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No Prenatal Care? …..What are YOU Hiding??

I read so much in various blogs about  beautiful births or births where  mothers have planned for beautiful births and then may have received sub-optimal care, things went awry or not as planned and they have every right to be upset or angry.  What about the some of those moms out there who do no planning what so ever? What is their story?? Sometimes it’s ugly…. very ugly.

I am supposed to be working on my cultural breastfeeding project… but alas– since I am having SO much trouble gathering the info and data that I need…. I’ve directed my energy to one of my other committee projects. We are revising our current Maternal / Infant Drug Screening  and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Screening Policy. I thought, I’m hoping…. that this may be interesting reading for some of you. Maybe you can help and give me your thoughts, your ideas…..

This post is NOT in conflict with my current views of women educating themselves and deciding for a birth of their choice whether it be a homebirth or unassisted birth……  I am very much in support of an individual mother’s educated choice or decisions.

No– This is about those individuals who do not educate themselves and who do NOT seek any prenatal care.  (No Prenatal Care = NPC) ..We have to ask what are you hiding????  We, the staff, become detectives. We check out all your stories and we check them out carefully. Sometimes, we just don’t believe you…. we always take the baby’s side!

Warning….. you are going to see a little of my darker, non-trusting side for a change….

009Most common reasons for NPC or Late Entry to Prenatal Care seen at my facility:

  • #1  reason— Illicit street drug use—-  the most common? THC (cannabis or marijuana), Cocaine,  and Opiates
  • Abuse by an intimate partner… both violent and non-violent (Isolated from friends/family)
  • Alcohol abuse without other substance abuse
  • Adolescent Pregnancy- hiding pregnancy from other family members
  • Fleeing Children and Youth agencies were they live and are possibly under review or have lost custody of other children for various reasons….
  • Diminished mental capacity with inadequate support systems
  • Low socio-economic group with limited or no access to transportation (Why are these the people with huge amounts of visitors… we have to ask-how did those visitors get here?? And where were they- with their cars during the pregnancy?)

There have been some women who sometimes don’t seek prenatal care because of cultural reasons especially if there is not a local female provider and it is against their religion or culture for a male to care for/examine them.  This has happened here ….but not often.

When patients arrive in labor or for labor checks, and we don’t have any records available to us…the following situations lead us to suspect NPC :

  • “I’m visiting here for the weekend…my doctor is in NYC or NJ” –yet unable to provide a name or #
  • “I just moved up here and I didn’t get my records transferred” — yet unable to provide a name or # (Sometimes with either of these situations, we are provided with a ficticious doctor’s name associated with a real hospital)
  • Drug seeking behavior
  • Conflicting information on prenatal care…. always a different story..
  • Stories of other children not living with them “right now”..
  • “I’m just here on vacation and I didn’t know I was pregnant…”….”I swear!” (that a whole other story!)

There are a few other situations which, even though we have access to prenatal records,

lead us to believe there could possibly be illicit illegal substance abuse:001

  • Very late entry into prenatal care … late 2nd or 3rd trimester (chaotic lifestyle)
  • Arrival in 3rd trimester with bleeding..  especially a spontaneous abruption
  • Unexplained sudden elevated blood pressure without associated symptoms
  • Prematurity- preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes
  • Inappropriate behaviors
  • Noncompliance with provider recommendations for care…without explanation
  • Unexplained IUGR … Intrauterine Growth Restriction
  • Newborns with irritability, high-pitched cry, tremors, hypertonicity, vomiting, diarrhea and or tachypnea or other symptoms of withdrawal.

Gosh this isn’t like me….

I feel so pessimistic right now. I have seen each and every one of these situations or excuses and

I have seen them many times.

I need to say before I go on… that those individuals who are victims of domestic violence or have diminished mental capacities without proper support mechanisms…even those who may really have no access to transportation…. and young teens afraid to tell your families…..You are all in need of extra support and we have been trying to make sure the proper support mechanisms are there  for you once you enter into the health-care system.

That being said, the Drug Screening policy and protocols for our facility must be comprehensive to protect the newborn. When you do not have prenatal care, we become detectives to rule-out anything which can be harmful to your baby. Because illegal illicit drug use during pregnancy poses a danger to the newborn and because it is often a top reason for mother’s to avoid prenatal care…. our Perinatal Committee is intending to include all of the following in mandatory admission (urine for mother; urine and meconium for baby) drug screening protocols:

  • Any history of drug use either during this pregnancy, previous pregnancy or admitted past drug use (including past history of rehab)
  • Any mother in current rehab or in a methadone program
  • Any postive drug screen during the pregnancy… for any substance
  • Any clients flagged by Children and Youth to check for drug use during pregnancy upon arrival to L&D
  • No Prenatal Care
  • Conflicting history of PNC elsewhere…. unable to obtain records
  • History of  loss of custody or loss of parental rights for other children
  • Late entry into prenatal care especially with unexplained noncompliance
  • Third trimester bleeding
  • Sudden unexplained placental abruption
  •  Significantly elevated BP without associated symptoms
  • Prematurity
  • Drug seeking mother’s without a diagnosis requiring pain management
  • “Drive-by” deliveries.. no available confirmed prenatal care upon admission
  • Unexplained IUGR or Small for Gestational Age (SGA)
  • Newborns who develop symptoms of withdrawal (NAS)

I just might have forgotten something because I don’t even have my perinatal committee minutes here with  me. It is in the works. This is an extensive list, I know.   Some of you may feel this is an invasion of privacy. I do not. I feel the mother should be told her urine is being tested given sufficient cause as per our protocol.  There are many which will come up negative…I hope that happens MOST of the time. I believe our protocol should be consistently followed. Some states require mandatory HIV testing in pregnancy. Currently in PA we don’t. We may have many HIV positive mothers come through our doors to give birth and the baby never receives antivirals.

I will leave you with a story…… I have seen many mother’s come through with stories or explanations and I have been so trusting, so believing and defending them. Recently I encountered a mother from NYC who came to my hospital to give birth prematurely…. about 36 weeks.. a Mupfer…(“I’m up for the weekend”). She had provided us with a card of prenatal info (which later turned out to be fabricated) and told us she had lost all of her other babies..perinatal losses. She gave details etc… We all felt sorry for her. Her baby was small and developed mild respiratory issues then after 24 to 30 hours was in obvious full withdrawal. Turns out– she had fled the New York City Family Services and gave birth with us in PA because she had lost custody of all 5 of her children due to continued heroin and cocaine addiction. The baby tested positive for both once we tested him.  The mother skipped out when we confronted her. Our Children and Youth Services took protective custody of the baby. He was properly treated and was discharged to a foster home on medication.

As much as I believe in choice and informed decision for mothers …

I believe also in protection of the innocent newborns.

  1. I understand the position that doctors and hospitals are in regarding women who come in with no prenatal care. But as someone who UP/UCed, it is frustrating to think you will be treated as a drug user if you need to transfer for anything.

    I know without verification of prenatal care, you have to practice defensive medicine, but honestly, the hospital transfer horror stories amongst the UC crowd drives a bigger wedge between the two communities.

    It just underscores the desperate situation we have in our country, where without sufficient health care options, more and more women are being driven to UP/UC, and the antagonism just escalates.

    June 3, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Thank you Emily,– Actually I couldn’t agree more! I ALSO feel that certain practices of defensive medicine does drive a wedge further between those who choose out of hospital births whether it be unassisted or with a practitioner. I wish I knew who to fix it…. I was (and still am) so upset about this baby I had just taken care of and the suffering that took place– when I wrote this post. Perhaps I was not clear enough in the beginning that I AM still very much in support of those individuals who educate themselves, care for themselves and PLAN for their births at home. All of you who have read my posts have seen that I am consistently in support of informed choice. My co-workers and doctors are not. This is not my doing of course.. It is how it is. I have always tried to achieve a supportive balance between the medical model of care within which I have to work…. and the beautiful natural births I have had the opportunity to witness, observe, take part in or hear about. I wish it was a perfect world. I advocate and support women who have to transfer and have always tried to protect them from medical backlash. There is a difference between those who plan NPC and those who avoid it….. I was afraid that some you out there may not truly understand how difficult it is to care for large numbers of women who make poor choices, or no choices….. I don’t know the answer. I was looking for feedback and I got it! I guess I didn’t think that so many of you would take it personally if you knew you had planned for no PNC and an UC @ home…had to transfer and a drug screen may be part of the hospital routine. I guess I DO need to look at this from your perspective and bring that feedback back to the committee. Perhaps policies can be somehow worded differently for any planned homebirth transfer vs. NPC, no planning and entering into the hospital system @ birth. I am still somewhat confused as to why people think of a routine screening as “being treated like a drug addict”. Having dealt with both, I have seen these situations handled very sensitively. I am sure there are many who have seen the opposite and perhaps that is why they feel that way. I’m interested in the opinions of those responding …. of the policies of many types of employment like school bus drivers, health-care workers etc.. having to have a drug screen as part of a pre-employment physical. I look at this policy draft as something like that. There are some in my vicinity who feel the abuse of the welfare system is so bad it should be cause to create a drug screen policy where by individuals must pass screens weekly or monthly before receiving their benefits!! I really don’t know what the ultimate answer is, I appreciate what all of you have said and I am so sorry if I offended any of you. I have tremendous respect for all of you! I definitely will take this information back to the committee. Thanks so much!

      June 4, 2009
  2. Oh, this explains a LOT.

    Let me tell you a little story. At Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (VA), they routinely do not make prenatal appointments in the first trimester without something unusual going on (my first pregnancy, I had an appointment to date the pregnancy). So for my second pregnancy, I waited as instructed, then called the clinic to make an appointment. The clinic told me to call the Tricare appointment hotline. The Tricare appointment hotline told me to call the clinic to make an appointment. Back and forth, for about two months.

    The clinic also did not allow children to be present at OB appointments. I had no child care & couldn’t use the drop-in daycare because of our daughter’s delayed vax schedule (she wasn’t up to date, so they wouldn’t allow her). This further confounded things, as I had to try to make appointments that worked around my seagoing husband’s schedule. (I really knew no one, so I had no childcare options.)

    Between those two things, I was 3rd trimester before I got a prenatal appointment. And got to be lectured by an obstetrician who also questioned my husband’s fidelity when I declined STD tests. I made it to two prenatal appointments that pregnancy because I had my daughter a month early (and called the OB clinic from my hospital bed to cancel my next appointment).

    You can imagine the fun conversation I had with the social worker the hospital sent in to me.

    This also strongly played in to why I had no prenatal care with my third daughter. I just didn’t have it in me to deal with it again.

    June 3, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Sabra- Thank you for bringing that type of situation to my attention. The system certainly failed you and then treated you disrespectfully! I hope you understand this isn’t exactly the same as what I am trying to say… however– the way I have worded it…you would feel your situation fell into the proposed guidelines. Please read what I wrote to Emily. Thank you so much for letting me know your thoughts as I WILL take these back to the committee!

      June 4, 2009
  3. I have had consistent prenatal care in both of my pregnancies. I have never used illegal drugs, I do not suffer spousal abuse, I did everything I could to take care of myself and my baby. But my first child was 6 weeks early (as it turned out, due to acute chorionamnionitis).

    I have to be honest, if in the midst of dealing with a preterm infant and my own hemorrhage I had to undergo drug screening, I would have found it a bit unsettling. I likely would have felt judged or mistrusted. I already felt as if I had failed by giving birth early and then facing breastfeeding difficulties, it would have taken very little to push me over the edge.

    I believe that babies ought to be protected. But it needs to be done carefully and with sensitivity. And in a way that does not aggravate an already emotional parent who is going through a very trying experience.

    I would likely have a different perspective had I seen what you saw. I will say that watching some of the other mothers leave the NICU and smoke, or hearing them talk about how they weren`t pumping because they`d been out drinking caused me to feel pretty judgmental. And worried for their very small babies, struggling in the hospital.

    June 3, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Thanks Amber, I appreciate what you have said and I think that probably “prematurity” as a single factor as itself doesn’t state clearly enough who and who should not be included in screening procedures. Your birth situation is a good example. I believe in complete sensitivity and certainly not further compounding a mothers anxiety or emotional state. Please read what I wrote to Emily. Thank you so much for letting me know your thoughts as I WILL take these back to the committee!

      June 4, 2009
  4. Sabra, your story is interesting to imagine someone with family hardships or depression trying to navigate the system…..Sometimes it is very hard to get prenatal care. There is a place across the street from me that provides free pre and post-natal care to poor women. I often see them riding the bus with their 2 other children and carrying the baby gear they were given, all 9 month pregnant and in 90 degree heat. I know most of thease women are caught in a cultural exectation of no contraception and no help from the husband. I also have talked to a few that are bagered into repeat c-sections because the doc told them “the baby will die if you don’t just get another” Being in a very bad place (if their fault or not) does make it difficult to ‘do the right thing’. It is easier if you have a car, good insurance, supportive husband and family members, education and good health. The question really is how can those woman that need help with pre-natal care get it. Do we just abandon the women who needs help after the baby is born then?
    How do we check suspected drug users without offending those who are innocent? In the hospital I gave birth to my first child in, each mother/and father if present is given a short interview with a social worker. She was nice and I found her questions OK because everyone was asked them.
    It is a compicated issue but I still didn’t like being treated like a criminal because I had a CPM for my second pregnancy by the hospital staff who could not imagine that I did not have an ultrasound, GD test and many other mainstream pre-natal care tests. To them it was just the same as if I had no pre-natal care and was treated just like the women who you list above. Treated JUST the SAME. It does annoy me that they assumed I was a neglectful parent, ignorant person and horrible human because I did not just do what everyone else does. I bet they thought I was a drug user or mentaly challenged!

    June 4, 2009
  5. Very comprehensive post. We see several women each month with no prenatal care – or they use L&D and the ER as their “prenatal visits”. Makes for very disjointed care, but at least they’re getting “some” care by coming in to us or the ER. The excuses I usually hear are: don’t have the time for PN visits, don’t have a ride for PN visits (yet, they and their million family/friends come in via cars for the birth), or they do not speak English and are new immigrants and do not know where to seek care. Sometimes we get illegals also, where they come in to L&D and deliver.

    The thing is – we have two clinics available for free PN care. One requires you to apply for medical assistance, and the other will take anyone (whether they apply for MA or not – they get a lot of illegals and immigrants there). The 2nd clinic I referred to will also come and pick up women for their PN appts, and will drive them back home. So, getting to and from the clinic is not a problem.

    June 4, 2009
    • The problem with such things is a woman must know of their existence. If you are young & poor and you don’t know the right questions to ask, there is a LOT that can pass by you.

      June 4, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Hi AYC! Thanks for reading– I can say the same thing happens here more and more often. We also have the situation with immigrants. I would love to know your protocols for drug screening if you have any. Thanks

      June 10, 2009
    • Jenny #

      Let’s be honest yes their are programs that help expecting mothers with child care and food stamps and diapers and a crib and formula and housing . Now here’s another truth about the people that truly qualify for this assistance and those people are minority like African Americans , and Spanish and Indians. I don’t mean Indians like from tribe I mean the same Indians that own every mini mart and they own all these stores cause the government gives them a green card cause they lie and say there business will create jobs and that’s not what happens they hire nobody but there own race and it’s people like the minority who take advantage of the help out there for pregnant women who end up being denied because they are white and since they are white they are over qualified and it’s not fair white women need help to. So yeah we can’t afford the doctor visits because we have to pay full price and mostly African women have a bunch of kids as a job on purpose to receive free health care, money ,bills paid by government ,and they get hired everywhere they apply because white man gets a tax break. That is why white expecting mothers like myself can’t get help with my doctor bills for baby and don’t qualify for wic and I have no job or income because minority comes first when it come to getting a job. Ive been searching for a job for two years and no luck.So you tell me how can a white woman who’s pregnant get assistance when we are punished for the color of our skin because our ancestors bought slaves from the Spanish who kidnapped them from Africa . Sorry this whole statement is horrible but yes truth hurts. Sorry If I offended anyone by this statement.

      January 16, 2013
      • StorkStories #

        @jenny- Not offended. While the programs in my region — (and again, I have no knowledge of programs available thruout the whole country)– are flooded with minorities, we have no limit on availablity for care to ALL who seek it. I cannot speak to the sad state of the available job market. Most of what I have said in this post from several years ago is that– as a nurse in OB for now over 38 years- even though we have available PNC to those who seek it ( for ALL socioeconomic classes), there are still those who choose not to come…. many times because they are reluctant to have some of the prenatal testing. ( I am NOT talking about those who make educated choices for alternative birth options) We recently had 2 horrific sad situations for this very reason. We had a preterm mom who was at our L&D for the first time at 26 weeks gestation and tested positive for opiates, methadone and benzos. She was told about her results, counseled and promptly signed herself out against medical advice even though we were treating her for preterm labor. She delivered, a few hours later, at home, breech, with an entrapped head for over 10 min before EMS arrived, then despite EMS attempts to revive infant, that baby died. It broke our hearts. Another mom never sought out PNC during her full term pregnancy and never told her family she was pregnant while she continued her daily alcohol consumption. She presented to our L&D in full blown labor with a prolapsed cord and arm and NO fetal heart rate. 😦 .
        This is so HEARTBREAKING!!
        The medical community is here to help and although I believe we have far TOO MANY labor interventions… Far too many docs who themselves push for these interventions– and some testing is unnecessary for some moms….. Educate yourself and become aware of your options when you are bringing a new life into this world! I understand that as @Sabra said above that when you are young or poor you may not know the questions to ask… But start SOMEWHERE, ask SOMEONE and more questions/options will open up to you.
        All pregnant women have a responsibility to their unborn infant and to themselves to find out how to have a healthy pregnancy and birth– however you choose.

        January 16, 2013
  6. Ironic that those mothers avoid prenatal care for fear of a drug screen, and then the first thing they get at the hospital is….a drug screen. I would guess that that just reinforces their rationalization for avoiding care.

    I don’t understand why you have to test both mother and baby….won’t testing one or the other give you enough information?

    I wouldn’t be offended by a drug screen unless it came back with a positive….because you are going to think that it’s probably a true positive, when I know for certain that it must be a false positive.

    June 5, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Hello Peggy, you bring up some good questions. A false positive does sometimes occur and we have sent out that sample for complete substance verification (to a large lab) as well as another sample from the pt to validate. The baby’s tests are very important because of the half life of some drugs, it may be gone from the baby’s urine but present in the meconium sample. Meconium can contain substances used by the mother for several weeks back..somewhat like a hair sample. We have had negative urine tests on both mother and baby but positive meconium for illict drugs. Many users know how long they have to stay “clean” to have a negative test. That is why random testing works better for people on probation etc. Thanks for the question.

      June 10, 2009
  7. I don’t have any problems with drug screens, personally. I have more problem with the attitude of the HCPs upon arrival of a home birth transfer. Probably half of the UC transfer stories I read, the mother is treated like a drug user when she walks in the door: getting comments about how reckless or stupid she is, or even straight up accusing her of being ON drugs.

    Furthermore, I know many hospitals/doctors use this as an excuse to separate the mother and baby, subject the baby to a number of pointless interventions like abx, vaccinations, and multiple drug screens, at the same time telling the mother she has no rights because she could be a drug user. I have read several UC transfer stories in which the baby was taken from the mother, put in NICU, and subjected to countless pokes and prods *without mother’s knowledge or consent*, and kept in their for anywhere from 1-7 days on the premise that mom “might be a drug user.” In my opinion, it is all just to punish the mother for not using the system in the first place.

    I had my last baby at home, UC, and the thing I was more afraid of than anything else was a transfer. The big hospital in our area, which is renowned for its emergency and NICU services, is also notorious for its universal poor treatment of home/natural birthers. If I had transferred, and they asked me to run a routine drug screen, and advised me of my rights, I would have been okay with that. But I know more likely they would have tried to force a number of interventions on me when I walked in the door, while trying to labor, then taken my baby away at the end and made me feel like a criminal, subject her to all kinds of needles, tests, and strangers, and refuse to let me have her except under extreme duress. I would have had to fight the nurses and doctors to get released, and may have also ended up with social services on my doorstep. (And I even HAD prenatal care in the first half of my pregnancy.) To be honest, I almost would rather have risked a serious complication at home than go into a hospital under those conditions.

    June 5, 2009
  8. Joy #

    You are completely in the right and not pessimistic at all. You have every right to be concerned for those precious, defenseless babies. If you won’t be their voice, who will?!

    I think drug screening should be mandatory, in fact I thought it was! It’s not an invasion of privacy if the mother is doing something to harm her unborn baby. It is necessary for their medical care (both mom and baby).

    June 10, 2009
    • Birth_Lactation #

      Thanks Joy.. I am happy to see that someone understands what I have been trying to say in this post. I tried to make a diferrentiation from those who plan and those who don’t. Unfortunately, there will be some planned home births who would fall into the proposed categories. I support their choices and hope that they are never treated disrespectfully… however I sure do know it happens.. I believe that a comprehensive screening program, (in the absence of a routine mandatory screening) will help us identify those individuals that ARE hiding something. From my perspective, those individuals who are hiding something are very difficult to identify from outward appearance only. We identified a cocaine addict recently who was a very beautiful, well groomed, well nourished, affluent (seemed wealthy) woman who stated she was just visiting in our area, and had no prenatal care info or
      records with her…. she was in very fast preterm labor at 34 1/2 weeks. We had little time to gather info before a baby was born. Luckily, the
      admitting nurse had collected a urine sample and asked the attending if a
      drug screen should be included in all the admission tests.. he
      hesitated—based on his impression and conversations with the young mom— but said go ahead. It came back positive for THC and Cocaine. The baby’s urine also tested postive for THC and Cocaine. The NICU where the baby was sent then had better information to observe for any problems related to maternal cocaine use, as well as prematurity issues. Turns out the mother had avoided her own area for birth because they knew her history. Later, the meconium sample which had been sent turned up positive for cocaine, THC, and more…..
      I have seen so many different types of people. I know there are so
      many individuals out there who wish to “avoid the system” and that is their rightful choice. I am obligated to care competently for those who do enter into my care. Sometimes universal protocols are designed to protect everyone and are not designed to be discriminatory. I hope all those who encounter such testings are not taking it personally.

      June 10, 2009
  9. Jade #

    I know this is an old article, but I want to share my story. With my first son I had complete prenatal care and I had a great experience. I became pregnant again and I didn’t find out until 2 months into the pregnancy. My husband had just lost his job and we lost our health benefits. We couldn’t afford health insurance and we had life insurance so we weren’t able to qualify for government assistance.We had to cancel our life insurance policy and ask for the cash payment and that took 6 months. We then lost our home and moved into a motel which was owned by my husbands friend. Two months later, my husband found a job but the job didn’t have benefits and I was still fighting with medicaid for health insurance. We moved into an apartment shortly after, I was already 7 months pregnant. While cleaning and preparing the house I started having labor pains. My husband, myself and our 1 year old went to the hospital. When they found out I had no prenatal care they treated us like criminals, one nurse even told me in the middle of a contraction that I should have my tubes tied. I was denied and epidural. When all the chaos died down and I had given birth to my beautiful baby boy I broke down. I was treated horribly. They tested my baby for drugs and myself of course there wasn’t a trace of anything in our systems and my son was discharged once he reached 4 lbs. The social worker at the hospital was really sweet and there was another nurse (who named our son) was kind and understanding as well, but the rest of the 5 nurses that were there were horrible and the doctor was as well. Of course I know prenatal care is necessary and I will never go without it but I was treated horribly and so was my husband, I get nervous now anytime I have to go to the hospital for myself or my 2 kids but in no way does that ever stop me from seeking medical care for my children, but for myself on the other hand it does.

    May 22, 2012
    • StorkStories #

      Jade- I am sorry for your experiences. I really am. I apologize if anything I said here hit a nerve with you. No-one should ever be treated that way.. ever. We are required to be professional and supportive no matter what. I was trying to say in that post that because of the many many ladies out there who avoid prenatal care because they are hiding something… those of you who are in the unfortunate situations like yours become subject to screening tests and longer observation periods.
      How we interact and care for you however should never be different and I apologize again for your experience.

      May 30, 2012
      • Jade #

        Oh not at all, nothing you have said made me feel bad. As someone who now works for child protective services, I completely understand the predicament you are in. I just shared my story in hopes that if another ob nurse reads this that she or he handles the situation a little differently and not let their hatred show. We are all humans, we all have feelings and feelings matter. We shouldn’t be so quick to hurt someone at such a delicate and chaotic time. Save the judgment and hard questioning until after the baby is born maybe even until after you receive the results of a drug test.

        May 31, 2012
  10. No prenatal care doesnt always mean one is hiding something.

    im currently going on 30 weeks pregnant, and thus far have had little prenatal care.

    ive had 2 ultrasounds, and that is it. To check on the development, make sure she is okay, and to find out her gender, and get measurements.

    I think its not needed. I believe in a non invasive, private, non hospital birth. I simply dont believe in prenatal care. I think its bad for the fetus and mother. Especially emotionally and mentally. I have a friend who was hysterically crying after a prenatal appointment because they ‘thought they saw something off’ during one of her tests. Turn’s out, that doctor was an idiot, and everything is FINE. The baby is perfect, mom is perfect, and all of her pain and stress was for nothing.

    When closer to my due date, i will be going in to check her position, get a gestational diabetes test, and a pre-eclampsia test, and that is all.

    It’s not always a drug related issue, or that the mother is hiding something. Sometimes it is just a case of different belief’s. Im pretty sure you even said that up there in the post somewhere (forgive me, i was just skimming through)

    I was just leaving a comment to let you know that some people are against prenatal care ^_^ and it isnt always for a reason such as ‘hiding something’

    June 8, 2012
  11. tigzie #

    Really? We are living in a world where the healthcare system is so screwed up that people who work full time but fall inbetween don’t qualify for Medicaid, yet can’t afford health insurance because the money pays the basic bills and puts food on the table

    July 20, 2012
  12. i have four children and I am pregnant now..I only had prenatal care for my first child and some during my last trimester with my fourth child.I am not on drugs, i won’t even smoke a cigarette.I didn’t get prenatal care because i felt it was a waste of money and time(some doctors even try to make you feel guilty for being pregnant if you are not rich).Everybody can not afford prenatal care and the hospital bills that comes after having a baby, definitely when there are other children involved.This explains why those social workers in the hospital were asking me all of those non relate able questions trying to make feel as if were in a interrogation room or something.All of my babies were healthy and are doing just fine, non were found with drugs in their system and I carried all of them to full term.My grandmother never even went the the hospital to give birth to any of her seven children or got prenatal care and there were many women like her who also didn’t but now all of sudden,its wrong if you don’t. JUST PLAIN BULL CRAP

    August 21, 2012
    • StorkStories #

      I apologize if I got your gander up. Unfortunately things are not as simple, trusting or easy as they were when our grandmothers gave birth. I wish they were. There are many women who do not have prenatal care either by an educated choice (and I respect that right to make that choice which they feel is best for them), lack of education about the importance of some prenatal care, unfortunate domestic violence situations, unfamilair with resources available to her for money transportation etc, OR they ARE hiding from CYS agencies, engaging in elicit drug use or substance abuse and unfortunately for the babies, we have found some very bad situations. Perhaps I live in an area where it is totally different from you. I have been in this business for 38 years now and I have seen so much. I continue to be in awe of the beauty of birth, the power of women and the unbeleivable that can happen. Good prenatal care is an evidence based recommendation. Any women who presents to a hospital to give birth in this day and age without prenatal care must be tested for anything for which we can help her baby. That is just how it is. Not everyone has as much respect for personal choice as I do. If you choose not to have prenatal care, you will most likely encounter testing.

      August 31, 2012
    • miss s #

      🙂 right on

      March 14, 2013
  13. Brenda #

    i gave birth to my daughter last year and everything went fine until the doctor saw my husband. now my dh is a big guy with tatoees and gaged ears. when the doctor saw him he told the nurse, within our hearing, Drug test test the mother and baby now i don’t like the looks of that guy! I was pissed! I had prenantel care for my whole pregnancy. We both came back clean. days later a social worker shows up at our house to investigate drug abuse. The case was closed fairly quikly. All this because of how someone looks!

    August 29, 2012
    • StorkStories #

      Your situation is totally unfair, unjustified and those who cared for you appeared to act unprofessionally. Sorry you had to go through that.

      August 31, 2012
  14. nicole #

    Why didn’t you mention women who choose not to be treated like they have a disease with endless testing and poking and prodding instead of being pregnant? I’m sorry but you sound like one of those types of people who has a bowel movement and has to report to a doctor on the size, shape, color and consistency. Some people choose not to go to a doctor because they don’t buy into the whole concept of going to a doctor when they aren’t ill. Pregnancy isn’t an illness. Implying that anyone who chooses not to go to a doctor must be on drugs or working with a few screws loose is narrow minded. Have you ever considered maybe it’s health care workers that walk on water like you seem to think you do that has turned some people off of visiting a clinic?

    February 3, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      I apologize if I got your gander up. Unfortunately things are not as simple, trusting or easy as they were when our grandmothers gave birth. I wish they were. I mention right in the begining of the post that I respect individual chioce and that this in NOT about those individuals who have educated them selves on any of their options and choose a path right for them. Pregnancy is not an illness. There are many women who do not have prenatal care either by an educated choice (and I respect that right to make that choice which they feel is best for them), lack of education about the importance of some prenatal care, unfortunate domestic violence situations, unfamilair with resources available to her for money transportation etc, OR they ARE hiding from CYS agencies, engaging in elicit drug use or substance abuse and unfortunately for the babies, we have found some very bad situations. Perhaps I live in an area where it is totally different from you. I have been in this business for 38 years now and I have seen so much. I continue to be in awe of the beauty of birth, the power of women and the unbeleivable that can happen. Good prenatal care is an evidence based recommendation. Any women who presents to a hospital to give birth in this day and age without prenatal care must be tested for anything for which we can help her baby. That is just how it is. Not everyone has as much respect for personal choice as I do. If you choose not to have prenatal care, you will most likely encounter testing.

      February 5, 2013
    • miss s #

      EXACTLY !

      March 14, 2013
  15. sammy #

    Now what about women who just don’t want it…many moons ago is never existed…and now the death rate for newborn is higher…??? Also what if women are simply scared? I myself am a homebound agoraphobic… but I am not a drug user…I have never done drugs…or drank a sip of alcohol…so who are doctor to assume that these women are abusing? Abused…or have things to hide?? Ya sure test them..but what dobu say to them AFTER they are proven innocent…just because a mother doesn’t want prenatal care..does not mean she has things to hide…I have 1 child..and my prenatal care was crap…I’m pregnant..and have not gone to a doctor yet because I am moving and have been very busy..I also do not drive..and there is 5 feet of snow outside…so I am curious…how and why docs have the right to judge..when we has people have the right to refuse any tests any doctor give us?

    March 2, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      Sammy I hear you- I think you didn’t hear this post as I intended it and for that, I am sorry I failed to reach you- this isn’t about judgement on my part- it’s about truth and newborn protection. I have stated that some may need access to services like transportation even for basic things. Maybe you are able to find that in our area if you desire or need it. I also said this ——> “This post is NOT in conflict with my current views of women educating themselves and deciding for a birth of their choice whether it be a homebirth or unassisted birth…… I am very much in support of an individual mother’s educated choice or decisions.”
      I repeat I am very much in support of an individual mother’s educated choice or decisions!
      If a mom has checked her her options and opts NOT to have prenatal care- that his HER des icon and I do not judge her. I don’t know how to make that any clearer. We do standard tests on ALL pregnant women whether they get prenatal care or not which includes a drug screen. It will be clear if you are clear. Some places do serial tests on the babies stools which go back MONTHS….. And not just the last couple days. This is how the world is. This is for the protection of the baby not to judge the mother although I am sure it feels that way to you and you are not alone!!!!
      I sincerely hope you have a beautiful pregnancy and birth! Congratulations!

      March 4, 2013
  16. miss s #

    Wow, You should be ashamed of yourself
    Health ins. is expensive and doc, treat you like shit if you refuse a simple test.
    If you get medicaid doctors think you are broke and automatically flagged for SW crap.
    Yes many women hide from CYS can you blame them Social workers look at someone’s DH the wrong way and your baby is gone. Most who dont get prenatal care unless a prior knows it isnt needed unless you have group b strep etc. Quit harassing these women and get a hobby when a baby is born he will show signs of drug use. I’ve never touched a drug a day in my life women should be allowed the option to not get all that crap if they dont need it.

    March 14, 2013
  17. Mary #

    Im approximately 6 months pregnant. I moved oto Florida to live with my adopted parents (im 19) once I got there I started vomiting all day. After about 3 weeks my mother told me that I could be pregnant. So she wanted me to take a few tests. They all came up positive. After it was clear she wasn’t going to be supportive, I decided to move to south Carolina with the father and his mother.

    March 22, 2013
  18. Mary #

    Im approximately 6 months pregnant. I moved oto Florida to live with my adopted parents (im 19) once I got there I started vomiting all day. After about 3 weeks my mother told me that I could be pregnant. So she wanted me to take a few tests. They all came up positive. After it was clear she wasn’t going to be supportive, I decided to move to south Carolina with the father and his mother. She said she would take me to my appointments, but once I got there she refused to take me anywhere due to the fact that she didnt like me. I lived 30 miles from any businesses.. So I coukdnt get there on my own. I had gone to one prenatal appointment, and realized they didnt accept my ny medicaid. So I had to use my fathers insurance whuch left me with aa copay of 66 dollars. Money I was hsupposed to be using for food. After that , I scheduled two more appointments for the following weeks, and his mother got mad and igjored both him and I during that time. So we missed the appointments. Then she refused to let us use her phone. So we couldnt make phone calls. A month ago, him and I agreed to move back to ny so we could get the proper care. And here we are. In ny and egerytime I try to get a doctor they turn me down because im too far along. Maybe you people should do your jobs and stop being so judgemental. People kike me suffer for other peoples stupidity.

    March 22, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      I am really sorry for your situation. You should have access to prenatal care and I hope that you will have a great birth. I am sorry for all the situations out there that got people mad at this post. Truth is that it is still happening out there and although you guys have extenuating circumstances, you may be having a drug screen when you come to birth. You shouldn’t have to worry about that right? You are telling me that you have to “suffer” for others stupidity. Not sure what you mean by suffering. Nobody should pass judgment on any individual because it isn’t their life. I am the least judgmental of all of my peers. I am trying to tell everyone who comments on this post that I AM NOT PASSING JUDGMENT!!!
      Our systems are far from adequate. They don’t accommodate all situations. You should never be turned away because you are too far along. Something is wrong there. Contact someone where you plan to deliver and ask for their idea maybe?
      I can see why you think “we” aren’t doing our job. I know I am doing my job and going a little further to try to let pregnant mothers know that engaging in illicit drug use while pregnant will be found out and newborn protected. We advocate for the mom and the baby.
      It is tragic how many newborns are in trouble because the mother is. Just yesterday we had an 35 wk mom come in very high on Bath Salts. Seriously? What is she thinking??

      April 7, 2013
  19. Jamie #

    I’m 32 weeks and just fired my OB. I live in a small town where there’s only male ob/gyns. Due to my religious beliefs I refuse to see a male. I sought “care” from this doctor not knowing he was male because his first name is usually set for a female. With only one car and the nearest female ob/gyn an hour away, I didn’t have a choice. Up until a few weeks ago I was seeing his female NP, who is an incompetent bitch! I met him personally at 32 weeks, asked a few questions and he straight up LIED to me. My husband didn’t like him, either. My husband and I decided to have another home birth. This time it’ll be just us, because the closest midwife is an hour away. I don’t feel like I have a choice, here. My husband and I will probably go to the hospital after the baby is born to have him checked out. My only question is, does this fall under the classification of “no prenatal care”?

    March 24, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      Jamie I am sorry for your situation and that you were lied to. If you are deciding for having an unassisted birth at home, that is not a decision to make without proper education. PLEASE. I am not judging AT ALL. From what you say in your note, I think you are making a choice like this because of lack of options? Have you tried to contact the hospital where you said you’d get checked and ask if they have any female providers to suggest for your care? Perhaps one of the doctors has someone on their team that is female and can provide your care. Have you tried the closest midwife and find out if she can make a recommendation for you? To answer your question, You have had prenatal care, you fired your lying doctor and his incompetent bitch NP at 32 wks gestation right? You are trying to plan for what is best for you. Your situation isn’t what I’m talking about at all in this post. I hope you have some options open up for you or someone to help care for you the way you need and want.

      April 7, 2013
  20. Cat #

    This whole thing makes me upset on every last part….I am 21 years old, I have a 9 month old daughter and I am expecting my 2nd baby, I am 7 weeks pregnant….I highly do not believe in PRENATAL CARE….I think it is the most horrible thing you could do to an unborn human….ULTRA SOUND!? does that even sound safe? am I the only one that listens to herself and not what the “doctors” say? Ultra sounds are high frequent sound waves that are able to hit off bone, guess what that can cause your core temp. to rise and that can cause brain damage, also the sounds? your baby is in fluid sound slows down, it as loud as a train… that’s why the baby moves…. I can hear the high pitch noise, it hurts my ears…it burns my stomach…also the diabetes test, that is horrible….of course your gonna get a false positive….I never thought this way until what happened to me….I took a test, it was positive, being taught that you NEED to go to the doctor after I did…they confirmed it, I started taking my prenatal pills…Christmas eve came and I started a light bleeding, I called that doctor and she told me to go to the E.R….I went and they took blood and urine sample from me, they told me that I wasn’t pregnant in the meanest way ever…in my face like ha-ha…I believed it because well they did a blood test on me, I wasn’t gaining weight…my mom was pregnant at this time two and I watched her get stressed and bleed and not enjoy her pregnancy because of these check ups…after months of me chain smoking cigarettes,drinking monster, working back to back shifts,not eating,not sleeping,getting a tattoo I found out at 5 months that I was pregnant….I lost all faith in doctors at this time…I felt treated by them and I wanted them away from my child, I went to the same hospital for heartburn issues at 6 months…sigh this was a different doctor I knew him from my tattoo infection, well he told me on my records that they said I was pregnant when I was last there…The doctors played a prank on me? or what happened? because they laughed in my face! completely lost hope in the medical field…started looking up prenatal care and it turns out that all the tests you do actually do harm to your child…because of this one of the nurses was acting like I was a criminal because I didn’t go to any prenatal care…I feel that I am protecting my child from tests that put stress on the baby…I don’t do drugs hell I go to the police station right now and pee in a cup and have them test for every drug, why cause that’s not the part that I’m scared of I’m fearing for my child…well after I gave birth to my daughter, the nurse found out that I don’t do drugs and I never saw her again, I mean I had a natural birth and I only took 3 children’s Advil and I was fine, scared the whole nurse team, they thought I was crazy, oh and their faces when I didn’t take the stool softener…I know you are a doctor but you can not talk me out of what I feel is a danger to my child….you want your money of course you will say everything is safe…yeah that’s why once apon a time, pregnant women got xrays done, it was “safe”…

    May 23, 2013
    • Cat #

      Oh yeah and due to I think the smoking and health I was in, I had period like bleeding…

      May 23, 2013
  21. Katie #

    I don’t know if this is a good place to ask
    a question, but I’m desperate. I had my first baby several years ago, in AZ, on Medicaid. There were only a few doctors in my area that took Medicaid and I had to wait until my second trimester to see a doctor. I was very aggressive about seeing someone earlier. I drove 4 hours, into the city to find someone, but I had no luck. I did go to a planned parenthood and receive a test and and ultrasound around week 6, to verify the pregnancy…

    Anyway, the medical care in my area was terrible. When I was 19 I found out I had a septated uterus. I had 2 leeps and a cone biopsy, around the same time. I knew I was at high risk for an IC. I wanted a cerclage, but by the time I got to the doctor, they said it was risky because they could rupture the amniotic sac. It I’d been seen earlier, if could have been placed safely. I talked to 7 doctors, but no one would help me. At 22 weeks, I had a perfect ultrasound. At 23 weeks, I was 8 cm dialated. I was on bedrest and given meds, but I gave birth at 24 weeks. My baby died a few hours after she was born.

    Now, I’m pregnant again. I was on birth-control during the first pregnancy, but was taking a progesterone pill that wasn’t as effective as regular pills. The doctor who prescribed me these pills did not tell me this. After I lost my baby, I didn’t go back on birth control. My relationship ended, due to my grief. I was celebrate for several years. I moved to MA for school, at the beginning of the year. A month ago I became pregnant again. There was a condom. The dumb guy didn’t even tell me it had broken until after I took a pregnancy test, or I would have gotten Plan B (I know I sound like a birth control moron–I’m 32 and have had 2 pregnancy suspicions, in my entire life. And both times I was pregnant. I’ve literally only taken 2 pregnancy tests, ever.) I desperatly want to be a mother, but I was planning on finishing school first.

    So, now I’m in MA. I had school insurance, so I’ve gotten prenatal care. But I lost my insurance when classes ended, this semester. I’m not a resident of MA. I don’t have the $ or any reason to go back to AZ. I have nowhere to live there, plus the medical care I recieved there was awful and limited due to being medicaid patient.

    I can’t find a place to get prenatal care, in MA, as a non-resident. MA has great healthcare for low income people, but you must be a MA resident. To be a resident, you have to live, work here for a year. If you are a student paying out of state tuition, your time as a student does not count. Even if it did, I’ve only been here for 5 months. I’ve gone to Planned Parenthood, but they can’t help me with the cerclage of many of the other things I need for my high risk pregnancy. I can’t live through another loss. Does you or does anyone know of a program that helps non MA residents with prenatal care? I’ll find a way to go back to AZ, if I need to, but I need a cerclage before I reach week 14. I know there has to be something available for me. Thx so much for any advise.

    June 1, 2013
    • Katie #

      Oh, and I wouldn’t care if I was given a drug test, unless someone was rude about it. (Many medical “professionals” were nasty to me for being on medicaid.) Drug tests are cheap. And a drug users aren’t limited to the poor, uneducated, or to those who don’t get prenatal care…I don’t see why it’s not a standard test. My cousin takes Lortab for a bad back. She didn’t know that was a problem for pregnancy. She didn’t know what an opiate was or anything about NAS. She thought we was just taking something like Tylenol and didn’t think it was a big deal. She didn’t mention it to her doctor because she rarely takes it. But, she had a lot of pain in her third trimester and took a lot of lortab, which caused complications for her baby. She’s a very responsible, career women, living in an affluent neighborhood. She had prenatal care from before she even got pregnant. A drug test, or even tests throughout her pregnancy, would have caught her mistake and saved her baby and her family, from so much pain. It seems like standard drug tests might make populations that are negatively stereotyped feel better about not being targeted and it might help many well-meaning mothers from making mistakes. But, I get what you are saying about putting baby first when there’s reasons to suspect a problem, but preventing problems is always better then determining the reason for an established problem. A lot of women really don’t know about teratogens, but would avoid them, if they knew better. Standard 1st and 3rd trimester drug tests make sense to me.

      June 1, 2013
      • Katie #

        Last reply. I kinda jumped to the bottom of the comments without reading some valid objections to drug testing. I can see mandatory drug testing being a reason some women might not want prenatal care. If women were given drug tests in the first trimester, they might avoid prenatal care all together, even if they wanted that care.

        It’s a complicated issue. I see that not everyone who doesn’t want the test has something to hide, for sure. It’s too bad that women can be at risk for losing their children to CPS, before the children are even born. Someone who shows up on bath salts, to give birth might needs some intervention, but it would be terrible if every women who showed up with marijuana in her urine, lost the chance to raise that child. I’m not saying people should smoke pot while they are pregnant, but I do think there are varying degrees of being an irresponsible pregnant lady. Or a pregnant lady with alternative beliefs about birth and prenatal care. So, I don’t know what should be done. (Is the author mostly talking about post-partum drug tests, done to diagnose the babies problems or to turn in bad mothers? If the baby has his meconium checked, wouldn’t that reveal any issue and make it redundant to drug test a mom? I guess it doesn’t matter. The baby isn’t using drugs. I was just confused because the author seemed to mostly discuss mother’s being tested.) I can see running every possible test, on a sick newborn. But, If the baby is healthy, but there was no prenatal care for example, then why perform babies first drug test?

        Many times, I think that most mom’s who have been offended by demands for tests or asked questions that sound accusing, is the manner these demands and questions are delivered. I can’t express how poorly I was treated by doctors and nurses, because I was on Medicaid. The only place I was allowed to go for the first 2 appointments was a “teaching hospital.” On my first appointment I was asked if I could afford food and asked why I didn’t just have an abortion. After saying I loved my baby and would die before I harmed her, I was given a pamphlet for a local abortion clinic. Then I received 9 breast exams from student, after I said I didn’t want students to touch me. I was told it was a teaching hospital and could either leave or be mauled by 9 male students. My boobs hurt so bad, anyway, and these guys were so rough. One tried to check for discharge by pinching my nipples so hard I started crying. I also was forced to have a student Pap smear. I had a pap smear just 6 months earlier and asked to opt out, but was told it was a VERY important part of prenatal care. (Lies.) I’ve had many paps before and have never bled. I wasn’t told that I might bleed. 8 students and one doctor watched while a student tried to insert the speculum. The light was broken. He kept asking for the doctor to do it because he couldn’t see. It hurt, SO bad. He forgot to use lube, the first time. After a few minutes of stabbing me, the doctor/teacher asked him what he had forgotten. Then he applied lube. Even then, he couldn’t get it in. My cramps were terrible and I couldn’t lay flat. I think I was having contractions because I could make my stomach relax. I was crying and no one even said anything. Then he just tried to force it in. He tore my labia and I screamed. So the doctor/teacher inserted the speculum and let him finish. No one said anything. I felt so violated. They put a sheet up, like when u get a C section, so I couldn’t see anyone. I felt and still feel sexually assaulted. They left the room and I was soaking wet. I thought it was all the lube, but when I reached down, I was sitting in a POOL of blood. Bright red blood. I knew bright red blood was bad. There was so much, it was pooled around my butt and under the small of my back. No one came back to the room for 25 min. I just laid there, in my blood, crying and thinking my baby was hurt or gone. Eventually, the doctor came back and I was hysterical. She was very curt and told me that the blood dripping off the edge of the table was normal. She gave me a roll of paper towels and told me to get dressed. 30 min later, she came back. She asked me if I took prenatal vitamins. I said yes. She asked where I got them and I said, “Whole Foods.” She said that was a pricy place to shop, while on Medicaid. She asked when I started taking them. I told her that I took them from before I ever got pregnant. (My mom always told me that they are the best vitamins to take.) She said, “Oh, I thought your pregnancy was an accident,” while rolling her eyes. I had told her I’d been on birth control for the first part of my pregnancy because I wanted to know if my baby would be affected by that. She clearly thought I got pregnant On purpose.

        I started asking her my list of questions about diet, skin care products, IC, etc. She said she was running late and we could discuss those questions at my next appointment. I had to see her once more before I could get into a different place. But, throughout my pregnancy, people clearly thought I was irresponsible for being on birth control and for looking Native American. (I’m actually Korean, Mexican and Caucasian, but lived in a community with many Native Americans and I do look like Native.)

        My aunt is a nurse, I have 2 cousins who are doctors and my dad is also in the medical field. I know that there are great nurses and doctors around. But there are some rude, jaded, judgmental ones, as well. I think many women are sensitive about things, like mandatory drug tests, because of the way some medical professionals discuss them. If someone goes into the medical field they should care about physical and emotional health. They should have compassion for all of their patients, even pregnant bath salts lady. If they are going to make judgements about people, at the very least they should be skilled at hiding that judgement! I understand putting babies first, but mother’s are very important for the well being of babies. All mothers, even mothers with problems, should always be treated with dignity, respect, optimism and compassion.

        I know that the author of this post would use a different tone, in a professional work environment, because it does seem like the article is pointing a finger at a fairly broad population and calling them bad moms. (And I sympathize with her perspective. Nothing is more heartbreaking than a baby in the NICU.) A blog is different than treating a patient, so I have nothing bad to say about the author who clearly has a passion for birth and babies. But like she said, she is more tolerant than many of her co-workers. Many health professionals might mean well, but cause an painful, stressful, demeaning and traumatic situation by lacking compassion and tolerance. If someone is going to stay with an abusive partner, maintain a drug addiction or avoid prenatal care, is making them feel like trash really going to help anyone? I know the author doesn’t want anyone to feel like trash. But, I can see the issue of drug testing going smoothly or being really demeaning, depending on how the subject is approached. Some people will be upset, no matter what. Some will be defensive because they do have something to hide. But a lot of hurt feeling could be avoided with a little bedside manner. There are women who do have addictions who will admit them, to a kind nurse who gently explains the importance of knowing everything for the baby. (Even women with addictions generally love their children.) But, the same women who might tell her secret to a nurse who treats her like a worthwhile, competent, loving mother, might snap at a nurse who clearly judged her and makes her feel like a crummy mom. After a demeaning experience with prenatal or post-partum care, I can see how that might keep a work from seeking prenatal care, in the future. And that’s not good for most moms or babies.

        I’m done for real. Again, if anyone knows about prenatal care for non-residents in MA, let me know. Thx!

        June 1, 2013
      • StorkStories #

        I am going to try to respond to this so that I hope everyone understands. What you bring up about alternative birth plans or prenatal care is once again NOT WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!!! I love and embrace the choice of a woman to make an EDUCATED decision to have her birth her way. I am ALL ABOUT THAT!!!! I do try to keep saying this in replies to all of those who have written in here upset about this post and really having trouble with what I have said. Most likely you are a person who has a responsible sense and are not hiding something. Many of you have had horrific experiences with the healthcare industry and I am sorry for that … really sorry. I hate any injustices towards women. I am sorry again that any of that happened to YOU! I don’t think it should happen EVER but it does.
        I am also about protecting the newborn. We do mandatory drug tests on all pregnant women. Some states do mandatory HIV testing too. I am all for that. Recent research has shown that the preventative antivirals given to pregnant mothers prenatally and in labor and to their infants after birth is working!! But they have to know who to treat. Back to drug testing. The mothers are screened prenatally. If they come back positive for anything– even THC– they get another test in labor/delivery. Most are clean. The Children Protection Agency in my area does NOT take a child away for THC. There has to be “just cause”. Positive THC is not considered “just cause” by itself. Hell- my own father grew pot! I come from a hippie family and I am not saying anything about taking children away from their parents!!!!!!! It’s everywhere. I am very trusting actually. I feel many people who have come in for their first prenatal visit likely didn’t know they were pregnant when they last smoked- or smoked it for nausea. Hell I don’t know! BUT You shouldn’t smoke while pregnant or breastfeeding. PERIOD. We don’t have enough research on that… I wonder if a study will be done in Colorado now??????
        We will do urine tests and meconium tests on babies. Sometimes serial meconium tests. If there is no prenatal care…… there is often drug use involved (in my area). We get a large population of transient city women who are “passing thru”. Right now in the hospital, we have a mom who lied to us stating she never did any drugs but was actually getting a prescription for Suboxone to get herself off Percocets… her tox screen was pos for 4 different things and her baby has been suffering TERRIBLY even with treatment.. We started watching the baby/ doing withdrawal scores and started treatment with Morphine every 4 hours. Day 2. Baby already in the troughs of withdrawal. That’s when she admitted it. Why- I ask you WHY?

        June 2, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      I’m sorry for your loss. So sorry. I don’t know anything about MA available assistance programs. The insurance you had through school.(?) should have some type of person to speak to about what your options are since you are currently pregnant and receiving prenatal care and are now loosing this insurance. It also sounds like you ARE a resident of MA since beginning of the year if you moved there and have no plans to go back to AZ. I would try at the closest hospital and ask for a case manager or something… There has to be somebody to ask at the hospital. I am not any expert on that. Good Luck Katie.

      June 2, 2013
  22. A person #

    You know aside from delivery care, I’m kind of over the whole thing. I had prenatal care, but vomiting blood, pooping and being in to much pain weren’t releveant enough for my prenatal care provider to treat. I between 10 weeks and 17 weeks I ate a bowl of brown rice and a handful of trail mix with and some ice cubes. For one week I literally are nothing but saltines. A month after I started taking tums and couldn’t control the pain or stomach bleeding I went to the ER. When I told the doctor I had lost 15lbs in the last 2 months NOT since the beginning of the pregnancy, her perscribed a drug to control my stomach acid. This stopped the pain so I could eat again. But my daughter still took a long time to catch up. At 23 weeks she was 23cms. At 27 weeks she was 24cms. I couldn’t eat meat regularly again until I was half way through my third trimester. Luckily she was born at 7lbs 8.5oz, but that was because of the ER doc, not my prenatal care provider.

    At 6 weeks post partum I went to my dizzy short of breath, and freezing on an 80 degree day. A few days earlier I had to sit in my car for 20 minutes after a shot walk before I could stay conscious and focus my eyes enough to drive safely. Because it’s normal to be tired when your breastfeeding I got no blood work and told to got to the ER if I thought something was wrong.

    I suppose if I had diabetes, or pre eclampsia, prenatal care would have been useful, but I don’t have those things and since my GI bleeding, inability to eat or keep water down for weeks and being so anemic I had trouble maintaining my body temp were ignored I really question the benefits of prenatal care for someone who isn’t an exact text book case.

    I’m pregnant again and I suppose I will go, but I’m really assuming that aside from delivery I am on my own with any medical problems because I was last time.

    July 28, 2013
  23. Truthful Nacho #

    Dude this is total tripe. I’m not going to a single prenatal care appt, nor will I have a doctor, NOR will I give birth in a hospital. For one, MEN should not be in this field. Women’s health is women’s business and when I see a dude butting in on that, I’m allllll question marks.


    Gynos are some of the most misogynistic bros out there. I will not let a bro who makes his living on women’s *body parts* stare down my privates or touch parts of my body. Yuk yuk yuk.


    I know loads of women who’s periods have stopped, they start getting bigger, they’re like oh yeah I’m def preg. (You don’t *need* to pee on a stick even. If you’re preg, it’ll start to show, TRUST me.) Then they eat right, excercise just like they did before, and give birth. This way of doing things- as *women* have done for 1000s of years; hospital births and prenatal appts are brand spanking new in the scheme of things. We don’t need them.

    I won’t EVER be anywhere near a doctor again. Go compare the birth stats between “1st world” countries. You’ll see that you’re more likely to die in a hospital being blasted full of pitocin and then fileted open when they baby is- oh my gosh i how shocking!- in distress.

    Lemme out of this Nazi hospital laden craphole.

    August 1, 2013
    • StorkStories #

      Dear TruthfulNacho

      You wish to speak the “truth” But you haven’t read everything here. Not at all.
      Read ALL before you decide that I am or have a “Nazi Hospital Laden Craphole”
      I take MAJOR offence to that.
      I happen to agree with some of what you say……
      But NOT how you say it…… especially to me.
      Please be respectful.
      I honor your choices.
      Have a great healthy pregnancy and birth!

      August 1, 2013
  24. melinda #

    I recently found out I was pregnant with twins….at 19 weeks!(im tall, thick, and work a very high stress job, didn’t notice any symptoms) I do not do drugs or drink alcohol, although I did smoke cigarettes daily (about 5-6) but I had quit at about 5 weeks ( thank god I happened to quit then!). I am having a terrible time trying to get prenatal care! I have applied for medi-cal and cannot find any doctor that will see me while it is pending! I had one ultrasound at a local clinic when i found out i was expecting, but was essentially thrown out when i didn’t want “abortion services”. Even planned parenthood cant/wont help me get care. I am doing the best i can ,taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy and doing gentle exercises, but i am terrified that when i am able to obtain my prenatal care i will be treated like a irresponsible drug addict! i already get it from the receptionists when i call dr offices ” ur how far along..? U didn’t KNOW? HoW?” by the time i get insurance I’ll be around 26 weeks and i know that is going to reflect very badly on me when i go to deliver, i don’t want social workers harassing me if my twins are on the smaller side( normally about 5.5 pounds) i don’t want to be treated like a drug addict or a bad person because i didn’t realize i was pregnant and am low income with medi-cal, im not a bad person.

    August 25, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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