life, and you and the baby might just benefit from it. You'd be quick enough to bitch if the midwife missed a problem with the baby. Suck it up and stop bloody whinging.

zzzzz · 14/07/2017 14:56

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coddiwomple · 14/07/2017 15:02

Suck it up and stop bloody whinging.

don't be ridiculous, it's a waste of time for everybody if the midwives find the door closed because there's no one home. Not all mums are first mums, so someone has to pick up the kids from school, baby or no baby.

I wasn't offered the service with my last 2, it's a shame.

babybat · 14/07/2017 15:06

My community midwife always gave an appointment time for postnatal visits - we didn't get signed off at 10 days due to a few complications and were under her care for a little longer. I had no idea this wasn't the standard! Once or twice they were a bit late due to earlier appointments running late, but they always sent a text to let me know. Yes, I was mostly still in my pyjamas but it's nice to know when to expect them so you're not asleep/have popped out for a walk. I'm still in awe of the amazing midwives I had, feel so sad it's not the standard for every pregnant women.

Alfieisnoisy · 14/07/2017 15:12

I am amazed....but things have possibly changed. I used to give an approximate time ...within a two hour time slot. So 9-11 or 10-12 etc when I was visiting ( both as a midwife and HV)

Do they not do this anymore?

gluteustothemaximus · 14/07/2017 15:12

Yes, it can be annoying waiting. Yes, it does seem to be always at the 'wrong' moment. Or at least the moment you get newborn to sleep after all night of feeding and waking. It's that moment they knock.

But. If the midwife hadn't come round on day 3 when she did, and take my blood pressure, then I wouldn't have realised I had the start of pre-eclampsia and then had to go immediately to hospital.

I think we'd all complain if the service was no longer there.

It's frustrating, sure. But in the grand scheme of things, they are just keeping an eye on mum and baby, and making sure they are well. What a lovely free service to have (even if I did do a little hooray when they signed me off).

PyongyangKipperbang · 14/07/2017 15:16

I got a bollocking from the midwife because I wasnt in when she came to visit a week after I had DC6. The clue is in the fact that I had 5 older kids, so I didnt have the luxury of sitting around all day waiting for her to turn up. We could only afford for DH to have a week off on PL. Apparantly I shouldnt be out and about so soon after the birth, so the kids can just get themselves from school at 5 & 6 years old then?! As it was, we were round the corner at my mums but the way the MW reacted, you'd think I'd gone clubbing.

I pointed out that as she had said she would be there in the am and I didnt leave the house until 1pm, I was not the one in the wrong as I had reasonably assumed that she simply wasnt coming. She then signed me off, I cant imagine why!

YANBU to expect a rough idea of when they will be there. In the morning or "sometime between 1 and 4pm" say is fine, I dont think anyone would expect a to-the-minute appointment but it is U to expect us to simply wait in all day with no idea if or when they are going to turn up.

Batteriesallgone · 14/07/2017 15:30

I'm really sad that a midwife on this thread has referred to the 'dreaded' home birth. Surely birth is at the core of what a midwife does, if you don't want to attend them why train as a midwife!

coddiwomple · 14/07/2017 15:53

I can see many reasons why a midwife is not keen on home births, it doesn't make her a bad midwife. She is still allowed to express her opinion on an anonymous website!

Bridgetnoknickers · 14/07/2017 16:45

God I remember the 'legal obligation' and being threatened with SS when the HV couldn't see us after DD was born... problem was she was still in the ICU and I was staying in the Ronald McDonald across the road for 5 weeks after she was born. Cue various threatening messages left on my mobile as she didn't believe we were in hospital and I'd clearly gone AWOL with MY baby Confused the look on her face when she came to the hospital and saw I was telling the truth was priceless. Upside was I didn't have to deal with her at all once we were discharged as we had a specialist hv. I wouldn't wait in for them now, if they can't give a roughy approximation of when they'll be there then that's their lookout.

JenziW · 14/07/2017 16:46

I don't think YABU. If they were unable to give at least am or pm I would have asked them to msg as soon as they could give that or were on their way. They'd have been likely to miss me with mine otherwise as she needed a walk to snooze! 😩

TheFirstMrsDV · 14/07/2017 16:47

I think she meant the dreaded emergency call to a home birth batteries
I hope she did.

JenziW · 14/07/2017 16:49

Meant to add that at least knowing am or pm would prevent potentially not being home or asleep and missing the appt as that wastes their time anyway.

JenziW · 14/07/2017 17:05

Matilda it's a very valuable service and my midwife was lovely. I didn't get loads from the visit but was reassuring to have someone to ask the odd question without truing to ring to speak to someone. I am grateful for the provision in my area.

Clandestino it's not that the public should make do with a sub standard service. It's that the NHS is so over stretched. We should be grateful for what we do have. The NHS is an amazing service that is seriously underfunded and doing the best they can in a difficult situation with poor management.

glitterglitters · 14/07/2017 17:09

Mine just phoned me! No home visits.

When dd2 had her heel prick and weighing we had to trek across the city and pay for parking. I wouldn't mind but wrangling dh and dd1 too I was inwardly questioning the whole "aren't I supposed to be resting up and taking it easy?" As my stitches smarted from lifting small people in and out of the car lol


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Rainbowsandsunshine17 · 14/07/2017 17:09

I just want to saying having had two dcs abroad, you don't know how lucky you are having health visitors in the UK. I had dcs in the UK and while my hv sometimes overstayed her welcome, it was such a blessing.

RainyDayBear · 14/07/2017 17:17

YANBU, I remember being miffed that the day after we came home they expected us to wait in. For the next visit my usual midwife came and she texted with a rough time - she's great though!

Momoftwoscallywags · 14/07/2017 17:49

I had a really bad experience of midwives not showing up. Apparently when they do their final visit they are supposed to sign you off!

As is was my first born I had no idea that they have to do this to ensure you get your doctors six week check up appointment. (I still have my firstborn's hospital notes, he is now 7, no-one has ever asked for them back)

I then had a HV visit by two people one of them was a really, really senior wanting to know why I hadn't been visited or had my six week check???? Was actually threatened with ss because I hadn't been receiving these said visits or had my 6 week check updated on their files.

My deadpan response "How am I expected to know what the bloody procedures are, it's not my fault someone has fucked up and is now trying to blame me because you lot let me fall through the cracks. As this now smacks of incompetence and basic lack of care, who do I complain to, your bosses or the health care trust?"

I never saw that senior HV in person again but she did phone me at a later date to apologise for just assuming that I was at fault after she went back to her office to investigate.
Apparently the midwife that was supposed to visit me was not the original midwife that had been allocated to me, she was off sick and her "workload" was being shared out among the others. (Which explains why I never saw the same midwife twice and as it was my first I just assumed this was the norm!).
I was told that the visiting midwife had had an emergency and that's why she never made it. It was never made clear to me whether she forgot to update the rest of the team of the missed visit or if she did, it was never followed up because I was the "workload" of another midwife. I was assured that procedures had been put in place to ensure that it didn't happen again!

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