Newbie, 6weeks in, phobia of needles and blood tests! - NCT


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Newbie, 6weeks in, phobia of needles and blood tests!

RedRobin1 profile image

I have my first appointment with the dr since doing my own test and wonder if they will give me a blood test there and then or will they book another appointment in for that? I just booked a routine appointment and didn't tell the receptionist that I was pregnant! I will need to take someone with me for a blood test as I have panic attacks and pass out/puke which I'm worried will harm the baby! Help! Xx

21 Replies

In England you wouldn't normally see doctor, ur first appointment would be ur booking appointment somewhere between 9-11 weeks, at this appointment they would take a blood tests, but it's not blood tests all the way through pregnancy I think u get one at 9-11 weeks, one at 12 week scan, one at 16 weeks (but for some reason I did not have this offered to me) and then one at 28 weeks also I think if u r at a high risk if gestational diabetes u will get one, but I think that's it, I am only 30 weeks along though with first baby and still learning although I am 90% sure I won't get anymore. This is what typically happens in the uk I think. So if ur American I am not sure when u get blood tested. You don't have to have blood tests though although it's highly recommend as with out them u could get pre-eclampsia, and other things that might affect baby, also they like to take blood to see if baby has any problems like Down's syndrome, but some people flat out refuse to have scans so I would of thought u could refuse blood tests. Every county may be different this is just what I have had in the south west!

Because I didn't have a docs app before my 10 week booking app I am not sure if he will want to take any, think it's 50-50.

Hope all info helps, hope it's all right but I am not a medical professional!

Congrats on pregnancy! X

RedRobin1 profile image
RedRobin1 in reply to ReBeCcA-90

Thank you so much, feeling a bit better about it now, I'm in the uk, but didn't know what I'm supposed to do once you find out so just made a routine dr's appointment! Eek hope I'm not wasting their time at only 6 weeks! Xx

Hi RedRobin1,

Congratulations! Wishing you all the best for your pregnancy and beyond.

The advice from ReBeCcA90 is excellent but I thought I'd clarify a few of the points for you based upon UK guidelines. Firstly, as ReBeCcA90 stated, you don't need to see your GP unless you have a personal preference to do so. UK GPs don't tend to complete the booking appointment or take pregnancy blood tests and so they'll simply advise you to arrange an appointment with the midwife. Your GP surgery receptionist will be able to either arrange an appointment for you with the midwife based at their surgery or they'll provide you with a contact number if the midwife is based at a children's centre. It is important that you have your first/booking appointment with your midwife before you are 10 weeks pregnant so that your scans and antenatal care programme can all be arranged within the recommended timeline.

There are 3 routine blood tests taken for women having an uncomplicated pregnancy. These are taken at:

1) The booking appointment

2) The Down's syndrome screening ultrasound scan

3) The midwife appointment when you are 28 weeks pregnant

At the booking appointment the midwife will recommend several blood tests, they're all taken using one needle and in total less than 30mls of blood is taken. The tests she will recommend are:

i) to determine your blood group

ii) to screen your blood for antibodies

iii) to determine your iron level

iv) to identify any haemoglobinopathies

v) to determine your Hepatitis B, syhilis and HIV status

vi) to determine if you are rubella immune

If you want more information about these blood tests just ask.

At the Down's syndrome screening ultrasound scan the sonography will recommend you have a single blood test. The results of this blood test are combined with the results of the ultrasound scan, age and medical history to give you a risk ratio of your baby being Down's.

At your 28 week midwife appointment your midwife will recommend 2 blood tests; again only one needle will be required and she will take less than 15mls of blood. The first sample will screen you for anaemia (iron deficiency) and the second will screen your blood for antibodies which will guide your birth preparations.

ReBeCcA90 is also correct in that if you have any deviation from an uncomplicated pregnancy then your maternity team may recommend further blood tests. Examples deviations are gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, iron deficiency and dehydration although this is by no means an extensive list.

You should also consider other injections you may require during pregnancy so as to make informed choices and prepare yourself. If your blood group is a negative one your maternity team will recommend that you have anti-D injections. These injections prevent antibodies developing in your blood which may reject any future pregnancies. You should also consider your options around pain relief in labour. Would you accept an intramuscular injection or an epidural? Another injection frequently accepted by women is one to assist in the delivery of the placenta after the birth of the baby. This injection is called syntocinon or syntometrine (it varies in different hospitals), it makes the uterus contract faster and stronger than your body naturally does and speeds up the delivery of the placenta slightly. This is completely optional and something for you to consider leading up to your due date.

To help you manage your phobia and reduce the stress and anxiety it causes there are a couple of things you can do. Firstly you can ask to lay down during the blood tests. If you are horizontal you won't faint. Secondly you can buy a cream with numbing qualities from a local pharmacy. You can then apply the cream to the inside of your elbows before your appointments to ensure you don't feel the needle going in (the most popular cream I know of is one called EMLA cream.)

I hope that helps. Let me know if I can help you further.

Omg this is brilliant! Thank you so much! I couldn't sleep last night I'd got myself into a state! Been looking up calming breathing techniques all day to try to combat panic attacks, no one can come with me this time, normally I take someone that can carry me out when I pass out! It's so much better when I'm prepared with all my distraction techniques! Thank you again xx

Hi, just to say it depends on where you live re making your booking appointment with the midwife. In my health care trust you are referred by your GP and attend the booking appointment at the hospital before you are transfered over to the community team (children's centres, local GP surgery etc). So don't worry about wasting your GPs time it might be the same in your health care trust too.

Good luck x

Hello congratulations on the pregnancy news. I have a massive fear of needles too and panicked about giving blood as soon as I found out I was pregnant.

Just to reassure you, when you go to the GP's for your first appointment let them know about the needle phobia. They will then make these notes in the front of your pregnancy notes, and every time bloods are due I found the nurses were very good and made sure they used a fine needle and prepared me properly by laying me down etc the fine needle made things painfree and I hardly felt anything.

The first bloods I had to give was at the hospital appointment around week 12 for the first scan just to make you aware.

Hope this helps!


Congratulations on your news! Im in South Wales and I know it's different depending on your local health authority but I'll tell you what's happened with me so far. I'm 9weeks+3days and it's my first pregnancy. I rang my doctors as soon as I found out I was pregnant at 4weeks+3days as I just didn't have a clue what to expect. They told me I didn't need an appointment with a doctor or nurse and had to instead go in and fill in a form and collect a maternity pack. The midwife then checked my form and contacted me to book my first appointment with her which I attended last week. I had to fill in as many details as possible in the maternity pack before meeting her to cover family health history. I didn't have any bloods or urine tests at the appointment as I was very low risk for sickle cell and thallasaemia. I'll be having my first blood tests at 12 weeks when I go for my first scan. So it may depend on your family health history but I wouldn't expect any bloods to be taken until you are 8-9weeks at the earliest and that's only if you're at risk of certain things. Let the doctors/nurses/midwives know of your phobia and try not to worry (I know that's easier said than done!). And if you do want someone with you then take someone, you don't have to go alone. My husband came with me to the booking appointment for support and because he wanted to know what happens too. I hope that helps! Good luck! Xx

I was exactly the same! I used Emla cream (doc can prescribe it) on my arm when I had blood tests when I was pregnant. You put it on 1 hour before your blood test/injection and it numbs the area completely so you don't feel a thing. As long as you don't look, you wont even know its happening!

I know when I found out I was pregnant I took 4 pregnancy tests at home then when I went to my Dr he did a pregnancy test....blood work is just more accurate but if u r scared of needles see if u r Dr will do a pregnancy test at the clinic :) hope that helps

hi I too am needle phobic and pass out. Few tips which may help you on seeing the midwife you will be asked for booking bloods then at roughly 12 weeks you will be offered a nuchal scan which also requires a blood test if you choose to have this. To save on stress I had my booking bloods done today with my nuchal bloods following my scan. Not to go in to too much detail but 4 tubes were taken but only one needle and I always tell them I'm needle phobic and I lay down not looking. I did pass out but it wasn't as bad as I imagined. Good luck xx

Keep your GP appointment to get Emla cream and tegaderm dressings for your blood test at your booking in appointment and keep getting it in. If you haven't used it before, its basically magic in a tube and numbs the skin. You can use it for blood tests and injections (there are 2 injections recommended, whooping cough and flu). I'm very needle phobic and have to control the situation so I say when it happens (I normally prefer as soon as I get into appointments to get it out the way). I had my whooping cough vaccine today and paced about, breathed deeply and tried to focus on my toddler (yup, been through it all before and still have a phobia) who was watching the whole process. I dont use emla for injections as I'm trying to work through my phobia. Be aware that they will take a few different tests at the booking in and this will mean several vials but one needle but just focus on deep, controlled, slow breathing and it will take a very short time. Taking someone with you may help as they can focus your attention. There is also alot to take in at the appointment so it may help having another brain to remember stuff when your dealing with adrenaline. Make nurses etc aware of your phobia and remember that you say when and where things happen. Just prepare as much as you can for all eventualities and it will make you feel better. Keep using Emla which takes the pain issue away and remember that it's over quickly and just keep breathing. Oh and nurses inc. midwives are often better at taking blood than GPs as they do it more often. Best of luck.

Hello, how r u? Have u had any appointments yet? Best wishes x

RedRobin1 profile image
RedRobin1 in reply to ReBeCcA-90

Hi yes, I'm 15 weeks now and have had 2 blood tests so far, one at booking appointment and one for nuchal scan/ultrasound, both were ok, I took partner with and the emla cream is a lifesaver! So much better with the cream although I keep putting it on the left arm and the appointments both wanted my right arm! But they had to use my left as they saw the panic! The second nurse was a little nervous herself which was slightly unnerving! My partner had to distract me with lunch options as she kept talking to me about veins and blood flow bleurgh puke! Xx hope you're ok xx

Pleased u have been getting on well with tests, it's always best to have them done! All well thanks, bout to drop lol can't wait! Take care xx


Also needle phobic! My booking bloods at 12 weeks were fine as I didn’t know I was having them, and had previously seen baby scan so was floating on cloud nine. They even had to take blood from my hand! Yuk.

Pregnancy involves many blood tests,,,and I personally never get used to them and pass out regularly. At one point I was having one every 2 weeks due to a high white blood count. Take a companion, and request that they tilt the chair back as you are likely to faint. A sugary drink after seemed to help.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!

RedRobin1 profile image
RedRobin1 in reply to Fliss123

Aww thanks it’s not great for the squeamish! I’m now 38 weeks, had to have fasting glucose tests as well as the normal ones and some extra iron deficiency ones, still lying down, using numbing cream and filling my mouth full of sweets to get through it! Only passed out in the drs waiting room once so far as I tried to escape to get fresh air and didn’t make it! Oops! Good luck to you too xx

roxannacar profile image
roxannacar in reply to RedRobin1

Is it worth looking getting some sort of psychotherapy for this needle phobia for the future? Not sure if available on the NHS but might be worth looking into it

RedRobin1 profile image
RedRobin1 in reply to roxannacar

would make things easier, a friend had hypnotherapy and it was fab, but does cost, don’t think nhs do it unless it’s causing you health issues which it isn’t xx

As someone who's scared to get pregnant (but desperate to start a family!) reading this thread has been so helpful. I'm scared of anything medical but reading your stories makes me see women simply tough it out! Even reading that some of you passed out makes me feel more normal in my concerns! Good luck to you all and well done for being so brave!xxx

RedRobin1 profile image
RedRobin1 in reply to LPR17

Most of the midwives and nurses I have seen have been understanding as long as you say upfront, I might pass out, they can prep a bed for you then you’re less likely to go out and if you do, no harm done, don’t try n escape like me, my partner was cross as I’d taken him with me to catch me or carry me out if they needed the room quickly afterwards for the next person and I said I was going to the loo and passed out on the way! Now I’m not allowed to go to the loo without him on bloods appointments! He he he! I make sure I have eaten well before and don’t have too much of a workload that day at work, take someone with me to distract me and drive me home, I just had to tough it out (with the help of the skin numbing cream meant for kiddies! Which has been a wonder for me!) I see it as me getting tougher for the main event, we’ll see how tough I am then...eek! Xx

Ah thank you for your response, it's so reassuring that I wouldn't be the only one to react that way. Sometimes it's just a natural reaction to try to escape what's making you feel panicked/ faint, I will definitely need my husband there to stop me hitting the floor! You've been super brace as it's not easy when you are that nervous. Best of luck for the main event- you will be able to handle anything after this and have a gorgeous little bundle as a rewards! Keep us posted on how you get on!xxx

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