In our Obstetric Haematology clinic, we care for pregnant women who have a variety of disorders affecting the blood. We also see women with blood disorders who are planning to get pregnant.
- Disorders in which the blood is more likely to clot, known as Thrombophilias. This includes inherited gene problems, or ones that are acquired, such as Antiphospholipid Syndrome.
- Disorders in which there is a tendency to bleed, such as low platelets, Haemophilia and Von Willebrand’s disease
- Disorders affecting haemoglobin, known as Haemoglobinopathies, such as Sickle Cell disease and Thalassemia.
- Women who have had a blood clot during the pregnancy or previously and require treatment with heparin injections.
Women are seen jointly in the clinic within the multi-disciplinary team, which consists of a team of haematologists, midwives and obstetricians:
Dr Clare Tower – Consultant Obstetrician/ Fetal and Maternal Medicine
Dr Louise Simcox – Consultant Obstetrician/ Fetal and Maternal Medicine
Professor C Hay – Consultant Haematologist
Dr M Nash – Consultant Haematologist
Dr Martin Scott – Consultant Haematologist
Dr Nandini Sadasivam – Consultant Haematologist
Dr Joe Sharif – Consultant Haematologist
Miranda Hobson – Specialist Midwife
Liz Hay – Specialist Midwife
Waheeda Abbas – Specialist Midwife
At some consultations you will see both an obstetrician and a haematologist together, but sometimes it may only be necessary to see either the obstetric or haematology team members. Sometimes you will be seen by one of the specialist midwives. Sometimes we have senior trainees and medical students in the clinic too. At some appointments you may also need a scan of your baby, so you may be in the clinic for several hours.
With some women we also involve the anaesthetic team, particularly in the management of pain relief for labour and delivery.
Women with these blood disorders can face increased risks during pregnancy and birth, so a tailored and individual management plan is made within the clinic. This includes a care plan specifically for the birth. The clinic also provides a pre-conception counselling service, together with postnatal reviews which helps with the management of ongoing disorders. You may find it useful to think through any questions you might have before coming to the clinic; some women find it helpful to write these down.
How will I be treated?
Your care will be tailored dependent on the disorder. Some disorders require intensive monitoring and treatment. We are also able to offer telephone and video consultations. Sometimes, the team may need to contact you by phone, with results or clinic appointments. The hospital phone numbers are withheld, so may appear on your phone as a withheld number or no caller ID. Please look out for these phone calls if you have been referred to the clinic and answer the call if it is convenient to do so.
Women often need blood tests in the clinic, or in preparation for the clinic. If this is needed, our specialist midwives will contact you. For some disorders, we take a blood sample on arrival and ask you to wait for the result before seeing the doctors, so please be prepared to be in the clinic for a couple of hours if this is needed. Please also make sure you bring a urine sample to the clinic if you are pregnant.
All women receive an individual care plan for the birth of their baby.
The clinic is held in the Antenatal Department, Ground Floor, Saint Mary’s Hospital, Oxford Road Campus, every Monday morning (except Bank Holidays). The specialist midwives sometimes arrange to see women on other days of the week.
How do I access this service?
You can be referred by your midwife/consultant at the time of your booking appointment. Your GP can also make a referral, especially if you need to be seen before conception to plan a pregnancy.
These leaflets also contain further information
Diagnosis and Treatment of venous thrombosis in pregnancy and after birth
Reducing the risks of venous thrombosis in pregnancy and after birth
Beta Thalassemia and Pregnancy