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Question
Posted by: Bubbles | 2004/11/09

not up to standard?

i have been with the same doctor since i was 14 years old. when my first child was born, we lived in another province and i had to make use of another gp. my son is now 15 (yes, ripley's believe it or not!!) and i fell pregnant again! my husband and i were overjoyed and i immediately said i wanted our family doctor to take care of myself and the baby.

i am now 12 weeks pregnant, and up to this moment, the doctor has only seen me twice (said it wasn't necessary for any addisional consultations, since i am quite healthy). he didn't prescribe any vitamins or supplements (eventhough i've been suffering from an iron deficiency for months before i became pregnant), has not referred me for a scan, has not examined me in spite of the fact that i am 37 years old and had a lot of problems during my first pregnancy, or even listened to the baby's heartbeat. NOTHING!

i honestly feel that the treatment i am receiving is not up to standard. (can't remember everything from 15 years ago, but i am sure my previous doctor paid a lot more attention to my pregnancy and the wellfare of my baby). my husband says i may be overreacting - like most pregnant women. am i? or am i right in feeling that a lot more should have been done in the 7 weeks since my pregnancy was confirmed?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

You should be taking folate supplements as well as multivitamins.
Two visits before 12 weeks is fine but, at these visits, you should have had a scan to confirm the fetal heart is present. Also you may wish to have screening for Down syndrome. A screening test (special scan) can be done at 13 weeks which will give you your risk for this, or you could have an amniocentesis at 16 weeks which will give you a definite result. You should discuss these with your doctor.
Best wishes

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Norma | 2004/11/09

Hi,

Trust your instincts, if you don't feel happy with your doc, get someone els, and like the ladies said, you need to see a gynea. Don't want to scare you but you are 37. You need to get some tests done and atleast see your baby's heartbeat.

Congrats on your pregnancy and good luck, this must be like a first pregnancy again!!!!

Reply to Norma
Posted by: Purple | 2004/11/09

Huge advances have been made in the last 15 years. Definitely see a Gynae!

You normally have a dating scan at 5 or 6 weeks when you discover you are pregnant.
You have a detailed nuchal fold scan and blood tests as a screening for down syndrom at 12 weeks (only if you have high risk do you then get offered an amnio). Some doctors don't do this, and instead do "triple test" blood tests at 16 weeks.
You should be taking folic acid (to help prevent spina bifida) and a specially formulated pregnancy multi vitamin (in your case with extra iron - e.g. Chela preg) for the duration of your pregnancy and for about 6 months afterwards. (both of these are available over the counter at the chemist).

As Jj says, you will then have scans at every visit. They check for kidney functioning, count the fingers and toes, check for anencephaly, they check that baby is growing adequately, they check lung function, and whether baby is distressed or not.

Also, do yourself a favour and go for ante-natal classes. You no longer give birth lying on your back (this increases pain horrendously, and makes the birth process more difficult as you are going against gravity), you are encouraged to get up and move around (so baby's head pushes on cervix and it dilates faster), go to the loo often (reduces pain), give birth up right (uses gravity).
Your are not shaved or given an enema unless you request it. You are allowed to tear rather than have an episiotomy, as the tear heals better.
You can eat and drink during labour, as you need the energy for such hard work.

Your husband should attend ante-natal with you, as he can then learn how best to support you through the birth.

You can request immediate skin to skin contact with your baby so that s/he can latch onto your breast immediately. This will mean that you aren't as likely to have latching problems, as baby's sucking reflex is at its strongest then, and so you won't have to go through cracked nipples.

The apgar tests can by done while baby is on your abdomen. The weighing and measuring can happen an hour or more after birth.

GP's don't really deliver babies anymore, so your's might have only very limited experience. I would definitely encourage a change to a gynae.

If your husband is worried about the fees, then see a gynae for all your check ups but have a private mid wife do the delivery.

Good luck.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Jj@ | 2004/11/09

You mentioned that it is gp. You should ideally be with a gynae when you are pregnant, becauce they do the scans at each visit and do the blood tests etc. If you are healthy the gynea also just sees you every 6 weeks during the first half of the preganancy, unless there appears to be complications or if you are high risk. I only went for blood tests when I was 16 weeks pregnant. Try to get an appointment with a gynae.

Reply to Jj@

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