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17/05/2014 at 17:29
I was just wondering what everyone's experience has been of health visitors? Good/bad/indifferent?
I've only had one visit from mine so far (due another this week), and I found that she put me on edge a bit. I found some of the questions quite intrusive (do we own our house, how many bedrooms do we have), and found her quite patronising. It seemed as though she just came to read out leaflets to me and give me the same info the midwives had already covered. She also pretty much asked whether the baby was planned which I found a bit uncomfortable, as it seemed a bit judgemental.
I'm willing to give her another chance this week before I judge her because I was in a newborn haze and it was my first day without H at home when she visited so I was a bit all over the place and might have been unecessarily harsh about her!
17/05/2014 at 18:03
Hit and miss here, some have been okay and my most recent one has been a pain. N has gone from 75th centime at birth to below 25th now, nothing wrong with her, she's just dinky but totally healthy. HV has given inconsistent and sometimes incorrect advice and I've now decided not to bother going to see her unless I desperately need to. My HVs with my first two were better though and gave some good advice at times. If yours turns out to be rubbish then just remember that you don't have to see them if you would prefer not to!
17/05/2014 at 18:36
Mine has been great. No questions like that and very much in support of the guidelines. However a staff nurse come out recently and whilst she was lovely as a person I felt the advice was very much textbook and not taking into consideration my sons personality. Like stop giving any bottles so he is forced to drink from a cup if he wants milk (I didn't bother to remind her he is still bf'd apart from in my working hours but he just isn't keen on cups but always has one within reach), stop spoon feeding so he has to feed himself (despite the fact he has been offered finger foods from 6 months every single night and hardly eats anything that way), and never ever give in when trying to get him to sleep even when exhausted I must not relent and co sleep.
All advice I'm ignoring. I'm certainly not prepared to do everything at once especially when at one years old he is wakening up hungry once or twice a night! Again I just didn't bother telling her he is still bf on demand plus a dream feed during the night.
17/05/2014 at 19:13
Mine was fantastic. I had to use shields for bf, and worried that my supply would drop and J would stop gaining weight. Despite there being loads of places to take your baby to get him weighed she came every week, weighed him, reassured me that his crying all the time wasn't because I was a rubbish mother, and held him while he cried so I could go and make a sandwich. She also did me a referral to the hospital for tongue tie when I asked her to. Generally she was just very supportive at a time when I really needed it, and I think she saw me far more often than she was supposed to generally, but was just being nice.
17/05/2014 at 20:21
17/05/2014 at 21:15
Tbh I found mine a bit pointless. Only home visit she was very late with no phone call to say. Then just talked through leaflets. I went to get her weighed frequently but never really asked questions.
17/05/2014 at 21:55
Flossy, your experience was like mine. It was more like having social services over for a 'chat'! Lots of boxes on a long questionnaire to be completed and many were pointless as if you DID have a lot of conflict with the people you lived with or DID have a drug problem chances are you'd not own up.
We didn't take to her but we don't anticipate seeing her often. I wanted to like my midwife, it mattered to me, but I'm not bothered about the HV. If I need support/advice I'd probably head to one of the drop-in clinics anyway. In fact, taking her to one next week as not sure she's thriving on the breastfeeding and want to weigh her.
You didn't have much luck with your midwife either, if I remember rightly Flossy? :(
17/05/2014 at 22:00
R was born just before Christmas, my hv was very busy with lots of babies & I don't think she had time for me. We had/still have breastfeeding issues & the only advice she gave was to top up with formula, my lo was losing weight & I didn't know what to do other than listen to her. Now I know that was incorrect information. R's latch was not right & luckily I met an amazing hv at a breastfeeding group, with all her advice & help over the last 5months we are still bf. She will come to my house, meet me, call me whenever I have any issues, she is great.
The funny thing is, the original hv I see every other week to weigh R boasts about my bf success after our bad start.
Out of all the hv I have met, I think 4 of them, there is only one who is passionate about her job & will go to great lengths to help. I wish all hv were like this, it would have made my start to motherhood a lot better.
17/05/2014 at 22:14
You're right Counter...maybe it's me rather than them?!!
With the midwives there was no continuity of care at all, I had a couple of midwife appointments at the main hospital and some at the clinic so I never saw the same person twice. Fortunately the midwives I met during labour were all brilliant and I guess they were the ones that I needed to trust and feel comfortable with.
I'm glad you felt the same about the health visitor. She asked me similar things about drugs and whether H was supportive. She also kept pushing me to put an amount on how much I drank before S but I refused to on the basis that most of my drinking was done through work so isn't comparable to my lifestyle now. I felt as though it was just a real form filling exercise rather than being helpful.
It's interesting to see the level of usefulness varies a lot. I understand that they're probably really busy, it sounds like some of you have great ones though. Blakkat I think I'll be similar to you, hopefully after this week I'll only see her at the weigh in clinic. Maybe I'll think of some good questions for her this week so the visit feels useful. Last time I just felt uncomfortable having her in my house and like I was being judged.
18/05/2014 at 09:21
I feel quite disappointed by the hv care in our area.
I had problems with S having reflux, sleeping only 7 hours out of every 24 (!) and awful green explosive poos which I'm sure were a foremilk issue.
The reflux was obviously managed by the gp but the hv said she would come out to me at 12 weeks to do the pnd test which they don't normally bother with unless you're having problems like I was. When she came out to me, all she did was ask me if I was coping. No Edinburgh scale or anything. I said I was ok but felt utterly overwhelmed by breastfeeding such a fussy baby and I wanted to give up. Her response was "I can't support you in anything other than exclusive breastfeeding." End of discussion.
For the sleep issue, she told me it didn't matter, just make sure he has some quiet time during the day. Not a single worry about how difficult it is to be carrying a crying baby around with you 18 hours of the day.
For the foremilk issue, she told me to do a 'shimmy' and wiggle my boobs before a feed to shake the fatty milk up. That was it. I went to her BFing clinic and all the women sat round talking whilst she was on the laptop the whole time.
She was also very pro early weaning, at 4 months, even though his reflux was well controlled by then so there was no medical need for it. She almost pushed it on me. "Just a spoonful of baby rice a couple of times a day, it won't hurt". Bah.
I have tackled all of S's feeding and sleeping issues by myself and he's thriving now. I avoid her at all costs when I go to the baby clinic!
18/05/2014 at 09:58
My first one was rubbish, showed up late, no helpful advice- like she told me to google reflux and colic myself. I just had no confidence in her. When T was 2 weeks old I then had to transfer HVs as we were registered at a new surgery and the old one was supposed to ring me at 6 weeks to check how I was doing and for PND given my history, and never did. I had to chase up to get a new health visitor and finally was visited by one at 12 weeks, by which time many of the issues I could have actually done with their support on, had passed.
My new HV is fantastic, she is very supportive and knowledgable but sadly I do feel she got involved too late to be of any real benefit now. (She was offering me BF support and I did make the point to her that it would have been helpful ten weeks ago, not now - not trying to be arsey but if they don't get that feedback how can they improve).
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