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Baby clinic, weighing, health visitors

(81 Posts)
Chislemum Tue 08-Jan-13 16:02:40

I was wondering whether it is wrong - or unreasonable - to stop going to baby clinics and instead weigh my baby at home?

Our baby clinic is really filthy, overheated, etc. Also, the health visitors don't really help at all, just give me incorrect and conflicting information (depending on who you talk to) and worry me needlessly.

Is it normal that all they do at the baby clinic is to weigh babies?

My DS is 5 months and I intend to have all his vaccinations done etc. I just don't like the baby clinic. What would happen (if anything), if I weighed my baby myself and refuse all further contact with HVs but instead take baby to GP if there is a real issue and/or to a privately paid pediatrician?

I have searched the threads on this forum and found lots of info (incl. a thread implying HVs were spies???) - does anyone have a link to something official were it says I don't have to go there and won't lose any entitlement of NHS treatment.... (sorry for my angry tone... was just annoying there today).

HG2014 Sun 08-Jun-14 00:26:21

Ok, that's helpful to know. Maybe mums feel that they will be judged if they don't take their baby to baby clinic? ( not the case from an hv standpoint - but can see how mums might think that)

HG2014 Sat 07-Jun-14 12:48:02

This is really interesting - as a student HV clinic drives me mad - there is no evidence for routinely weighing babies - I think it just undermines parental confidence (that was my personal experience with my own baby) - just wondered what people thought of having an under 1's drop-in group - for social contact and a 3-4 month follow-uo visit with an HV instead of a baby clinic?

Chislemum Fri 11-Jan-13 09:19:51

just wish hv had told me all this was optional - other mums in the area also seem to believe it is something you need to do ...

lolarocks Thu 10-Jan-13 16:42:04

I was told by my HV to go to the clinic as little or often as I like. DS is 8 weeks old and so far I haven't been once. Will try to get round to it next week.

thebody Thu 10-Jan-13 16:41:08

Lol lol I went once with Pfb but didn't bother with other 3.

waste of time. And you really don't need to be weighing a 5 month old anyway. Why are you? If its healthy and happy then just don't faff about.

MammaTJ Thu 10-Jan-13 16:31:53

I have to say, when someone made a malicious report about me to SS, the first thing they did was contact the HV. I had been in enough contact with her for her to be able to say I was an alright a good mum.

EssexGurl Thu 10-Jan-13 12:53:44

I went religiously with DS when he was a new born. BUT I didn't go to my "local" clinic. It was too far away and I didn't drive at that point. So I walked to the one in town. As it wasn't my designated clinic they recorded visits in the red book but nowhere else.

When I had PND (collapsed when he was 5 months and needed emergency medical help) one of the many sticks used to make me feel like I was a bad mother was the fact that I hadn't taken him to the clinic. Every f***ing visit from HV, GP, social worker I had to get the red book out and prove to them I had been. Really didn't help at a bad time.

When I had DD I did go to that clinic (driving at that point) but they told me only to go until she was 6 months and then only if "I had an issue".

So, would say, don't go but also with my history am paranoid about missing "official" things like this in case they come back to bite you.

acceptableinthe80s Thu 10-Jan-13 10:37:39

i've never understood the obsession of weighing/measuring babies. I think ds was about 6 weeks old last time i went to the hv (he's 4yrs now). I could clearly see he was gaining weight due to outgrowing clothes every few weeks feeding 20 hours a day. Not necessary unless you have any specific concerns imo.

blonderthanred Thu 10-Jan-13 09:57:12

Kytti you jest but last week my hv actually stroked my hair - really firmly - while she was talking to me (I was sitting bf and she was standing over me). It was weird but kind of hysterical.

dpotter my paed also prescribed 'not going to the hv clinic' as treatment for my DS 'failure to thrive' - mind you he also said tongue tie was a load of bollocks and we've just had DS's snipped.

OP yanbu, stay away unless you need to go. Waiting rooms full of children are always horrid, sticky and thick with grub and germs.

JakeBullet Thu 10-Jan-13 07:50:53

...and despite my post 30 mins ago can I just say too that I absolutely LOVED doing baby clinic......even if I did feel at times that I would be better employed elsewhere. Many Mums do come regularly and it's fantastic to see the babies grow from tiny helpless infant to bruising 9 month's even better to see them at 2 years when they have developed a healthy disrespect for anything vaguely medical.grin. Having a two year old look you squarely in the eye and refuse outright to sit on your scales is a great leveller grin.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 10-Jan-13 07:32:17

Small voice in the corner pipes up with

91-09 my dr's had the best HV, she was never unhelpful never contradictory and never patronising. But then she went and retired.

I just don't understand what they are for or do these days because its all changed and the ones these days don't even seam to know themselves

( the ones I know not all obviously)

bigfuckoffpie Thu 10-Jan-13 06:38:10

DS got weighed a few times in his first couple of weeks, then less regularly after that as the HV home appointments tailed off. I vaguely thought I should take him to a baby clinic as I'd heard other mums talking about getting their wee one weighted, so asked the HC and was told not to bother bringing him in to weigh unless I was worried.

I think it's a pretty good system - all the traipsing about to get your baby weighed sounds like a massive PITA.

JakeBullet Thu 10-Jan-13 06:27:59

I think this thread illustrates perfectly that HVs should not be doing baby clinics. I am an exHV and to be honest my caseload was massive and included very complex families with huge amounts of difficulties and challenges. It would have been far better for me to concentrate my time on those families than see healthy mothers and babies in a clinic which could be run by HV assistants.

Baby clinics were once a great idea but now are little more than a social gathering and continue to run so that Mums can meet each other and chat while their babies are weighed.

The families where there are major concerns (and I don't include people who simply opt not to come") don't use these clinics. These are the babies that as a HV I really NEEDED to see but only got to see if the parents were home or if SS had insisted their children were seen on a regular basis. The vast majority of mothers and babies don't need these clinics and don't like them.

When I was a HV, I used to discuss weighing at the Primary visit and always explained "no more than once a month" and that three times in the first year was adequate if a baby was healthy. I also said that baby clinic and health surveillance were optional. Despite this most mothers (and it usually is mothers) do opt to come in to baby clinic and do want the optional checks.

I left health visiting last year and have no plans to return, primarily this is due to the massive and never ending changes going on in the role. Nobody can decide what HVs should be doing, are they another arm to social services focusing only on troubled families, are they there for everyone regardless? I felt like a jack of all trades and master of none, it wasn't what I became a HV for and there were other issues in my own life hence I left.

Kytti Thu 10-Jan-13 02:35:23

Oh, and lovelyladuree I'm a sahm. Taking baby twins & a 2 year old to a clinic when you're not allowed to take your pram inside is impossible, and utterly pointless in my high-and-mighty I know what I'm doing thanks attitude. (There, I said it for you.)

I just didn't need to be patronisingly patted on the head all the time. Each to their own, sweetie.

Kytti Thu 10-Jan-13 02:31:19

I never took ds2 or twins. It was too difficult and I didn't see the point. If I was worried for any reason I would have called the hv, but thankfully I never had to. When they wanted to see the twins for the 6m checks etc, I made them come to me.

Don't like them, find them intrusive and contradictory. It's just me. smile

piprabbit Thu 10-Jan-13 02:23:21

Save your money and don't bother with the scales. Unless you have concerns you don't need to weigh at all once you've got over the first couple of months.

MammaTJ Thu 10-Jan-13 01:40:23

Oh dear lovelyladuree could you be any more judgemental if you tried really hard?

I did not take mine to the hell hole very often either. It was clean but the HV was the one who told me to leave my baby to cry at night, even if he had a shitty nappy. She refused to help and advise me with his constant diarrhoea and nappy rash. Why would I bother?

I did not return to work after two weeks maternity leave either, though if I had seen fit to do so that would not have meant the baby was an inconvenience.

GreenPetal94 Wed 09-Jan-13 23:28:27

Remember weighing your baby has no effect on whether they are on the right line. Somehow I never figured this out at the time.

My tiny baby has just overtaken his older (big baby) brother in shoe size. They are 9 and 11 now and I'm sure the tiny one will ultimately be the tallest.

MadH3n Wed 09-Jan-13 19:02:15

You do not have to go to baby clinic. They are there as a resource for you to use as and when you require it. This may be for weighing, or it may be a question you have regarding your baby's health or development.

If you can see that your baby is healthy, alert, settling between his feeds and growing out of his new born / first clothes then you can feel confident that he is putting weight on as he should. And don't worry - not all HVs are obsessed with centile charts!

vj32 Wed 09-Jan-13 15:54:46

I took DS every few months when he was small because he was huge - above top line on the chart huge. Consequently he was over the weight limit for lots of things aimed at his age and I wanted him to be safe and not break anything!

Ours is just weighing unless you want to talk about something that is worrying you. Sometimes its helpful, sometimes not - lots of the 'HV' are not actually HV, they are nursery nurses. They did refer DS to speech and language when I had concerns so that was good.

I went about once a month with DS1, but it was really for the social side of it - loads of toys and other mums to talk to, the HV was really friendly and chatty too. Less with DS2, was more confident in my skills to amuse them etc. When I has DS3 my husband had all sorts of MH issues that made all our lives difficult, so the lovely HV here often phoned just to chat, and suggested i bring DS3 to be 'weighed' if I needed to talk to her.

So i guess, while I have had fairly positive experiences overall, not much of it has been to do with any of my DS's health!!

Spatsky Wed 09-Jan-13 10:43:34

OP, if you do weigh baby yourself, I was advised that standard houshold bathroom scales are not always as accurate with smaller weights so for baby weighing to weigh yourself holding baby, then weigh yourself without baby and the difference is baby's weight.

This may be outdated though if scales have become better in the last 10 years.

Sorry if already said, not read whole thread.

Andcake Wed 09-Jan-13 10:35:56

Just chipping in as the weighing in clinic at mine is a comedy of bureaucracy gone mad- I go every four weeks or so as paranoid about weight as ds lost a lot after birth and was hospitalised. Have only seen HV twice but they have really not added any insight or help I couldn't have worked out for myself or with the help of mn.

The weighing part it takes one person to weigh and write down weight and then another to 'graph'!!! When I didn't want to wait extra time for the 'graph' bit and said I would do it myself they looked at me as though I was MAD and that plotting on a graph was really hard not something most school kids should be able to do.

MamaBear17 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:11:36

I went once a week with my dd - she had colic and I was struggling. I was convinced there was something wrong with her because she cried all of the time and I really needed some support. The HV's told me on about my 6th visit (so dd would have been 8 weeks-ish) that I was only supposed to go once a month, that 'all babies cry' and not to come back for at least a month. DD had dropped two centiles in weight since birth and I struggled with feeding her because she wouldn't take milk in any proper quantity. HV's listened to my concerns but said that I was doing everything right so not to worry. I went to my GP with my concerns instead. They prescribed Colief for the colic and within two weeks my dd was like a different baby. I monitored her weight at home (changed to scales to pounds and weighed her by weighing myself, then standing on the scale holding her) once a week to check she was heading in the right direction. I only went back to the clinic once more - for dd's one year check. If you are happy that your baby is gaining weight and healthy then go with your own instincts.

Sirzy Tue 08-Jan-13 20:57:00

I last took DS to be weighed at a clinic when he was 10 weeks old. The attitude of the health visitor at the clinic was enough to put me off for good.

Locally the vaccines are done by the practice nurse rather than a HV so I have only had to endure 2 visits from the HV since that point (DS is now 3) so to me it wouldn't be worth opting out of the HV system because you sort of forget they exist anyway!

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