September 06, 2008,
R.A. asks from Leland, NC on June 30, 2007
"My Ob Doctor and I Disagree"
I am a mother of two and expecting my third child. I have a new Ob doctor and because of insurance purposes, I cannot change doctors. I am 13 weeks preg. and he is pushing me to get tested for the "down syndrome" test. I didn't do that test with my other children and to me, it doesn't matter if it is positive or negative, we will be blessed with whatever God gives us. Also, he has already tested me for Group B strep and it was positve. I thought I shouldn't be tested until late in pregnancy and then receive antibiotics during labor. He wants me to go ahead and take antibiotics now and during labor if I test positive later. I don't see the point in taking antibiotics now and later. My questions are, does anyone know how accurate the down syndrome test is and has anyone been tested for group b strep this early in pregnancy? I need advice.
So What Happened?™
Hello everyone! I just wanted to thank you all for your advice and support. This was my very first time using mamasource and I am well pleased. I have not seen my doctor since all of this came about, but I do have an appointment next week. I wanted to explain to you all about my situation with the insurance so you will understand or have more advice for me. My husband has just switched jobs and we do not have a private insurance now, so we applied for help and qualified. I live in Brunswick County, NC and I was given a list of practices that take medicaid. There were only 4 in my area listed. The first one I called was booked for Dec./Jan. deliveries, the second one I called was the hospital in New Hanover and they could not get me my first appointment until July 25, (I'm half way through my pregnancy Aug. 15), so I called this one I am using right now because the other choice was the health department. I feel stuck. This doctor is also the only doctor in the practice, so he will deliver my child if I can't find any other solution. I am also only 33 so I don't think age is a factor. I was asked to take the triple screen with both of my other children and I said no and my private doctor said fine and dropped it. The doctor who delivered my other two children no longer does ob, so I can't even ask her. Anyway, my decision is the same. I will not get the triple screen. I have not been stressed or worried during this pregnancy until I went to this doctor. I also never took the antibiotics that he prescribed for me. If I test positive for group b later on, I will receive antibiotics during labor just like I did with my last child. My conviction with this doctor is that he is taking medicaid, which is established to help women have adequate prenatel care. And I am thankful that we are receiving financial help at this time in our life because we could not afford to go to the doctor for regular check-ups if we did not have any help at all. However, I am 33 and already have 2 children. I just feel like their probably are a lot of young women or girls who qualify for medicaid and have doctors that just tell them to take every test available so the doctors can make a little more money. Can you imagine a 16 year old pregnant for the first time? It bothers me because now I don't know what his true motive is. Is it to pocket a little extra money from medicaid or does he have mine and my baby's best interest at hand? I did have a friend call her doctor who delivered 5 of her 6 children and ask his opinion. This doctor is well established, but no longer does ob either. He said, the triple screen is really for women who are at risk and really just opt not to keep the child. Most ultra sounds will show any major problems the baby might have. Also, he said there is no point in taking antibiotics this early for group b because it is not harmful to me or the baby at this time. Plus, I could test positive again later and will still have to take antibiotics during labor, plus taking antibiotics when not neccessary can deplete my immune system and is not advised. So, thank you all because my husband and I feel so much better and confident about our decisions. Thanks again and I will ask for more advice in the future if I need it.
J.B. answers from Norfolk on July 02, 2007
I had the down syndrome test but I never felt forced. Also, I did not do anything but blood work and the ultra sound, no invasive testing. Also, I tested positive for Group B Strep and it was no big deal....I got antibiotics in the hospital. You need to have it 3 times I think before they will let you have the baby. I really can't remember the intervals, but maybe 30 minutes apart or something for the antibiotics. I hate that you can't change doctors, I changed in my 7th month because I was so unhappy. It was my 1st child though and I was lost!
FYI, it was highly likely I was going to have a downs syndrome child after testing....1 in 58. My boy is fine but I waited till he was born to find out!
P.L. answers from Charlotte on July 01, 2007
I agree with the other women on the Downs test. I have heard of many cases of a false positive. Not sure on the exact research, but I bet you could look it up online. You know that the result would not change your mind, so why do an invasive test? I found on my second pregancy that the doctors who were younger than me often tried to push their opinions on me especially during labor. KEEP STANDING YOUR GROUND! Actually, I had a nurse who got huffy with the doctor and helped me stand my ground. You sound like the strong type, not afraid to stand up for yourself. Definitely, if there is another doctor in the practice, give that a try and call your insurance company. You may try asking him why he is so adament about the test. Then, let him know why you have made your decision. Tell him you respect his opinion, but you and your husband have made your decision. Maybe the united front will help too! If all else fails, and you can't change doctors, write a birthing plan with your husband and present it to the doctor before delivery. Ask that he read and sign it. (You can look this up online too.) It really helped me have more of the delivery I wanted and not what the doctors wanted. Talk to hubbie ahead of time too so he can advocate for you as well. Keep standing your ground. It's worth it in the end.
Congrats on your pregnancy and best of luck.
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B.V. answers from Norfolk on July 01, 2007
I agree with everyone else. The NT test (the downs test) is NOT 100% Reliable! And insurances are JUST now picking it up as a regular first trimester screening test. I chose to do it only to see my little baby and to prepare myself IF indeed I did have a downs baby or any other Trisomy baby. I am just a person who likes information. But I definately did my research going into it and knew the false positives on this test were high. It was just nice to hear the #'s of my "risks" of downs and Trisomy 13 & 21. If you don't want the test, they can't "FORCE" you to have it. I don't know your age, but usually before it's not offered till you're of AMA (advanced maternal age ~ over 35). Since the board passed the law, it's allowed by all 1st timester women now. But of course, all tests are "OPTIONAL".
Regarding the GBS test, I'm surprised it was given so early! We all have the bacteria sometimes, and it's ONLY important to treat during labor for your infant's sake. But still that only has like a rate of 4% of your baby contracting that during labor.
I hope that you stand your ground, and Please find a new OB! I'm sure that there IS someone who can take you! Having an OB that you don't like and disagree with is definately a stress on the pregnancy as you're more than likely to skip pre-natal care.
P.S. I was reading the link that one of the responders posted below... Here's some that apply to you:
Every woman has the right to receive all or most of her maternity care from a single caregiver or a small group of caregivers, with whom she can establish a relationship. Every woman has the right to leave her maternity caregiver and select another if she becomes dissatisfied with her care.* (Only second sentence is a legal right.)
Every woman has the right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests and treatments, and to have her choices honored. She has the right to change her mind.* (Please note that this established legal right has been challenged in a number of recent cases.)
is the exact link.
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M.P. answers from Spartanburg on July 01, 2007
I'm going to say this in the nicest way I can- your doctor sounds like an idiot. Where did he get his degree- Playskool? The DS test is a personal preference, and comes down to whether you want to know or not. It's not like if it comes up positive, the baby can be treated in utero, so what difference does it make? And I agree with everyone else about the Strep B- having it does not effect you or your baby, so there's no point in treating it. It only becomes an issue when the baby is born vaginally, that's why it is treated during labor.
Good luck, and I'm sorry about your situation.
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S.B. answers from Spartanburg on July 01, 2007
I would like to suggest that you check out www.childbirthconnection.org. It's a great resource. On the column on the left click on "The Rights of Childbearing Women"
Are you absolutely positive that you can not switch practices because of your insurance? Because most of the time there are choices. Is there more than one doctor in the practice? Perhaps you could switch to another doctor within the practice.
This is very early for GBS testing. Also research has shown that antibiotics during pregnancy have little to no effect.
Try to remember that you are the consumer and the doctor works for you. You do not have to do anything that he suggests. However you need to do your research and have good reasons for not doing them.
You are welcome to email me privately ____@____.com or to call me ###-###-####. I'm in Greenville, SC.
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A.F. answers from Columbia on July 03, 2007
I agree with you. I did not have the AFP test done with any of my four pregnancies. I believe that I was told that there is a 20% false positive result. Then you have to go through more testing if you get a positive result. I didn't see the point in having the test done and possibly finding out something was wrong and worrying my entire pregnancy. Just because your doctor has a degree doesn't mean you have to do what he says if you don't feel it is the right thing to do. Have you talked with your insurance company to find out if you have any options for changing to a different doctor? Good Luck!
M.M. answers from Norfolk on June 30, 2007
Are you talking about the triple screen? There are many false positives with that. I'm not sure of the exact rate.
I was under the impression that GBS was tested around 35 weeks. Can't it recur before you deliver?
Have you asked why he wants to do the things he's doing? Is there no one else in your network? What about midwives?
If there is any test that you don't want to take, you have the right to refuse. The doctor can't make you do anything. Just stand firm and don't let anyone bully you.
A.C. answers from New York on July 01, 2007
I'm confused as to why you cannot switch doctors. I don't think there's any insurance that can legally keep you with a doctor not of your choice. You should be able to find another network doctor through any insurance. Also, I don't think anyone other than doctors can give you a correct answer on how accurate the down syndrome test is. I don't want to come off impolite. That is not my intention. I just think if your doctor saw a reason to test for the group b strep this early, than it should be fine. Obviously he/she was right in their assumptions, because you tested positive. Shouldn't you want to be treated to insure the safety of yourself and child? Also, I think you should reconsider the down syndrome test. Medically, it may be better to know. And after two children, things are always different in pregnancies and delivery. So I'm sure that has to do with why you're being tested earlier. Maybe the likelihood of being positive is increased with each pregnancy. Again, I don't mean to be impolite, I just think these are some things to consider. As you know, as mothers, it is our duty to insure the safety of our children. Hope this is helpful.
B.F. answers from Jacksonville on March 07, 2008
Down Syndrome, forget the test if it doesn't matter to you one way or the other.. The Strep B. I had it with my first child. The antibiotics are for your protection and for the baby's development protection, as for giving you some durning labor, it's to protect the babies eye's because it can cause blindness in some cases.. My child is a Marine Brat and was born at the Navel hospital and so my doctor's didn't want to run test just because they get more money. They gave me a list of test I could have done and let me make the choice. My midwife did say the strep B test was one I should think about if either I or my husband had ever had other sexual partners in time in our lives because you can carry it around with you and never know it tell your tested. I even had them do another strep B test with my second child, came back clean. Any blood work offered to me, I must admit I did. As for sticking needles and all that kind of stuff into my bellie or child no way... I loved each of my girls long before I saw there faces...