The idea of a healthcare professional visiting once you’ve bought your tiny newborn back home from hospital can be pretty comforting for lots of new mums – so we think those early health visitor appointments can be really important, and useful for lots of you.
Of course, though, we do realise that what you get from the visits can vary so much. Some of you had great experiences, whereas others didn’t find them to be so helpful.
We thought we’d ask our mums what they’d got from their health visitors and we have to say it is a mixed bag – but the positive stories will hopefully be a reassurance.
The not so positive ones might just serve as a reminder that it’s important to have a wider support network in place (like friends, family and partner) if you can once you become a mum.
Take a look…
The good health visitor experience
“My health visitor was amazing and stopped me spiralling out of control when I felt I was useless,” Kathryn G told us. “She was warm, friendly and I enjoyed her company.”
“Expecting baby 2 and hope I get her again. The health visitor who runs the weigh clinic near me is also a star and don’t find her patronising at all when I pop in and ask daft questions especially when I was convinced it couldn’t be normal for my son to poo 5 times a day lol.”
“My health visitor was amazing,” agreed Nichola H. “I had two emergency sections and was terribly poorly with second. She came every two weeks after my first right up until I felt comfortable for her to stop, she was always at the end of the phone if I needed advice or just someone to listen to me.
“Always told me the guidelines but gave me the confidence to trust myself and my instincts as a mummy and always told me I was doing a fantastic job if I ever doubted myself.
“I can honestly say she was wonderful in every way and I know I could still ring her now and she would still be there if needed her my my girls are 3 and 1. I even rang and requested to have her when I had my second.”
And Amy N said : “I loved my health visitor.. she was/is amazing. She was the only person that listened when the GP didn’t.
“She believed Mya had very bad reflux, and believed and helped me when Mya was diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy. I could have been totally lost with out her.”
Finally, Catherine M said: “1st one we had was ok… best part was she didn’t make me feel bad at all for bottle feeding. I just found her harder to approach…but this time we have a new health visitor who has 3 kids herself.
“One is same age as my little girl so she’s so warm and caring and completely understanding – she made me feel really at ease. Looking forward to seeing her again.”
When it doesn’t work out…
Some of our mums didn’t find their health visitors to be too helpful – for some it was just a question of their manner (for example, they found them to be a bit patronising, or didn’t take enough time with them).
But for lots of you it was more about appointments being changed or cancelled, or not feeling you got to see them enough.
For example. Abbey B said:
“They cancelled my appointments several times, reallocated me to a different health visitor, the original health visitor then calls to confirm original appointments, asks me to be at home as she will be round in the hour (um no. I’m out!)”
One of our mums also pointed out that their visits are optional – and while she did have visits for her first baby, she chose not to for subsequent children.
What was your experience?
Did you find your health visitor experience to be helpful – or not really? Tell us in the comments below or over on Facebook.