Every week, I talk to many people who are worried in pregnancy. Unusual findings at a pregnancy scan or antenatal test concerns. There is clearly something “of interest” to the professionals, but is it something to worry about? I always feel sad that the communication with the professional wasn’t clear enough. I worry that there are so many people in this sort of situation who will end up trying to make sense of things alone, or by asking friends (or strangers on the internet) rather than getting clear facts. A great many of them end up far more frightened that they ever needed to be.
Which do you choose when you are worried in pregnancy?
- Search the internet, not quite sure what search terms to use, not quite sure how trustworthy or up to date the information is, trying to find your own explanation
- Sharing what you think was said on an internet forum and getting responses from others with no professional knowledge and no detailed knowledge of your situation, to hear what happened to them or what they think might be happening for you
- Pay privately to have an extra scan and hope that will give you reassurance
- Talk to a healthcare professional who has years of study and experience to draw on and who will give you a personalised response and answer whatever other questions then arise
Ideally you should always try to discuss issues of concern with your regular healthcare provider. If you have had a test, ask the person who arranged the test. If it was a scan, ask the doctor or sonographer who did it. If a midwife or doctor makes a comment during or about an examination, ask them to explain.
Sometimes however, you just don’t get an answer in a way that makes sense to you or need more time to ask all the “ifs” and “buts” that are in your mind. Everyone knows that the NHS is under great pressure. I worked in it for a great many years until retiring from my post as a specialist midwife, so I am very well aware of how busy it is. I still work as a midwife in the NHS from time to time to keep my skills fresh and to keep up to date with NHS developments. As a patient you can feel that you have to stop asking questions because the healthcare worker has many others to see and you have had your allocated time.
This is YOUR body, YOUR pregnancy and YOUR baby. We should not be talking in medical language without explaining it.
Sometimes it is worth paying for additional services. However, although lots of private scan clinics exists, an extra scan will not necessarily give you reassurance and in fact may just make things feel more confusing. Worse still, it can give false reassurance. You can consult me as a private midwife to explore and seek understanding of issues. Just as many people will consult an osteopath or physiotherapist when they have back pain, the service I offer does not mean that you are rejecting NHS services. I am not an “alternative” to the NHS, instead I provide a service which gives you some extra time so that you then feel empowered and understand what is going on on your pregnancy and for your baby.
If you are worried in pregnancy, about something you have been told, something you have read, a scan or antenatal test concerns, please contact me. I can visit you at home (in Surrey or Sussex) including at weekends or in the evening, providing a safe unrushed opportunity for you to talk through what is on your mind. As a practising midwife, with wide experience including both normal and very complex pregnancies, I can review your situation, answer your questions and offer information and advice. Read more about me and why ore information about why I work as an independent (private) midwife.
If you are not sure what you need you are welcome to phone or email me for an initial discussion of what might be most useful for you. This initial contact is free of charge and without obligation.