Blood Tests

Discussion in 'Second Trimester' started by nikki_isme, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. nikki_isme

    nikki_isme Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Not sure where to post this, it seemed appropriate here as I'm 20 weeks!

    Anyways, I am yet to have a blood test. I have a terrible phobia of needles so every time the midwife comes near me to try and take bloods I completely freak out and refuse. My midwife isn't being particularly supportive and is seeing me as a complete nuisance, as are the doctors at the health center. One even told me to grow up last time I was there. Hmm helpful!

    Has anyone else gone through pregnancy without taking bloods? My midwife is refusing to be part of my delivery unless I have a blood test :eh:. Not sure if she can do that or not!

    Luckily my hubby is supportive and understands that I'm not being awkward, I have a phobia which is totally different to 'not liking needles' which is obviously what my midwife thinks. You wouldn't force someone who is scared of leaving their house to walk out their front door, so why should they be able to force me!

    The whole saga is making the anxiety worse. I'm dreading my next appointment with her. I know why they take bloods and appreciate it's for mine and babies health, but I just can't see myself beating this. It isn't like I'm choosing not to have them, I physically can't do it. My hand shoots up to cover my arm without me meaning to!

    God I sound pathetic don't I :-(
     
  2. bbee

    bbee Well-Known Member

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    the first time i had a blood test was to find out whether i was pregnant or not, so at around 5 weeks. i am petrified of needles absolutely petrified and i hate it when people were like 'you can't even feel it!!!' but i promise you, you actually cant feel it! i was sat there squirming, crying, screaming and every time she'd get the needle ready i'd literally run out the room! but it has to be done! so i just looked away and she put it in, it doesnt hurt one bit :) now ive had about nine of them and they dont bother me!! so don't worry, its absolutely fine!!
    If youre that bothered, on your way to your next appointment just numb your arm with an ice pack or something. but honestly its fine :) im the worlds biggest wuss for pain!!! and i managed to do it! do it for baby!!:)xxxx
     
    #2 bbee, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  3. Kimmyj_b

    Kimmyj_b Well-Known Member

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    I used to have a minor phobia but got over it when I was poorly some time ago and didn't have a choice. I'm still not keen now, but I cope if I don't look. Have you tried hypnotherapy? It may help you to overcome your fear. It would help if you were being supported by the midwife though :( in the long run, it is for baby's well being so maybe hypnotherapy or similar is worth a shot? It may make the pregnancy (and labour) easier if you can cope with the needles.x
     
  4. ScotchEgg

    ScotchEgg Well-Known Member

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    I had real problems with needles and had hypnotherapy as we were going through IVF and that's ALL needles. It's no magic cure but it helped me cope with the fear and rationalise it so that I could go through with what I needed to do. I'd really recommend it.

    I'd say it's something you'll need to deal with - they need to check that you and baby are doing ok, and once baby's here how will you cope with baby's injections and needing to be the strong one for them?

    Plus having hypnotherapy was one of the loveliest things I've ever experienced and I'd recommend it to anyone just because I enjoyed it so much!
     
  5. JJ Mum

    JJ Mum Well-Known Member

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    I think she prob can refuse to deliver baby because if you refusing blood test just because of blood born illnesses etc and being aware, ( not suggesting in any way by the way)

    Can you take someone clise to you that you would feel calm and safe with when you have it done, it will literally take seconds and well worth it for the baby/ pregnancy health

    Xx
     
  6. Juice

    Juice Well-Known Member

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    Before blood tests and scans and regular check ups and pain relief, women were delivering healthy babies left right and centre! It may be in the best interests of you and the baby to ensure that there is nothing wrong with your health, but it's not essential. Personally I went through with all the blood tests, etc, because there was no reason not to. But in your case, there IS a reason! A phobia is a real medical condition and the fact that you're being treated like an awkward patient is utterly out of order! If I were you, I would find yourself a better and more understanding midwife, stick to your guns and tell them to go f*** themselves when they start getting shitty with you! The stress of having blood taken isn't good for you or the baby, so why put yourself through that when you don't HAVE to?
    Even nowadays, many women choose to go through pregnancy and birth with no medical intervention whatsoever. And in countries where medical facilities are poor, women HAVE to go through unassisted pregnancies and births and most of them get through it just fine - the evidence is in our increasing population, even in poor countries!
    So if I were you, I wouldn't stress about it too much and if the midwife refuses to treat you, then find one who will!
    This phobia needs to be taken seriously!
     
  7. Nicky_G

    Nicky_G Well-Known Member

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    I understand where you are coming from I have a phobia of needles too. Luckily my midwife was very supportive at my booking appointment when i had to have my blood test because i had a complete meltdown (shaking, crying, absolutely terrified). I laid on the bed looking at the wall with my hubby near my head holding one hand and put the other one behind my back. It isn't because it hurts (it doesn't) its just the thought of having a needle anywhere near me i can't even look at one.

    My midwife suggested hypnotherapy to me and i guess it is worth it if it even reduces the fear a bit but i really hope you manage to sort something with your midwife

    :hugs: xx
     
  8. Jess.

    Jess. Well-Known Member

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    You can get cream that numbs the area for a while, you get it over the counter at pharmacy called EMLA cream. You put a big blob on the area about half an hour before the needle and cover it with clim film or something. It's used mainly for children getting jabs but I've used it for a tattoo and it really does work if you put a thick layer on!
    I know it won't cure your phobia but worth a try, like bbee said its only like a tiny scratch I just didn't look.
    Good luck whatever you decide xxx
     
  9. Bethi

    Bethi Well-Known Member

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    I answered you the other day in the identical thread you put in Chat.
     
  10. Gemsy

    Gemsy Well-Known Member

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    I do sympathise with you (I don't like having my blood taken although I'm not phobic and that is horrible enough!), but I do honestly think you should look at a way of tackling this, rather than avoiding the situation.

    It is very possible that during labour you will need to have a needle in of some kind, possibly for urgent medical reasons, so you don't want this to become a big deal. It is also important that they know your blood group, in case you need a transfusion, and that they find out if you have Strep B, as potentially this can be very dangerous for your little one.

    I would echo Scotch Egg in looking at hypnotherapy - it can really make a massive difference and stop you worrying about something that realistically is something you probably can't go through your whole life without confronting.
     
    #10 Gemsy, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  11. nikki_isme

    nikki_isme Well-Known Member

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    I've bought some of that numbing cream and will be going to see my gp next week to see if they can help!

    Thank you for your replies ladies, you've all been so kind and supportive x
     
  12. Frankie_Lou

    Frankie_Lou Well-Known Member

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    When I had my booking in appointment with my son the mw told me about the blood tests and what they're for etc then asked for my permission to do them. She said that they cannot force me to have them however it's in the best interests of mother and baby so I consented.
    It's worth considering that you may be a rhesus negative blood group which can be dangerous if you have any bleeds or bumps to your bump.
    I hope you can get the support you need from your GP and mw. Good luck x
     
  13. CARNAT22

    CARNAT22 Well-Known Member

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    I do understand you point but there is a very good reason blood tests are taken and I don't think it's responsible for any of us to encourage her not to have them done.

    Yes women have been giving birth for thousands of years without any medical intervention but personally I was very happy to have bub (and myself) checked regularly and I was extremely happy to have support and assistance in labour.

    Pregnancy and labour has become incredibly medicalised in just the past 60 years but for the most part I think it is to mother and babies benefit.

    To the lady that is scared of needles:

    The main reason you need blood tests [and this is the reason I am astounded you haven't had one had one yet] is to find out if you are rhesus + or - because you may need the Anti D injection(s).

    The bloods are also used to screen for Syphilis, Hep B and HIV as well as check your rubella immunity - as all these conditions can be very risky / dangerous in pregnancy.

    Iron levels also need to be checked regularly.

    Also blood screening is part of the nuchal scan you have at 12 weeks to find out if baby has a genetic disease (I assume you didn't have this??)

    It is very important that you find a way to have the test done.

    Take your partner, take an iPod, take a book, take your Mum, take a lucky charm, take a scan piccie whatever gets you there BUT please find a way to have the blood test done.

    You also need to think about a longer term solution because If you are this severely needle phobic how are you going to cope when baby has to have the vitamin K injection, heel prick test and the various injections (8 in total) they have between 8-16 weeks ???

    Please look into hypnotherapy.

    Best of luck!

    xxxx
     
  14. Juice

    Juice Well-Known Member

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    I get your point and I understand the importance, but I can't agree with you that it's irresponsible not to have them or to advise someone not to have them. Personally I don't like the way pregnancy has become so medicinal and I've turned down lots of drugs and intervention for this reason. Everyone is different and has the right to choose and I don't think anyone should be judged or made to feel like they're wrong for making whatever decision they feel is best for them.

    The idea of going against medical advice seems very taboo nowadays but it's just an alternative way of dealing with things. As long as a person is aware of all the options and possible risks then, as I said, no one should be judged.
     
  15. CARNAT22

    CARNAT22 Well-Known Member

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    I read lots about the history of childbirth whilst I was preggers and am amazed how medical something so natural has become. I felt really strongly that women have an instinct and if they listen to this instinct they can carry and birth a child very naturally.

    I went to the birthing centre when I was in labour, had G&A but other than that I was plodding along and then it all went tits up!!

    Thank God I had the option to have medical intervention (I actually only needed the drip to speed up labour as I stalled due to exhaustion). Without help I doubt I'd have been able to deliver my baby.

    It's all well and good taking a holistic approach and I'll do the same again if we have another baby BUT the blood tests in pregnancy aren't just about you. They are about your babies health but also the health of those that are taking care - they test for HIV and Hep B and by refusing the blood tests you are effectively putting yourself, your baby and the MW's at risk.

    Juice, I know that you have a bit of a thing about scans and I promise I do understand. I have a serious BP phobia and I'd rather have 10 blood tests than have my BP taken :shock: but when you are pregnant you just have to get on with it... It is not about you as an individual anymore.

    I still stand by saying that we shouldn't be advising the OP not to have blood tests though, we're not medical so I don't think we can give her a proper balanced answer.

    I really don't like the notion of advising someone against something that the vast majority of women have... Don't forget these blood test are meaningless to healthy women but so important to women that need the Anti D or have anemia (or worse).

    xxxxxx
     
    #15 CARNAT22, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  16. MrsHop

    MrsHop Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree with carnat, tbh Nikki I seriously think you need to find a solution. If you need an emergency cesarean and you are already distressed how will you cope with a drip?
     
  17. Juice

    Juice Well-Known Member

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    (EDIT: Ooopsie, this turned into a bit of an essay. Sorry about that! It's all relevant though :D)

    I think this is a really interesting debate! :)

    One thing sprung to mind when I read your point about putting midwives at risk if the mother has a blood disease... If someone has hep b, hiv, etc, can a medical professional refuse to treat them? Surely the same precautions (aprons, gloves, hand washing, general hygiene) are taken with all patients whether they have a disease or not? If this isn't the case, then I think something is very very wrong! Also, can a medical professional refuse to treat someone with a disease like this??
    I don't know if the same applies but I remember that when I was a nursery nurse we were told that certain medical conditions were on a strict need to know basis and most people didn't need to know. Because if you treat everyone the same and practice the same level of care and precaution for all the children then you will never be putting yourself at risk.

    I understand what you're saying about putting the baby at risk as well as yourself, but again this is a choice that the individual must make. I am a firm believer that during pregnancy, labour and birth, the mother must always come first. This is not only my opinion but also the general medical approach to pregnancy and birth. It's for this reason that I think what I do about the OP's blood tests, about my scans, about your BP and about any other thing that would cause distress to the mother during pregnancy.

    I watched a lecture recently which talked about a piece of research which concluded that where a mother was subject to a major trauma during pregnancy, the brain development of the baby was altered in such a way that made them more susceptible to depression (I think it was depression. Annoyingly I can't find the lecture I'm refering to :(). It was only a small study which was conducted on women who were pregnant during and involved in the 9/11 attack. But it did get me thinking a lot about how much we still don't know about medicine in general. If you read an old medical journal, some of the stuff in those things is laughable! And I'm sure that in 100 years people will be reading medical literature from now and saying "OMG they did WHAT to pregnant women?!" lol

    So in conclusion, I just think that, like you said, women should listen to their instincts and go with what feels right for them because we all have different opinions, ideas, worries, fears, phobias and priorities when it comes to carrying, birthing and raising our children.

    Oh, and it's nice to have a debate with someone that doesn't turn into a slanging match, so thanks for that :D xx
     
  18. CARNAT22

    CARNAT22 Well-Known Member

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    I love a good debate Juice (not rows though!!)

    I think MW's and health professionals have the right to know if they are dealing with patients who have blood diseases. They cannot refuse to treat them - nor would they want to - but they should know. There are very rare and extreme examples of people having bleeds that end up all over the place (MIL is a nurse who has had a post op patient bleed out literally all over her - I still shudder about this story) and whilst it isn't the norm it can and does happen.

    It's not a case of treating HIV patients differently or taking 'extra' precautions [not that I am aware of anyway] but I see nothing wrong in MW's having this knowledge.

    Also some blood diseases will affect what treatments the mother can have during pregnancy.

    I agree that the Mum's wishes should be most important but that isn't always feasible within the confines of the NHS.

    On the day I had James I didn't want to go to the labour ward, I sobbed and sobbed when they told me I had to leave the Birthing centre (which was the floor above) but the fact was I needed extra help otherwise my baby would have suffered.

    As I say I would def go down the natural birth route again, BUT I will also comply and have all of my tests. It's just not worth taking that chance in my mind. Even something as simple as anemia can cause serious problems!

    xxxx
     
  19. Gemsy

    Gemsy Well-Known Member

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    In the case of HIV too - again this is very rare, but it does happen. If you do know you have it, they can nowadays pretty much prevent your baby from getting it. If you don't, there is a high chance the baby will also contract it. I don't think I could forgive myself if something like that happened. These kind of things have long term consequences.
     

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