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To think that this midwife was unnecessarily harsh?

121 replies

mmmgoats · 29/10/2018 15:13

Short summary: Friend is pregnant after some losses previously. Suffers anxiety as well, worse when she's pregnant. Been TTC, period was late, took four tests over a few days and all negative [early response and others] - not even a squinter.
We went on a pre-planned girls break to a spa for two nights - wine, sauna, hot tub, a couple of cocktails.

She comes back, a week later period still not arrived so did a test. She's pregnant. Super excited but also panicking because it puts her at about 6 weeks and a couple of days when we were away.

She went to her first midwife appointment this week and told her about her anxiety, losses etc and then told her about the spa break and how she's beside herself thinking she might have done harm to the baby.
Midwife was quite abrupt and just said 'well the damage is done now isn't it? No point in worrying about it'

I know the midwife can't say everything will be fine, of course she can't, but it's sent my friend into an utter anxiety spiral, she is so low and now convinced that it means she definitely did damage from the couple of days at the spa.

AIBU to think the midwife could have framed this a bit nicer or had a bit more compassion? After seeing my friend today I am so cross on her behalf, she's so so worried :(

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 29/10/2018 15:15

YANBU what a stupid thing to say, especially knowing your friend's circumstances.
What's her GP like? Would it be worth a chat with them aboiut her concerns?

xJune88 · 29/10/2018 15:17

Yeah midwife sounds awful I wouldn't be using her during pregnancy id be asking for a different one. I've had losses and an currently pregnant too with mega anxiety, midwife should help and support you not make you feel worse! X

Morgan12 · 29/10/2018 15:18

She should not have said that! There really was no need.

I was pregnant over Christmas and New Year and had absolutely no idea. Consumed biblical amounts of alcohol. No damage done.

mmmgoats · 29/10/2018 15:24

@sparklingbrook I mentioned GP but now the midwife has said that she thinks the GP will take the same line and she doesn’t want to keep hearing she’s done damage.

I’ve been pregnant myself - no children yet unfortunately - and had a pregnancy where I was in a hot tub and drinking for four days at 5 weeks - this was absolutely not the reason the pregnancy didn’t work out but I remember the anxiety about it well!

I also mentioned to her about the women who aren’t TTC and fall pregnant and don’t realise for months but it’s like all she can focus on is the midwife saying “well the damage is done now” Angry

OP posts:
anitagreen · 29/10/2018 15:29

Some people say drink tills it's pink. Line on the test that is, both of mine I drank like a fish at the start as they didn't show for ages, they are fine now x

Lamona · 29/10/2018 15:30

What a horrible woman. Yeah its not ideal but plenty of people do worse because they dont know they're pregnant
I swam is really polluted water, drank cocktails and ate whatever from roadside stalls in Brazil in my first 6 weeks. It was all ok- but there was no point in worrying once I found out i was pregnant. Worrying helps no one.
In fact it harms people
So unless the midwife offers suggestions as to what to do next she'd better off not saying anything.
Get your friend to see either another midwife or the GP. Say its causing major anxiety. Is there anything she should do (the answer will be no)
As an aside- the dangers in very early days are dangers od miscarriage rather than damage to foetus. So (and I know this probably not any consolation) but she won't have harmed her baby, but she might be at slight increased risk of miscarriage

Awwlookatmybabyspider · 29/10/2018 15:30

YANBU. A better way to put it would have been, but You can't like like tha
Oh I can't do this. I can't eat this. I can't drink this on the basis that you might be pregnant. If every women thought like that shed never go out the door after shed had sex in case she was pregnant and harmed the baby.Not only that but did numerous tests and they call came hack negative so 2hat was she supposed to do put her on life on hold. Like I say you just can't live like that.

blackcat86 · 29/10/2018 15:30

That's awful. She needs to make a complaint. It's also utter crap as I had an Xmas drinks binge at 4 weeks ish pregnant before I had a BFP and confessed this to the midwife at my booking appointment. She said not to worry as it happens a lot and in the early weeks the baby is actually feeding off it's own yolk sack rather than via a placenta. I had an 8 week private scan just for my own reassurance that all was ok and the yolk sack was still visible so one occasion at 6 weeks won't have hurt the baby.

ThisIsWhatItSoundsLike · 29/10/2018 15:31

What Morgan said.... over Xmas and new year... significant alcohol fell broke arm had X-rays all unbeknownst whilst with first baby
He is 15 yo now nothing wrong with him, ignore silly midwife must have missed her break today

LaBelleSausage · 29/10/2018 15:31

That midwife sounds absolutely terrible.
It might not be an option for your friend but if I was her I’d be tempted to book an early scan with someone like babybond after the 8 week mark for some reassurance x

PanamaPattie · 29/10/2018 15:33

I'm sorry for your friend. The MW should be reassuring. Sadly, your friend has found out quite early on in her pregnancy that some MW just aren't very nice people. They seem to be devoid of empathy, compassion and appear immune to distressed women in pain or needing some reassurance. At least your friend has the advantage of now knowing what some MW are really like and will prepare for her birth knowing what to expect. I hope all goes well for her.

xJessica · 29/10/2018 15:33

We had been trying for a couple of years with no success and gave up actively trying, and decided just to see what happened so of course I got pregnant when I wasn't really expecting to! I had a few glasses of wine one night and then discovered I was pregnant. I was packing too and mentioned it to the Dr and she said I would be amazed at the number of people that happens to, and people having really heavy nights drinking etc when they had no idea. She was really reassuring. I now have a healthy 8 year old.

ZoeZebra1 · 29/10/2018 15:35

My midwife told me that until the placenta starts working at 8 weeks what you eat and drink has little if no effect. Please tell your friend this.

MrsStrowman · 29/10/2018 15:36

I went out drinking twice before I knew I was pregnant on one occasion even had a couple of shots (birthday), we'd been told we wouldn't conceive without help so I had no idea I was pregnant. Midwife said it's super common and not to worry as long as you've stopped once you find out and weren't guzzling litres of White lightning for breakfast every day. I'm now eight months and baby is fine. Your friend's midwife was horrible, I don't know why some people work with pregnant women. My consultant said to me 'eating for three are you?' And 'you must just eat too much junk' whilst raising an eyebrow at my super healthy food diary, when actually I've been following a low carb high protein diet for a long time but have PCOS and now gestational diabetes, even at my current weight this far gone I'm on the boundaries of healthy BMI for non pregnant people! I know it's hard but she just needs to ignore her.

OhTheRoses · 29/10/2018 15:39

OP, I'm 58, fit, (well ish), IQ over 130, relatively personable. My mother spent three days in hot baths and drinking gin when she realised she was pg with me.

My DC are 23 and 20. My obstetrician with dd (difficult pg, lost baby at 27 weeks inbetween) told me if a g&t took the edge off my anxiety, one stiff one a day would do no harm! I had 2/3 glasses of wine at weekends when pg. Both DC are Oxbridge and fit and well.

The midwife was a hag and unkind.

MissConductUS · 29/10/2018 15:42

Moderate amounts of alcohol very early in the pregnancy are very, very unlikely to have a negative effect on the baby.

The midwife sounds like a twat.

LaurieMarlow · 29/10/2018 15:43

My midwife told me that until the placenta starts working at 8 weeks what you eat and drink has little if no effect. Please tell your friend this.

This. Or something similar.

I got shitfaced at about 4.5 weeks pregnant. I'd been trying for months and was convinced there was no way I was pregnant this time, so got drinker than I'd been in months. I was horrified (but delighted) when I got my BFP a few months later.

A year on and baby is perfect in every way. Smile

Midwife was probably trying to be reassuring, but utterly lacking in empathy and social skills. Congrats to your friend.

LaurieMarlow · 29/10/2018 15:45

Sorry, bfp a few weeks later. I didn't wait that long to test. Grin

BunnyCake · 29/10/2018 15:45

I don't think a sauna/hot tub would do any harm at that stage. A friend was told by a consultant that foetal alcohol syndrome is associated with a heavy alcoholic drinking pattern* which I'm sure your friend doesn't have.
*This advice was given 15 years ago so might have changed since then but I'm sure your friend will be fine.

TurkeyBear · 29/10/2018 15:46

She hasn't done damage. You need to be blunt and just tell her straight the stress she's creating will do more damage. When she went the alchohol etc would've had zero effect on the embryo or anything at all to do with the pregnancy as it wouldnt have even implanted properly yet judging by her positive test date.

SoyDora · 29/10/2018 15:48

I was on a hen spa weekend when 5ish weeks pregnant with DD1, I had no idea I was pregnant. Hot tubs, sauna, steam room, cocktails, shots... the works! She’s a very healthy nearly 5 year old Smile.
Midwife was sadly lacking in compassion.

roundaboutthetown · 29/10/2018 15:48

The midwife was an idiot. Having had an enjoyable and relaxing two or three days will have done your anxious friend nothing but good...


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MatildaTheCat · 29/10/2018 15:48

As a former midwife I would be less than impressed by a colleague speaking to an anxious client in this way.

However, and it’s only a however, so many times in my career I’ve heard a client come away from a consultation having heard quite a different conversation from the actual conversation.

So it could be:
pregnancy woman ‘I’m really worried because I did x and y before I knew I was pregnant.’
Midwife ‘ Try not to worry, we can’t turn the clock back and this is really common.’

Pregnant woman comes away having heard ‘well the damage is done, no point in worrying about it...’

Stephisaur · 29/10/2018 15:49

What a cow of a midwife!

I don't think your friend is 6 weeks if tests at 4 weeks were negative. She may have ovulated late and that's why she's only now getting a positive.

That's by the by though. She won't have done any damage at this early stage. At the moment, the embryo is still getting everything from its yolk sac - what the mother eats/drinks doesn't matter too much.

Congratulations to your friend :)

Beetlebum1981 · 29/10/2018 15:50

Midwife could definitely have been abut more sensitive. FWIW I had a couple of early miscarriages. It was coming up to Christmas and whilst we weren’t trying we weren’t using contraception-my periods were all over the place after the previous miscarriages so I was trying to let my body sort itself out. DH and I were pretty cut up so spent most of Christmas in a drunken haze, I then got a cancellation for a minor knee operation so had that in the middle of January. The day after my surgery I suddenly realised I hadn’t had a period in a while - I was 6 weeks pregnant. I was petrified about what damage I might have done but DD is now a thriving 3 year old. I hope your friend manages to relax a bit soon, it’s easier said than done though I know.

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