"midwife kept making reference to my age"

About: Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France / Maternity care

(as the patient),

A midwife who was working at my GP Practice kept making reference to my age which made me feel anxious and nervous about my pregnancy (even though I subsequently had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and delivery).

She wasn't the usual midwife at the surgery. On the first occasion (around 18 weeks) when I was in to have blood tests taken - she told me I WOULD receive a 'high risk' result for Downs because of my age and I should prepare myself for it. This resulted in an anxious wait of 10 days as I contemplated having an amniocentesis. The result came back low risk. Days of distress and worry for nothing.

On a second occasion - around 36 weeks - coming to the end of a very healthy, trouble free pregnancy she asked if my usual midwife had arranged an appointment with the consultant. When I asked why - she said because of your age: 'you're an older mother so you should see the consultant because of potential complications with delivery'. Not really what you want to hear a few weeks before an impending first birth. And I never heard from the consultant - so think it was something she made up.

Her manner was totally out of order and not reassuring in the slightest. I had a healthy baby, no problems throughout the pregnancy and no problems with the delivery. In fact, I managed a drug free delivery, supported by lovely midwives at the infirmary.

Midwives should not let their personal opinions about age interfere with the care and support they are there to provide. I must stress that any other midwives I encountered made no reference to the age thing, in fact all others were very positive and reassuring.

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Responses

Response from Stuart Wilson, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, NHS Lothian

We are sorry to hear that you have had a negative experience. If you would like this to be investigated please contact Complaints.Team@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

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