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When did antenatal home visitors from the health visitor start? And what do they want to see/know?

(26 Posts)
downdownupdown Thu 21-Nov-13 12:15:22

This is dc3. I have never had a home visit before the baby is born. I didn't even know about such things till I just made the mistake of answering the home phone.

When did they start? Is this the norm? What is the point?

I have an aversion to health visitors as I have never met one who could help me or answer any of my questions.

I tend to avoid them even when I have a newborn, seeing them before I even have a baby seems frankly ridiculous.

hettienne Thu 21-Nov-13 12:16:28

If you don't want to see them, just decline the visit.

confusedabouted Thu 21-Nov-13 12:18:58

just delcine the visit if you dont want it and if you dont want any at all you can just tell them,they usually want it in writing though.

HaPPy8 Thu 21-Nov-13 12:19:10

Its been going on at least 2.5 years ...not sure how long though. You don't have to have it, but don't knock it, it helps some people.

downdownupdown Thu 21-Nov-13 12:23:58

dd2 is 3yo so I must have just missed it last time.

Help how? Just interfering IMHO.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 21-Nov-13 12:25:19

I had MW for a few days/weeks then HV. TBH I think they are mostly checking for PND.

hettienne Thu 21-Nov-13 12:26:10

You might not need any help, but lots of families do. If you don't want the service then just don't waste their time.

thecakeisalie Thu 21-Nov-13 14:24:29

It really depends on your HV as to how helpful they are. I have yet to have been given useful information from any of the HV's we've had. Though in our case I don't think doing things differently helped because as soon as you mention co-sleeping or baby led weaning they immediately start offering advice on how to get baby into their own cot or onto purees . I had a visit both times before baby was born and they said it was mainly to get our details on their records. To be honest I think it's got a lot to do with safeguarding, HV's are seen as a way of protecting under 5's.

As other people have said you can decline their services, I suspect I possibly will this time. I know I'm very unlikely to take baby to the weighing clinic more than a handful of times, its mostly very obvious if a baby is thriving.

Felix90 Thu 21-Nov-13 15:04:20

I'm expecting my first in January and had my HV come and visit on Monday. Had no idea what to expect but it was actually really useful for me. She asked me general questions about work, home etc. then gave me loads of information about feeding, sleeping and general care. I think it's a good idea they have started visiting before the baby arrives because it means I am now more prepared and sort of have a general idea about what I'm meant to be doing with this tiny human once she arrives. If it was after the birth I don't think I'd be able to take in what she was saying as much...

If it's not your first then I don't think it would be as useful, but she was great help to me. Also a very nice approachable lady which was good!

mycatlikestwiglets Thu 21-Nov-13 15:08:01

No HV visits pre-birth here (I have a nearly 3 yr old and a 3 week old) - HV popped over around 2 weeks after the birth each time. Maybe it varies by area (I'm in south east).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 21-Nov-13 15:09:15

Oops. Ignore me. I got post and ante mixed up blush

Mim78 Thu 21-Nov-13 15:11:04

Never heard of this myself. I'd quite like it!

Writerwannabe83 Thu 21-Nov-13 15:43:57

I work with a health visiting team and they have been doing this for about a year. The Government are doing an overhaul of the HV services and an antenatal visit is now to be offered to all expectant mothers. The visits are completely optional though. They are there for the HV to meet he family and get to know them a little bit before the baby is born and discuss any worries they may be having. It helps HV highlight any potential problems the family may have and address them/put in support or referrals etc as early as possible opposed to waiting to until after the baby is born for problems to arise. They really aren't anything to worry about and like I said, they are optional. Some mothers love the idea of them and prefer getting to meet the HV before the baby is born as opposed to a stranger coming not their house and asking lots of questions after the birth. I think it it just personal preference.

callamia Thu 21-Nov-13 15:48:40

Mine came a month before the due date. She didn't want to see anything, she just wanted to tell me about local children's centres, breastfeeding cafes etc before he was born and I was too sleep-deprived and bewildered to take anything in.

It was nice to meet her before the birth, so when she came afterwards it was someone I'd already met and felt happy with.

thecakeisalie Thu 21-Nov-13 16:20:49

Just want to add most HV's I've met have been polite and/or friendly just not helpful for us personally :-)

MelanieRavenswood Thu 21-Nov-13 16:36:29

I saw one antenatally with ds, so would have been more than 7 years ago now. It was a nice idea in theory, as we just had a nice cosy chat about looking forward to the baby coming etc - however she was a student hv and thus I never saw her again. I think she asked things like how I felt about the baby, where was the baby going to sleep - she gave me some leaflets about local services I think.

Xenadog Fri 22-Nov-13 07:14:24

Mine came this week (4 weeks before my EDD) and was lovely. She did turn up half an hour early and it made me wonder if she was aiming to catch me on the hop and see how I REALLY lived before doing a mad dash around with a hoover. As it was I'd already done the tidying grin and the house was spotless!

I told her quite frankly that I've found being pg difficult and worry that I will get PND as I am convinced I've had antenatal depression. I wanted this highlighted as later on if I am low I might no recognise it myself and seek the help I may need.

The one thing I wasn't happy with is the fact she was a bank HV (although I can ask to see her) and I really would prefer consistency of care. She was an older lady and seemed very no-nonsense which I appreciate as a first time mum.

PumpkinPie2013 Fri 22-Nov-13 09:30:31

I am duecwith dc1 on Tuesday abd haven't had a home visit but did meet my hv at the children's centre where I see my mw a few weeks ago.

I found mine to be very nice and helpful - she asked me general questions about mine and DH's health, whether I had family support close by, my thoughts about where baby will sleep and how I was planning to feed baby.

I was/am quite unsure about bf as none of my family ever have (there are other more personal reasons too which I can't go into here) and I worried a bit about how she woukd react but she was lovely about it. She reassured me that it was my choice and they would be supportive if whatever I decide. She also explained all about support for both methods.

I was also given information about postnatal contact and things going on at the children's centre.

I appreciate that my experience may not mirror other peoples and if you've already had a child it may not be as important but I do think they try to provide a good service for those who may need/want it.

Meglet Fri 22-Nov-13 09:37:11

AFAIK it's an attempt to prevent cases like Baby P or Victoria Climbie happing again. We didn't have them in my day but I would have found them useful.

Sleepthief Fri 22-Nov-13 10:08:25

I had a visit from the HV in 2004 when I was expecting DS1, so not really a new thing. Not with DS2 (2009) and DS3 (2011) though, having moved in the interim... Must depend where you are. Haven't heard a peep from the HV team this time round at nearly 33 weeks, so assume its not happening.

Anyway, can't really remember what they discussed, but I didn't feel it was intrusive or that I was being judged, but I'm sure they were checking the environment and probisions I'd made for the baby...I do feel sometimes these bodies responsible for child health and welfare are damned if they do and damned if they don't...

PistachioTruffle Fri 22-Nov-13 10:15:51

I had one a couple of weeks ago, it sounded similar to PumpkinPie's visit. She started baby's health records, asked about how I was planning to feed (she was very nice, non judgemental and quite realistic I thought) gave me information about the normal visits hv's do and told me about extra support they can offer if needed. She also gave me leaflets on baby groups and activities in the area, which I liked as none of my friends have babies and all work full time, so I was a bit worried I'd be stuck at home alone on mat leave!

sprite25 Fri 22-Nov-13 16:33:06

I just had a call from a HV trying to arrange one of these visits for me, she seemed ok until I dared to ask her if a pre-birth visit was necessary then she instantly changed and became very rude. She said they only do it for 1st time mums as they 'usually appreciate the support as they dont feel they know what their doing, it being their 1st baby and all' erm if I knew how to make a baby, how to grow it all this time and how to take care of myself and baby til now then I dont need some arsey old witch telling me how to do things all of a sudden! Grr sorry for the rant, as I say she seemed fine at 1st and I probably would of agreed to the visit had she not been so rude and patronising!

Andanotherthing123 Fri 22-Nov-13 23:09:06

Just wanted to highlight something I didn't know HVs did, which I found invaluable and means I will be forever grateful to one HV...when I was worried about DS2 I rang my HV and told her he wasn't talking at all and I felt he'd lost some skills. She did a home visit, referred him for a hearing test, speech therapy and to the Child Development Centre when he was 18 months old. My son went on to have grommets to improve his glue ear and eventually got an autism diagnosis at 2 and a half. He has made so much progress because the HV took quick action and frankly saved us a couple of years in painful limbo, wondering how best to help our son. In contrast, the only doctor I spoke to about my concerns said "he looks fine to me".

HVs are there to help young children and their parents and whilst I don't really feel I need an anti natal visit with DC3, I also didn't think I'd ever need to speak to one when I did and for it to be so crucial to my sons well being.

lookingfoxy Fri 22-Nov-13 23:20:14

Hv'S can be useful, I found them crap with dc 1 but more useful this time round. I guess it depends on the individual hv.

RaRa1988 Sat 23-Nov-13 16:02:58

Just a warning: it probably depends on area again, but I explained to my midwife that I wouldn't want an HV coming to the house as I'm pretty nervous and uncomfortable with medical staff in general, and I wouldn't appreciate the intrusion or interference. She (midwife) understood completely, but said I'd have to be very careful as the HV team tend to see a refusal as suspicious and we'd likely be reported to SS hmm

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