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To think people without children can have a view

(56 Posts)
McHappyPants2012 Thu 01-Nov-12 20:48:26

This gets on my nerves when mainly parents dismiss Heath visitors and midwives advice solely because they have not had children of there own.

To me HV and MW do a great job, but like in all jobs you get good and bad.

IvorHughJackolantern Thu 01-Nov-12 20:51:50

How can 'parents' dismiss them if they've not had children? confused

FWIW I have a child and had a horrendous experience with the midwives when I had him and the two HVs I saw were clueless arseholes who perpetuated my PND. But I'm not daft enough to think that they're representative of their entire profession.

IvorHughJackolantern Thu 01-Nov-12 20:52:21

Ah, ignore my first line. Have re-read and understand now.

mellowcat Thu 01-Nov-12 20:52:47

Yes, the way I see it is the parent is the expert in their own child, while the professional is the expert in lots of children, so the view's of both combined should lead to the best outcome for the individual child - in an ideal world anyway!

IneedAgoldenNickname Thu 01-Nov-12 20:57:25

Well the Midwife who told me to 'stop making so much fuss, labour can't possibly hurt that much'!! Might have been more considerate had she actually given birth!

Lueji Thu 01-Nov-12 21:01:02

Well, it's not "people", is it?
It's trained professionals.

Even if they have children, their out of work experience is based on their kids, nieces, nephews, and little else.

And it's just advice. People take it if they want to.

OpheliaPayneAgain Thu 01-Nov-12 21:04:23

HVs are satan is diguise. Just my experience. I dont need what seems a 12yo fuckwit with a BTEC in Health and Social advising me.

McHappyPants2012 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:05:07

I said people as outside work, they are people and may have experience with children within there family and friend group.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 01-Nov-12 21:09:34

My personal experience of those without children is they can be sanctimonious idiots, even when they mean well. I accept people who're trained should know their job - but I can see why people might feel less comfortable with their advice. I don't have children and it's not rocket science to realize there are some things I just can't and don't know.

Kalisi Thu 01-Nov-12 21:09:50

I agree that the advice of professionals should not be dismissed solely on that fact, however in my experience I do find that those without children themselves have less skill on dealing with the parent rather than the child. When my DS was very poorly at birth, I found the difference towards me quite obvious in the nurses/doctors/midwives that had children and those that didn't
Their ways of treating DS was the same.

ShhhhhGoBackToSleep Thu 01-Nov-12 21:16:43

I think that although you can have a view on something if you don't have children, when you do have children you will have a much more informed and helpful view.

So when I told a student midwife I was really struggling with SPD she told me to rest more. Whereupon my lovely community midwife chuckled and pointed out that my two year old who was climbing the walls and destroying the room while also asking a million questions a second was probably not conducive to putting my feet up all day, and suggested prescribing some cocodomol and a bit of peppa pig.

And having fed a child for two years I knew far more about breastfeeding than the midwife who delivered my second child, as she cheerfully advised me.

That said, although personal experience is helpful it is not the be all and end all. You can get fab childless HCPs and terrible ones who do have children.

bitsofmeworkjustfine Thu 01-Nov-12 21:20:45

i had views on kids before i had my dd and only now do i realise how misinformed, judgemental and plain wrong i was.

i thought that when you had a child you had a chance to shape them but they come with thier own personalities, tastes and preferences from the moment they draw breath.

BUT i'm not a trained healthcare professional. your arguement doesnt translate to other professions either... a brain surgeon cant possibly do brain surgery unless they have had brain surgery. a vet cant possibly understand how much a horses broken leg hurts unless he has been a horse themselves.....

CatsRule Thu 01-Nov-12 21:22:52

I don't believe all hv or mw's do a great job...I've recently been on the receiving end of a few pretty terrible ones!

However, the only mw who was truly excellent was the only one who didn't have children...she was actually great!

pointyfangs Thu 01-Nov-12 21:29:44

I think MWs and HVs vary just like the rest of us. All the MWs I've had, both in hospital and in the community, have been brilliant. The first MW who came out to me after DD1 was born (not my own midwife, who was on holiday) sorted out BF for me in a way that had me sorted in the space of 48 hours - she also spotted the tongue tie and told me I could get this separated if things did not get better within the first 2 weeks or so (it turned out not to be necessary).

HVs - a more varied experience. My HV with DD1 was very very good, an older lady who had had three of her own, was very pro bf and clued up, not obsessed about weight and centiles.

When I had DD2, this lady had retired and I had no continuity of care, and the HVs I saw were of the kind who might have made me doubt myself had this not been my second child. There was one very good one though, who by pure coincidence had been a MW before and had delivered DD1.

So a mixed bag, but mostly good.

Scheherezade Thu 01-Nov-12 21:34:02

Ophelia HVs are trained nurses and MWs who practice on the community.

Scheherezade Thu 01-Nov-12 21:34:15


Sirzy Thu 01-Nov-12 21:37:55

I think it depends on the person, some advice you are given and you think "great in a textbook but you try to implement it" others it is much more realistic and obviously based on real life experience rather than what they have read in a book.

I have a friend who is a HV and she is a fantastic source of advice despite having no children of her own.

UndeadPixie Thu 01-Nov-12 21:39:55

YANBU. It's not just HVs and medical workers. I've had it from parents in my charges social circle. Yes there are things that I can't understand, like the sleep deprivation from having a toddler and newborn breastfeeding at the same time, but I don't claim to know all. I can offer an opinion based on my own experiences and training when it is relevant. At the end of the day, I have probably come into more contact with children in general than they have, so my views on the normal behaviour of a toddler are just as valid as theirs! Albeit not about their particular toddler.

Thankfully, after reassuring one mother than her toddler son was normal and reacting normally to a new sibling, she did stick up for me the next time I tried to do this for another mother who was worrying about if her child was normal!

McHappyPants2012 Thu 01-Nov-12 21:53:38

A question for those who have had bad experiences did you complain about the MW or HV.

I used to think my MW was a right old witch, what I felt she put my down for ds not eating, having poor communication, social skills and slow development my reaction was go away he is still a baby ( this was when he was over 2) however she was right in the way her questions and suggestions of referrals as she was right since then my son has been diagnosed with austism.

CatsRule Thu 01-Nov-12 22:01:47

I complained about my hv...she was obsessed with weight/centile so much that she harrassed me continually over ds gaining 4 oz per week compared to what she said was a norm of 8+ oz per week! She also gave contradictory and inconsistent advice, challenged me on why I was doing certain things re feeding...things she told me to do...then denied ever saying them! I could go on but I'm sure you get the gist.

My complaint was met with an if you're not happy you can leave our surgery! So I did and now have a great hv.

1st hv did have children btw!

awaywego1 Thu 01-Nov-12 22:03:45

I think it might often depend more on the person that whether they have there own children or not.
I don't have children yet but my friends with kids often come to me for support and I think I'm quite good at providing them with it, but it's much more about being supportive and empathic than giving advice, and although I do suggest things when asked I would do it in a more of a 'wondering' way than a 'try this' way or tell them I've read it on Mumsnet and offer them a wine Professionally I sometimes work with parents and they always assume I've for kids and I have to put them right but again it's much more about being supportive than offering answers.

ImpatientOne Thu 01-Nov-12 22:06:54


I agree!

I used to work with student nurses who would talk about not going into HV or midwifery as they didn't have children and then go on to say that they'd applied to work on the stroke/cardiac/neuro ward... hmm

I never doubted that they would perform well in those roles but obviously they were not using the same logic to deicide what they wanted to do - just what they didn't!

MrsDeVere Thu 01-Nov-12 22:13:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

naturalbaby Thu 01-Nov-12 22:29:05

of course they can have a view
Professional advice based on training, research and experience isn't the same as having a view.

Being able to relate to the women you work with because you actually understand what they are going through is always going to be a bonus, but doesn't mean that you can't be a good MW/HV until you have have been pregnant/given birth.

thekidsrule Thu 01-Nov-12 22:29:22

ive had good midwifes and health visitors

some had children some didnt

yes i did take and ask advice especially with twins (first born)

older and wiser with the third and seemed so much easier,and had hardly any contact

i wouldnt dismiss them for not having children themselves but i think from proffesional and parent if they do have children you feel more on a level field

just as parents that give advice to parents with teenagers but their children are under ten and spout of about how they wouldnt put up with this that and the other,im not over tolerant on them

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