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To not understand some attitudes towards health visitors

(189 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 19-Feb-14 21:05:19

I appreciate there are good ones and not so good ones - like in every profession.

What I find hard to fathom is the "getting one over on the HV" mentality. For example a conversation at a child's birthday party today:

"Oh yeh, the HV kept going on about putting her to sleep on her back so I used to just flip her over in her Moses basket whenever she was coming round"
"Ha ha yeah mine was really pro-breastfeeding so I didn't mention I'd given up after 2 days and used to hide the bottles"

I just don't get it. The HV are duty bound, by virtue of their profession to give the evidence-based advice. But if you're going to go against he advice then that's your choice isn't it - why does it have to be 'hidden' from them? Have I just never encountered a really judgemental one?! And they are only advising based on what they believe safest for the children - surely that's a good thing?

I'm not saying I did eveything mine advised but it just puzzles me why it's always the HV. You never really hear people talk about nurses or teachers like that.

hickorychicken Wed 19-Feb-14 21:07:56

I really liked mine (2nd dd at least), we had a better raport(sp) so i have been really honest and in return got better advice i think smile

hickorychicken Wed 19-Feb-14 21:08:21

Maybe people see them as a threat?

MarianneEnjolras Wed 19-Feb-14 21:09:02

A friend was recently told by their health visitor that her 2 year old should be drinking skimmed milk.

Friend's two year old is a perfectly healthy weight. Wtf is wrong with full fat milk?

TheGreatHunt Wed 19-Feb-14 21:09:04

. You never really hear people talk about nurses or teachers like that

Yes you do! Teachers certainly feel like the most disrespected profession at the moment!

Anonymai Wed 19-Feb-14 21:10:07

Probably because some of them would overreact and lecture the parent for the millionth time. Easier to tell a porky than it is to be patronised and told off in your own home.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 19-Feb-14 21:10:09

Yeah sorry I didn't mean about being disrespectful, just the 'deception' - for want of a better word for it!

IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 19-Feb-14 21:11:20

marianne - could your friend not ask why she was given that advice and what evidence it was based on?

BirthdayMuppet Wed 19-Feb-14 21:12:15

I didn't rate any of the HV's I saw with both my children because none of them were using the most up to date guidelines (I was more informed than they were about recommendations on making up bottles and on deep breast thrush treatments!), and all of them were patronising and over bearing. Furthermore two of them missed ds2's tongue tie completely and the surgeon we eventually saw was exremely scathing about their lack of observational powers given that it was a 75% tie. I can't speak for other people's experiences, but those were mine.

MarianneEnjolras Wed 19-Feb-14 21:12:56

Yes to the patronising too. I never had an issue (as I didn't see a health visitor beyond the one home visit she did) but my mum had her hand slapped by her health visitor when I was a baby. As she slapped my mum she said "What on earth have you done to that poor baby?"

It was a birthmark.

MarianneEnjolras Wed 19-Feb-14 21:14:02

Apparently skimmed milk is healthier. I was under the impression (And the rest of the internet seems to agree) that full fat milk is better for young children.

MammaTJ Wed 19-Feb-14 21:15:19

I thought the HV I had when DD2 and DS were little was so good that I didn't change surgery when thf one she worked out of was just too rubbish! I didn't like the HV at the other, better surgery as much! No deceit here!

NinjaBunny Wed 19-Feb-14 21:16:07

I never saw one.

I knew nothing (quite young mum) and worked it out so I'm not entirely sure they're necessary.

Although if you need help you should be able to ask.

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 21:17:21

I agree that it's silly. It's competitive parenting isn't it tho.

Anyway, if you don't want to see health visitors because you don't think they're adding anything, it's perfectly easy to avoid. So why not just do that rather than make a song and dance about it.

pointythings Wed 19-Feb-14 21:17:36

I think the issue is that HVs tend to come into your home, which makes you feel they have power over you. That can feel a bit intimidating. Then when a HV comes out with crap advice, it has more of an impact and you remember it more.

I have had very good experiences with HVs, including the one who spotted DD1's tongue tie (a minor one which resolved itself) and showed me the rugby ball hold for feeding. Some of my friends have had shocking experiences which made bf much worse for them.

Procrastinating Wed 19-Feb-14 21:19:34

My experiences were similar to Muppet's.
For similar reasons I don't have a huge amount of respect for midwives. In 4 pregnancies I never saw a MW or HV who managed to be both well informed and have people skills.

I think the comments you quote, OP, are coming from a different perspective though. They sound like they just don't like what they see as authority.

Suzietwo Wed 19-Feb-14 21:20:55

People have similar attitudes to m/w. Constantly moaning about inconsistency or inadequacy of care. You don't have to listen to them and can ask for referrals. It's all just a bit boring.

TheScience Wed 19-Feb-14 21:21:08

Isn't it obvious? Most people don't want to be lectured or told what to do. It's easier to appear to be doing as you're told if someone in authority is likely to disagree with your choices.

I never told a HV about co-sleeping with my baby after being told off by the first one.

Much less stressful for the formula feeding mum to just hide the bottles than get yet another talking to about breastfeeding.

shakinstevenslovechild Wed 19-Feb-14 21:21:13

I never bothered to hide anything from the HVs I've had but I got lectured for allsorts from giving up bf when dd was 4 months because I was put onto very strong medication, I should have powered on through without using medication apparently, to using a breathing monitor all the time (provided by the hospital for medical reasons) to taking offence to one asking me if my ds looks like my ds who had died a few years earlier, she was trying to get me to see the doctor because I cried at her asking such an insensitive question when my baby was only 10 days old.

Rather than hide anything I just stopped seeing them, but I totally get why people do hide things from them. IME they are very, very judgmental.

JabberJabberJay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:22:55

I don't rate HVs as a whole. They generally just parrot NHS guidlines which I am more than capable of looking up myself. And may not be current best practice anyway.

Mine was also terribly patronising. I would never have confided in her about anything. Whenever I had to see her I told her what I knew she wanted to hear and then carried on doing what I was doing (nothing bad just co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand at night after 12 months etc)

IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 19-Feb-14 21:23:44

I co-slept with DC2 and told the HV when it came up in conversation. She just said it was my choice, she had told me the party-line advice - I could do as I please with my baby.
So maybe I'm just lucky never to have encountered any 'lecturing'

IcouldstillbeJoseph Wed 19-Feb-14 21:25:50

suzietwo
Couldn't agree more

eurochick Wed 19-Feb-14 21:26:37

I think a lot of people have a natural tendency to push back when being told what to do in their own homes. Particularly if the advice is crap (as in the skimmed milk example on this thread and some of the complete shyte my friends have been advised by HVs).

Procrastinating Wed 19-Feb-14 21:26:50

I told them everything -including co-sleeping- but then I like an argument.
The role of HV can be important in spotting PND, from what I know they are hugely crap at it. That is what pisses me off most about them. I know I'm generalising, but they could be a force for good and they are not.

HVs are duty bound to give evidence based advice? So why do so many give opinion over fact? If you check out the other HV thread you will see that there are a huge number of duff HVs out there. I know there are fab HVs, like the two in Brum who run a fabulous breastfeeding support group. I have also met HVs who knew less than I did, but luckily I had the evidence to challenge their crap advice on feeding, sleeping, weaning and other stuff.

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