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feeling utterly horrendous after health visit

(123 Posts)
iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 17:48:36

Today i was visited by a health visitor for first time. Im 37 wks. She was very very nice but she asked so many questions about past depression and the baby that I am left feeling shattered.
After a long chat i feel like
-my diet isnt good enough for the baby
-my house isnt warm enough/ready for the baby
-i am not ready or prepared for the baby

I couldnt answer Qs like what sort of parent do you think you'll be, what will it be like when you bring the baby home.

I havent been to any classes or read any books or surrounded myself with a support network - i have no support network. I feel that she thinks i am being abused by my partner and that i am isolated. I completely broke down because i am struggling with the loss of all of my friends since getting pregnant and moving away. My normal confident bubbly self was nowhere to be seen.

I am left feeling like a bad mother.

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 17:50:22

She also said I had my head in the sand about everything. Don't know what I want - I just feel terrible. Really terrible.

From what i understand (which admittedly, isn't alot) you don't have to see a health visitor. If she's going to make you feel like this, I certainly wouldn't see one! Can you ask to change HV if you still want/need the support?

CashmereHoodlum Tue 22-Jan-13 17:54:31

How did you feel in terms of preparedness for the baby before the HV visit?

Is your house too cold? Could you improve your diet? The other things she mentioned are longer term improvements, but try to think about the things she mentioned today and what you could to to change the situation now.

whattodoo Tue 22-Jan-13 17:56:28

I'm sure she meant well, but maybe said it in a way that felt critical to you.

Are there any local ante natal classes you could go to? I enjoyed mixing with other parents-to-be and have remained friends with them. I also went to aqua natal at the local pool for the same reason.

Is there a reason why you feel isolated? Do you feel up to trying a group or two to meet new people?

fivepies Tue 22-Jan-13 17:58:14

What a horrible experience for you. I'm so cross that the health visitor has made you so upset, especially when you are 37 weeks.
I couldn't have answered those questions before I had my daughter, so please don't think that means you're not going to be a good mum - you'll do a great job. I didn't do any courses either, nor do I have a support network and we have managed just fine and are a happy family of 3, soon to be 4.
You can't possibly know what it's going to be like until your baby arrives and you'll learn as you go along (like everyone else does!).
Ignore her, ignore her and focus on looking forward to meeting your baby xx

CashmereHoodlum Tue 22-Jan-13 17:59:47

Are you being abused?

I must say, my HV was absolutely hopeless and not very nice. She told my DH he had to change careers, said my mother should move to be near to me and said that I should take a course so that I could get a certificate in basic literacy.

I don't doubt that some HVs are helpful but that wasn't my experience. Were the problems highlighted by the HV real, thinking about it as objectively as you can?

Mama1980 Tue 22-Jan-13 18:00:36

Hi sorry your feeling awful. No hv should make you feel that way.
Before she came how did you feel? Did you feel prepared etc? Are you concerned about your lack of support network?

NAR4 Tue 22-Jan-13 18:00:40

My HV was useless last time and told me off for letting my baby play with the toys at the surgery that she had put out on the floor. She said it was unhygienic.

This time for my pre-natal visit it was a different HV and this one thought I should get a downstairs sink put in somewhere or keep a bowl of soapy water in my living room, for when my toddler uses the potty.

Just ignore the useless comments. Some HV are great (like the one I had for my first three children) and others are rubbish (like yours).

Try and find out what toddler groups and activities for new mums are on in your area. Look on the internet for your nearest children's centre. Theses are great for making new friends and building a support network with other mums you get on with.

katesav87 Tue 22-Jan-13 18:01:52

So sorry to hear she's made u feel that wat it's not on! It's hard enoughs to not be scared about a new baby and how u will cope let alone a hv saying things like that. I would never of know n e of that with my first daugther!! But it comes so naturally to you and u will do a fab job!! Don't let it get u down she obviously was having a bad day. U will know if its to cold in your house etc. don't panic and just enjoy the rest before baby is here. Maybe find some local baby classes nearby ready to join when they arrive so you can meet other people were you live x

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 18:04:16

She was very nice and I'm sure she didnt mean to make me feel bad.
I felt prepared in that we feel ready for thebaby and I have been of the opinion that it will be a natural thing - being a mother. We have baby things and a moses basket and all the stuff you need for a new baby. We felt happy and excitedbut we jst havent been to classes.
I havent really given much thought to what I eat - ive just eaten what i could keep down or what i have wanted. I have lost a lot of weight due to sickness throughout. Then when she asked i started to think how bad it was - and she frowned on what I ate yesterday which was pretty bad. The house isnt warm enough but i am working on that as we need to make some changes this weekend - we have only just moved in.

Pizzaexpress2 Tue 22-Jan-13 18:09:29

Hi. Sorry you are feeling so low, especially at this stage in your pregnancy with the baby's arrival imminent.
Unfortunately the role of the HV is often misinterpreted. A lot of the questions are designed to get a picture of where you are at and any potential support you may need. It is not prying for the sake of it.
Many parents do have an idea of how they hope to be as parents, but equally many don't really consider how it will be. That is just different personalities, no relation to your actual parenting style once reality sets in.

Please write down your concerns, if you feel able can you request a different HV. It would not be a problem, not everyone can take to every person they meet.
There is PALS that you can raise your concerns with as well. People are often reluctant to make comments or complaints which is a shame.
In order for you to get any benefit from your HV you need to have some semblance of a relationship with her.
If you have indicated that your diet is not as good as it can be then it is not unreasonable for someone whose remit is health to broach the subject with you.
I hope you are ok and able to concentrate on getting yourself ready for the baby.
Good luck.

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 18:11:09

I felt really excited before she came cause i thought it would be exciting and I dont get to see anyone other than my partner and occasionally my mother. My partner is wonderful and excited but he was home today and excused himself after a while so i could be on my own with her - which i could tell she thought was him being uninterested and kept asking me if he was excited and abt domestic violence and if i was getting support and i could just tell, cause i was very teary that she thought he was abusive. I broke down abt my friends because i moved just before pregnancy and since then theyve all just basically not given me the time of day.

CashmereHoodlum Tue 22-Jan-13 18:13:10

Maybe jot down a few notes about how you plan to address the issues she raised, so that you can show you have thought about what she said. Try not to feel down about it. Using the HV service is not compulsory, but once you have got involved with them it sometimes pays to nod and smile.

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 18:14:01

I am in no way saying she was a bad health visitor - she was lovely and im sure very good at her job but i didnt have an answer for half the Qs and i guess im left feeling terrible that I havent pre-thought abt all these things before.

RuchedCurtain Tue 22-Jan-13 18:19:33

I'm sorry you feel upset. But it sounds as though you agree with some of the issues she raised - you are lacking support and feeling a bit low. Did she offer any support or just point out problems?

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 18:24:18

She pointed out groups near me and said i should go to them. I didnt think i had any issues - other than not having made friends yet.

DoIgetastickerforthat Tue 22-Jan-13 18:25:32

They ask everybody about domestic violence, please don't think that she asked because she had picked up some sort of vibe. Most of their questions are 'standard' and are asked in order to asses individuals needs. That said, there are some HV's have the sensitivity of a breeze block. Don't let it upset you.

wigglesrock Tue 22-Jan-13 18:27:35

Health visitors have to ask about domestic violence as a matter of course now. It has absolutely no bearing on any thoughts she may have about yourself or your partner.

My diet was really bad through all 3 of my pregnancies - I was vomiting the whole way through the 9 months and one of the midwives I saw around 37 weeks had a chat with me re keeping healthy (this was my 3rd baby grin)

Are you feeling isolated? Perhaps have a nosy now before the baby comes at some Baby and me type groups. At least if you have some details written down you may feel slightly more prepared. Regarding the support network, I think the health visitor is just making sure that when your partner heads back to work - how long can he take off after the baby is born? you aren't left high and dry, knackered, all over the place etc with no additional support which you can access through health visitors post birth.

You will be asked about domestic violence and feelings of depression/ mental wellbeing throughout your first few health visitor appointments after the baby this is routine and there incase new Mums don't feel that they can independently raise any issues with a GP etc.

With regards to the antenatal classes etc, have you thought about birth positions/ when to head to the hospital/what you need to bring with you? You'll need to have a bit of a plan, but you can sort that out.

Badvoc Tue 22-Jan-13 18:30:14

Why haven't you been to classes or read books?
It's not compulsory but it can be very helpful.
The groups could help you make friends.
I am sorry you are upset.
But babies do need a warm house so perhaps concentrate on that fist?
Btw babies need very little in the way of "stuff" so don't worry about that x

OwlLady Tue 22-Jan-13 18:32:04

I think she was most probably giving you constructive criticism and she has been clumsy about how she has presented that to you, do you think that might be it?

I think we all feel unprepared for our first baby. I always felt got at by my HV and I thought that was because I was a young Mum, but I realised several years afterwards that she was actually concerned about me and my daughter because of various reasons (nothing to do with me being a bad Mum, just other issues out of our control)

Go to the groups and things and take her help and advice if offered but try not to take it to heart.

GTbaby Tue 22-Jan-13 18:33:32

I agree with previous post. I have heard of alot of HV and MW asking about domestic violence.

On one check up MW asked if I had support other the Dh implying he wasn't very good. He popped out during my monitoring to top up car park.

I agree with her going to groups idea. Maybe pop along now to become familiar with ppl who r there n start making friends.

I HAD nothing when LO was born. So in terms of being prepared ignore her wink

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 18:34:13

Thanks - i know they have to ask abt DV and she even said that but i could just tellas I came across as meek and vulnerable and teary and depressed and he came across as quite distant that she was worried abt me.

OwlLady Tue 22-Jan-13 18:35:22

do you honestly feel she has anything to worry about?

iamwhaticallpregnant Tue 22-Jan-13 18:38:34

I tried reading some books but found they made me more anxious as they were full of things to worry about and doom and gloom about pregnancy. I have an awful fear of childbirth and am of the mindset that i would rather not know all about it before hand as again it makes me very anxious and fearful of it. This is my coping mechanism.

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