Private midwife...good for nervous first time mum or u... - NCT

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Private midwife...good for nervous first time mum or unnecessary?

MrsG1 profile image

Hi, im 7 weeks roughly and am due my first midwife appointment on Tuesday and have booked a private scan in a weeks time as this is my first pregnancy and I'm a real worrier and suffer with anxiety. I wondered if there's anyone out there who has used a private midwife for assurance and whether it's worth it for peace of mind or if I'm being silly and spending a lot of money unnecessarily?

My husband has 2 children already and he has mixed views as knows what I'm like (irrational worrier). I have a great support network of family and friends but would be interested to hear from anyone who's used a private midwife before

Thanks x

33 Replies

I would say that it's totally up to you if you choose to see a private midwife. It's your pregnancy and you know what you need to cope with what can be a nerve wracking time (but also a lovely one :D).

Depending not which hospital you choose to have your baby at, some hospitals will have an assigned midwife or team of midwives that you see. So you may not need a private one. My own experience was not like this and I saw a different person each time (for my final prebirth check up and after I delivered the baby i did see the same midwife at my GP surgery though).

I was told by this midwife that it shouldn't have been like that though and she wasn't sure why it had been like that for me. This said, I was very happy with my career, and all but one of the midwives I saw was absolutely lovely - the only reason I didn't warm to the one is because she was very matter of fact about the whole thing, didn't really seem to care that it was my first baby and how full of excitement, anticipation and nerves I was. I guess it's her job every single day and she just saw me as another patient. You could always explain your concerns at your 10 week check up so they can arrange your care to suit your needs.

I hope you can come to a decision and best of luck with the pregnancy! :)

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to Kempton

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I think that's my concern, that I won't see the same person twice and they won't necessarily be 'on hand' for any irrational worries or questions I have lol. I just spoke to my husband again and he doesn't think it's necessary so I may see how Tuesday goes (my first midwife app) and ask some of thees questions then. Thank you x

Kempton profile image
Kempton in reply to MrsG1

Definitely raise your concerns about anxiety. But also try and be positive! Good luck

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to Kempton

Thank you

I haven’t used a private midwife but every NHS midwife I came across were lovely.

I was seriously anxious about my pregnancy as it was my second one after a miscarriage and it was IVF so was worried about everything but I just booked myself a couple of private scans to keep me calm.

You could always see how you feel with your midwife when you see her and go from there? Xx

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to

I think that's what I will do, I've got my first appointment on Tues so I'm going to ask if I'm likely to see the same person throughout and what the situation is for added help and support. I'm also a little nervy about having someone deliver the baby that I won't have seen throughout the pregnancy but I suppose that's part and parcel of it x

in reply to MrsG1

I saw my midwife for every appointment except one when she was on holiday.

I had tons of different midwives when I was in labour as they end their shifts etc but when your in labour you really don’t care who is there or what is going on xx

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to

That's true! I probably won't care one bit or be aware of who's even there lol! Thank you for your advice, it seems the next step is to go Tuesday and talk through the process with the midwife and see x

in reply to MrsG1

All I can say is try to enjoy the pregnancy as much as you can. I am a major worrier as well and I drove my hubby mad with all my questions and anxieties and I wish I could of enjoyed it a bit more.

Knowing the midwife was always a call or text away is always a relief as well if not there is also a triage line you can ring whenever which thankfully I never had to use but have heard that they are always nice wherever you are in the country xx

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to

Are you able to call or text the NHS midwives during your pregnancy then?

in reply to MrsG1

I was allowed to text and call my own midwife for minor advice but obviously anything urgent you would have to call the triage line for advice xx

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to

Good to know! Thank you xx

Kempton profile image
Kempton in reply to

Yep! Definitely true about the labour. And I would say that once your baby is in your arms you are in absolute awe of whichever midwife is with you :D

Like you I was very anxious throughout my pregnancy as it was my first baby as a result of IVF. Fortunately I saw the same community midwife for all of my prenatal appointments and apart from one slight misunderstanding with her I couldn’t fault the care I received from her. I knew when it came to giving birth she wouldn’t be present which didn’t bother me and I ended up having an emergency csection anyway. We booked an additional scan early on for peace of mind.

I’d say do what you feel most comfortable with you want to be as relaxed and reassured as possible throughout your pregnancy x

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to Shanks_21

Thank you! Im going to ask at my appointment on Tuesday if I'm likely to see the same person throughout. I suppose I want to build a rapport or bond with someone really who will be there from start to finish but it's an awful lot of money to pay for something that maybe just my own fault for being a worrier x

Hi,

I am also incredibly nervous and slightly neurotic!

I’m 11 weeks pregnanct and have had several private scans due to a diagnosis from my ivf clinic that I had conjoined twins where one was dead and one still living but we had to terminate at 7 weeks.

The nhs scan and private scans have shown just one baby.

Instead of having a private midwife which is actually rather expensive, have you thought about a Doula?

She is a birthing partner, most of them are trained midwifes and help you before, during and after the birth.

This is what I’m seriously thinking about doing.

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear you've had such a difficult time and it'd completely understandable why you're nervous.

I've never heard of this!!! But I will definitely look into it thank you! It sounds promising xx

I second what Hydromermaid-1 said. My pregnancy was a result of IVF and had a missed miscarriage before, so I was super worried. I had private scans every 2-3 weeks the first trimester. Maybe it was over the top, but that was my way to cope with anxiety. I didn’t hire a private midwife, and I don’t feel I needed one. I saw lots of different midwives and they were all lovely. One thing to remember, there were times where my blood sam0les were lost! But I think this has to do with my GP practice, they are awful. Just make sure to chase any results.

Make sure you enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible. I didn’t enjoy it because I was a massive worrier and I now miss it. Take care and best of luck xx.

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to a1234567

Thank you, you're right I need to try and enjoy it! It's hard though as there are so many things to think of! I really appreciate everyone's reassurance so thank you! X

Everyone is different. However, for myself, there is a lot of reading materials and included on your NHS Maternity Notes Website. However, there is just so much a midwife can advise and then it's up to yourself to practice and focus. There are many other classes that will help, like hypnobirthing class, hiring a doula, etc., they are all useful but they all cost ££. It all comes to balancing affordability and peace of mind.

I did a private scan during my 22 weeks (it comes with the Harmony Test package) and I would say it was worth it. The trimester of pregnancy can get very confused and I understand your anxiousness and sometimes I do feel left out during the early weeks of pregnancy.

There are clubs you can attend, NCT bump meeting, they meet monthly (i am yet to attend one myself)? and during this meeting, you are able to speak to mums and a great place to express and share opinions.

I am sending positive vibes to you and hope you can find calm. It is very important that you feel calm, focus and let your baby grow. Drink plenty of water and eat healthily, take plenty of rest <3.

Thank you lovely! All those bits are really helpful and I shall look up all the classes etc so I can meet and talk to other new mums. Ive always wanted children and ours was planned but now the times come it's all very daunting and I feel like 9 months isn't long enough to learn all I need to eeek! Fingers crossed it will all fall into place xx

Good luck with whatever you chose. I think your experience of midwives and prenatal care can be very different in different parts of the country. I have had two children in a small town in Derbyshire and am pregnant with my third in a tiny village in Leicestershire- all of my care has been very personal and superb. I have friends who have lived in London, Surrey and Leicester city where care has not been so good and in a couple of cases they shelled out for private midwives and were very happy. All I would say is that regardless of nhs or private care your midwife is bound to have holidays during your pregnancy so you won’t be able to guarantee the same person at every appointment and for every query. Like the other women, I have seen tens of midwives over the three pregnancies and they have almost all been amazing. Xx

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to Milliemilham

Thank you! Im based in Brighton so I imagine the demand is very high! You're right about holidays etc and I suppose if you have a long labour you would get multiple different midwives dues to shifts. I know the private midwife company I contacted said they don't give midwives to more that one woman due at the same time but I don't know what would happen if youre in labour for a long time! Be good to know if anyone has used one and if it's worthwhile x

in reply to MrsG1

I’m not far from you, I’m in Bognor Regis x

I’m also quite anxious and was bleeding in my first pregnancy, had an abnormal 20 week scan that really stressed. In my second pregnancy I fell down the stairs at 8 weeks and panicked. My third pregnancy ended in emergency surgery as it was ectopic, and I lost the baby and one Fallopian tube.

I’m now in my 4th pregnancy, 15 weeks pregnant and have had 6 scans. I’ve had two bleeds (one at 7 weeks, one at 14). I’ve also had a lot of pain - looks like because of scar tissue from the ectopic and hyperemesis.

With all pregnancies I’ve had private additional scans and you can get those for about £60 (having another one in a few days for £59 here in London).

Despite all, I would not have gone for a private midwife. Yes, you will see different people BUT there is a LOT of support out there. In these last 15 weeks I have been seen by about 10-15 different people (I have a heart condition as well so am under a number of consultants), but they have always been happy to see me and listen to my worries, watched me cry my eyes out again and again.

I think your money is better spent getting the odd additional scan, attending relaxation classes (pregnancy yoga/hypnobirthing/pregnancy massages etc etc), and joining something like the NCT to meet other women in your situation.

Is a private midwife really going to take your anxiety away? Yes, I’ve had the odd midwife that I didn’t click with or like but overall they’ve all been fab and I’m to 18 weeks you have the constant support of the EPU if you need it, and thereafter the 24-hour assessment unit. With both full term pregnancies that I’ve had they have always taken me seriously and called me to come in when I was worried about something.

There is so much else you can do to help with your anxiety and I honestly don’t think that a private midwife will take your worries all away. In those dark hours in the middle of the night you’ll still worry ‘but what if...’, so finding ways of reducing your anxiety through relaxation and pampering etc might be much better use of your money and help you prepare for birth etc.

But only you will know gay really helps you!

SilkeP profile image
SilkeP in reply to SilkeP

Sorry, I hadn’t read other replies - I’ve duplicated a little..!

Can I also add, I went for a detailed private 20 week scan in London, and they ‘found’ something. They suggested it might be Patau, Edwards or Downs. The bladder was white when it shouldn’t have been. They’d said I could do amniocentesis but that there’s a risk of miscarriage and wanted me to go to their colleagues in Harley Street, Central London. By that point we would’ve been talking about costs of over £1000.

I went back to my NHS care and they immediately referred me to specialists at St George’s, in South London. After some very thorough examination they concluded that yes the tummy was a bit white but as I had an early bleed they think the baby swallowed some blood resulting in a bit of a white tummy on the ultrasound. They said that nothing else pointed towards any serious disability. We declined any further testing based on their advice but had gone through two weeks of hell by that point.

Our son is a very healthy 4 year old now.

What I am trying to say is that I am sure there are a lot of very decent private places out there but just because they are private does not make them better experienced and does not mean they provide better care or have more interest in your personal wellbeing. In our case we feel they simply wanted to make more money out of us. It’s like private schools (I’m a teacher), everyone seems to think that the education at private schools should be better - I worked as a teacher in a private school BEFORE I was a qualified teacher... and now work in a state school. My teaching was not better at the private school in central London... but it cost the parents £20,000/year.

We are still doing private small scans (reassurance scans) but otherwise rely on the expertise of the NHS.

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to SilkeP

Thank you for your replies, im sorry to hear you've had such a difficult time with your pregnancies. I have booked a private scan next week (first scan) and have my first midwife app on Tuesday. I just want to see the same person really thoughout but will ask the chances of that when I see the midwife on tues. Thanks for all your tips on treatments etc x

SilkeP profile image
SilkeP in reply to MrsG1

I can sympathise.

Back in Germany where I’m from you’re under the constant care of ONE person and that’s what I was expecting when I was pregnant with my first.

I’ve seen a few midwives more than once and maybe things are busier here in London than in Brighton but I’d be surprised if you can see the same midwife regularly.

This time round I was seen in one part of London for my 8 week booking appointment, by the hospital for my 13 week consultation appointment, and my 16 week midwife appointment is in another’s area again, so I’d be very surprised to be seeing the same midwife again.

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to SilkeP

Hi, thanks for your comments! Can I ask what your general experience was despite seeing different people?

SilkeP profile image
SilkeP in reply to MrsG1

I didn’t like the first set of midwives at the first location with my son. They didn’t care much and were a bit like ‘one in one out’. The good thing was that I lived in an area that was attached to three different children centres where they do the midwife check ups and I had no more problems once I’d moved over.

In another new place with No2 I was seen by a range of midwives and they were all really caring. Although I’d always been quite keen to have ONE midwife, i felt that i was enjoying the different ideas they were sharing, the different opinions they had (by that i mean ways of coping with anxiety etc not professional opinions), and I felt that if I was crying my eyes out to one of them, I could do that to the next one again without her thinking ‘not her again’ ;-)

With this pregnancy now it’s been fantastic as I have been even more stressed out due to what happened in January. I can honestly say that I’ve had nothing but overly caring midwives around me. Just on Tuesday I lay there after another bleed and crying my eyes out in the EPU and there were three of them giving me their thoughts and reassuring me (also about my heart condition).

I’d say go to the 8 week appointment and tell them about your worries. At the 8 week appointment they really have a lot of time set aside for you. Ask them whether you could be seen by one or two midwives throughout and maybe that’s doable. I mean, you have 8 weeks between seeing them for the first time and then seeing them again at 16 weeks. If you book in really early they might be able to arrange for you to see the same person.

Just to let you know, I went for my 16 week check up today in a different place to last time, but had the same midwife!

I asked her whether I’ll see her every time and she said ‘probably’! She asked me to just ask for her name when I book in for my 28 week appointment.

So, really seems possible :-)

MrsG1 profile image
MrsG1 in reply to SilkeP

Great thank you, I'm going to take my diary and try to book in my next one there and then with the same person (providing they're nice lol) x

Kate91 profile image
Kate91 in reply to MrsG1

My midwife has always booked my next appointment at he current one but doesn't mean you'll see same person as if there are a. Ouple of midwives that cover your area they share a diary that tends to stay in that office.

They all have access to your notes regardless and in my experience are all willing to take on board what you say. I have seen multiple midwives but have the number for my main midwife so I can text or call her anytime.

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