Midwife

Hi everyone.

Yesterday I saw my midwife for the first time in my home time as all my care had been up at uni. The midwife I saw followed me to the toilets when I went to do a urine sample and outrightly asked me if my partner hits me.

I'm aware midwifes are trained to pick up on this sort of thing however she had no reason to ask such a question. I don't have bruises and he wasn't controlling in anyway. I feel like now she's going to be really judgmental when I see her, and don't really want to go to my next appointment. Any ideas on how to handle it? Would you's complain or just carry on as normal?

Thanks in advance

17 Replies

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  • Hi, I'm not 100% sure but think it's a routine part of their assessment. I was asked on the first appointment I attended without my husband if there were any domestic abuse issues regarding myself and other children at home. The impression my midwife gave me was that it was a standard question that they ask but at any time I needed to confide in her I could, it was a quick enquiry that I didn't really read much into. sounds like your midwife took the opportunity of you providing a sample as the the time to speak to you on your own, there's little point in asking in front of your partner as this would influence the answer and indeed could put you at risk if there were abuse issues. If you feel that there was more to the questioning than I did with my experience give your midwife a call, discuss it with her to see if there are any concerns, to put your own mind at rest.

  • Carry on as normal I was also asked first time I saw a midwife, caught me off guard but like lucie8881 said routine part of assessment! Congrats on pregnancy xx

  • Hey,

    Thanks it's made me feel a little bit better. She asked me all them sorts of questions when doing the paperwork but when she followed me to the toilets she genually sounded concerned and it worried me.

    I may just mention it to her at my next appointment as my partner won't be attending x

  • These days they do ask you if your partner isnt there, they found that without asking many women dont say anything about it. She probably took the chance to follow you to ask you without your partner there in case asking caused any problems. just speak to her when you next see her, its rare youll find a judgemental midwife theyve seen it all over the years.

  • In some surgeries, there's a pen in the toilet and instructions. If you are being abused in any way you should put a dot on your hand. Then the midwife can arrange to see you without your partner. It's sad but it's happening all around us. You should feel grateful that your midwife is on the ball with it. Imagine if you were being abused... that could have been the help you needed. She's doing her job, that's all.

  • I was asked as part of the routine questions at my booking appointments for both pregnancies. In my 'green book' where everything is recorded, there is a printed question and the midwife has to tick it if she has asked about domestic violence. It's in a list of other questions! So hopefully it was just the normal questioning. Like the others have said, it would be pointless asking in front of your partner. I went without my husband so they could ask.

  • I've got four children three pregnancies. Each time I've been asked and the reason they ask you alone is if you are getting abused or slapped if the abuser is sat there your not likely to admit it or ask for help. Don't worry it's a totally normal part of early appointment but don't worry if they ask you more as things change and your and your unborn child/childrens safety is paramount. Everybody gets asked don't take offence. Congratulations on your pregnancy xx

  • I understand those of you who are saying she needs to ask in case I was getting abused but in my personal opinion if that was the case I wouldn't have said anything either. She didn't ask in a caring sort of way and it did seem out of context. I'm 27 weeks so my booking appointment had already been done where they questions had been asked in a correct manner, all she needed to do was update my notes so my new surgery had a copy. I still have to carry both packs around with me as all my scan information is in the old one.

    Maybe I'm just been paranoid but the way the question was asked seemed very unprofessional. I'll just have to have a chat with her next week as my partner won't be at that appointment.

    Thanks everyone zz

  • Sorry but yes you are just being paranoid. It's true that while many abused women will deny and play down abuse, that is not a reason to not ask. If even one woman is able to talk about it and get help to leave it's worth asking.

    I'm quite unsure why it is you are taking this quite so personally given the responses you've had here. My partner is not abusive in the slightest and I was asked on various occasions. It never upset me, they are just doing their jobs. And the fact you think she'd be judging you if you were abused is a little weird? I think you just need to forget about it and let it go. They'll ask you a lot of awkward questions throughout your pregnancy, and once then any is born. It's nothing to do with judging just ensuring they can provide the right support and advice to keep you and your baby safe.

    All the best with your pregnancy, and congrats. Try not to worry about things like this.

  • It wasn't the fact that she asked the question. It was the way she went about it that's all. I understand they have a job to do and why they ask the questions they do it was just how she went about asking the question that I didn't understand

  • I can understand that. I didn't mean to sound judgey in anyway. But I suspect you reading far too much into it that's all.

    She was never going to ask you in front of your partner and saying does you partner hit you, while perhaps not how I'd say it is really no different to is your partner abusive no? If you really want to complain of course it is your right to do so, similarly if you feel so uncomfortable about it then raise it with her. Not all medical professionals have the best bedside procedure and I'm sure she is neither judging you nor meant any offence.

    The best advice I can give you is to try not to worry, and relax.

  • And in terms of moving care yes, they will ask you again. They can't just rely on what your previous NHS trust has down that would be unprofessinal.

    I also moved care and had basically the same experience. In effect they redo your booking appointment for their records.

  • If you moved an its a new midwife she'll have to ask again as things changed and as she doesnt know you she hasnt got any personal knowledge of you or your partner. Any responsible midwife would ask when they havent met you before as they need to see your reaction to be able to work out if you might be saying no because your scared. She wouldnt be doing her job if she took it on faith whats on the paperwork as people do lie all the time. Im not saying you are but she is simply doing her job.

    Some midwives dont come across as caring as they see too many women to get attached to everyone patient they see, they tend to be over worked these days as they are very short staffed.

  • Some midwives/medical professionals are just a bit odd, and lacking in people skills. The midwife from my first pregnancy was a very strange lady and could be rude and dismissive at times. Towards the end I used to pray that she wouldn't be taking my apt and most of the time one of her colleagues would. They usually work in teams of 3 or 4. Maybe ask your dr how you would go about switching if she makes you feel really uncomfortable.

  • It might help to know that midwives have to ask each and every woman about whether they experience abuse . Often the only opportunity to ask the woman alone is when she goes to the toilet . There's no reason to feel negatively about being asked, or that you have been singled out. The midwife is just doing her job, and would be able to help a woman who needed it to get support .

  • Hi, my midwife was completely fantastic and so nice but i agree the standard blunt way of asking some of their questions is probably not for the best for all types of patients . Not many people would probably seize the opportunity to discuss / disclose abuse in response to a question that comes straight out of the blue with no preamble I would imagine. I'm not being abused in any way but if I were and if I were likely to respond then I would have probably told a GP before that or contacted a helpline . I think they would get more honest answers by introducing the topic gently x

  • It's not something to complain about. I'd rather a midwife wrongly ask a woman that question than to be afraid to ask and leave a woman vulnerable danger.

    She will not say why she thinks that, maybe she asks everyone that question, maybe she has access to information from your partners past (relationship/criminal record).

    You can simply request another midwife if you are uncomfortable for whatever reason.

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