To wonder about Health Visitors?

(74 Posts)
Pyjamaramadrama Tue 03-Nov-15 14:35:25

Ok so I'm sorry to any brilliant health visitors, I'm not wishing to offend anyone, but I really have generally had useless experiences of health visitors.

Each time one has visited for a new birth they've had nothing useful to offer other than asking stupid questions such as whether we've got a car seat, well if she was that observant she'd have seen it in the hallway.

Another advised me to feed my newborn on a four hourly feeding schedule as though that was ever going to work.

I've twice tried to discuss ds2 reflux and whether he might have a dairy intolerance, the fact that his poo is green again and stinks, the fact he's not eating as much and his weight has dropped 1.5 centiles, she just shrugs and everything I ask is met with she doesn't know, he looks fine, see my gp if I'm concerned.

So other than weighing babies what is the purpose?

wigglesrock Tue 03-Nov-15 14:49:19

I was always quite happy with the HV I saw after my 3 births. They were always more concerned about how I was doing, my health, my recovery. I found it reassuring. I didn't bother so much with going to see them at clinics for weighing etc.

RainWildsGirl Tue 03-Nov-15 14:53:18

I never saw one with DC2 and 3, just went to the GP if I had concerns. I had such a bad experience with DC1 that I decided the local ones didn't do anything useful for me so stopped going .

you are under no obligation to see them, so don't.

but do see the GP about reflux, mine diagnosed DC3 and had him medicated straight away, it was like having a new baby once the meds kicked in!

Lottapianos Tue 03-Nov-15 14:54:13

I work with a lot of Health Visitors and they're just like any other professional group - some are fab, some are dreadful, some are in between. It sounds like you have had a really rubbish experience OP, that must be extremely frustrating. A decent Health Visitor should have been able to answer all of those questions, or at least find out the answer and get back to you. 'Dunno' is not acceptable!

GoboTheGoat Tue 03-Nov-15 14:56:56

I had one really awesome HV. She was the first one I ever saw. She left the profession a year later. Since then I have had shit one after shit one. Condescending cows, the lot of them.

ZebraLovesKnitting Tue 03-Nov-15 15:01:17

The health visitor I had with DS was brilliant. She got the GP to realise DS had quite awful reflux, and picked up my post-natal depression.

It's like any profession, there are good, bad and mediocre.

Cheby Tue 03-Nov-15 15:03:04

Ive had dreadful experiences resulting in a formal complaint. And I hear so many awful awful experiences from other mums, it can't just all be a few rogue HVs. They don't even seem to stay up to date with basic advice, like weaning or feeding on demand. I work in the NHS (non clinical) and if I failed to complete my continuous professional training I'd be sacked.

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 03-Nov-15 15:04:21

I almost didn't bother seeing one this time, but I let her come as I had a few questions, she was unable to answer any of the questions and just asked me a load of bog standard questions.

Trouble is my gp won't give me an appointment they tell you to speak to the health visitor. I did get to see the gp eventually and she prescribed gaviscon, it did nothing but make him constipated.

I wouldn't normally bother but I can tell his weight gain has slowed, I knew I'd need to get him weighed and chat to the health visitor before I was allowed an gp appointment. So I was just going through the motions really.

I'd really have thought they would be able to offer me some advice though.

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 03-Nov-15 15:04:30

Mine seems OK, but very new IYSWIM.
Everything has to be perfect, as if she's scared of making a mistake.
She made me laugh when she asked if I needed any advice on routines! My DS2 (3rd child) was about 6 weeks. Hahahaha hahahaha at routine.

daisychain1991 Tue 03-Nov-15 15:05:04

My HV was a lifesaver, I really felt looked after by her. She picked up my PND and didn't believe all the Everything is great, I am fine' line I was peddling.
Having said that I have seen a few others at the clinic, and there advice has been... Interesting to say the least.
I think its like any profession some are great, others not so much.

wonkylegs Tue 03-Nov-15 15:07:30

I had an awesome HV who went above and beyond to help me with DS (I have RA and she spent ages researching stuff to help me)
She was sensible, helpful and funny and I know I was lucky to have her. This time round we've moved and its 8years later so we'll see what happens but so far I've got a lovely community MW (which I didn't have with DS)

TaliZorah Tue 03-Nov-15 15:07:45

Mine has been great. DS has reflux and a milk allergy and she helped me when my GP practise wanted to stop prescribing me milk because "it's expensive".

I was pleasantly surprised, I was expecting to get a shit one.

Re dairy intolerance DS had green poos that were offensive smelling. Go to a GP and print off the symptoms of cows milk allergy and highlight the ones he has. That's what I did! Baby gaviscon is crap, it didn't help DS either

CuppaBiccieBliss Tue 03-Nov-15 15:08:14

Mine was awful! Total waste of space. In no way up to date with advice, was told I would have to wean dd2 early as she was born at 35 weeks. Apparently she would have to go onto solids at 12 weeks hmm the gp was not best pleased when I told her this. What made it worse is I have mental health issues (ptsd) and could have done with some support. Her advice.....get dd into childcare as soon as possible and go back to work. I don't work, I can't work, she knew this.

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 03-Nov-15 15:08:22

That's the thing fattyninja, I've not really met a horrible one as such, more just every time I've ever asked for advise they're very much like "whatever you think is best".

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 03-Nov-15 15:12:53

Tallzorah, how was the milk allergy/intolerance diagnosed in the end? Was it symptoms based? Has the prescription milk helped?

It's difficult to tell whether it's an allergy/intolerance or whether he's got reflux.

His poos had been fine for months and they've suddenly gone green again.

FattyNinjaOwl Tue 03-Nov-15 15:13:36

I think some are scared of upsetting the mum, others are not up to date on advice, and I have met some nasty ones. One told me I was too soft on DS1. Because he was feeding so much. Apparently if I just grew up a bit and got it into my head that babies cry he wouldn't feed as often.

heronsfly Tue 03-Nov-15 15:19:29

My HV was another who answered 'do what you feel is best dear' to every question she was asked,perfectly pleasant lady but I might as well have had a conversation with the cat grin

TaliZorah Tue 03-Nov-15 15:19:43

pyjama it was symptom based yes. He improved on alimentum but recently his symptoms came back so he's now on neocate.

Reflux and milk allergy commonly go together

PassiveAgressiveQueen Tue 03-Nov-15 15:21:58

mine was soooo wooly, useless

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 03-Nov-15 15:22:18

I had 2 fantastic HVs. The one who supported me through PND was amazing.

Sorry you've had a less positive experience.

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 03-Nov-15 15:38:38

I'm glad some people have had good experiences and help.

The baby clinic I went to was really chaotic, the HV I saw was actually a student, very lovely, but everything I asked she had to go and ask the main HV then feedback what she'd said. The main HV seemed to be dealing with more complex problems.

It was all just in one big room with 15 or so women and babies crying.

Ginandcolic Tue 03-Nov-15 15:40:03

My HV told me that my pre-eclampsia was caused by me being vegetarian and when I pointed out that some of her advice contradicted the advice given to me by the neo-natal consultant who looked after DD when she had dodgy blood sugar levels, she shrugged and said "Drs, what do they know?"

I am sure there must be some good ones out there though, as PPs have said, I guess there is a spectrum in any profession. I just wished the spectrum hadn't continued quite so far into shitness.

My HV also totally missed DD's reflux and transient lactose intolerance ... she just said "babies just cry" - I was incredibly lucky that a pharmacist worked out what was going on and suggested comfort milk which worked wonders within 24hrs. (I couldn't BF so DD was on formula anyway).

Good luck getting the right help for your DS!

Naicecuppatea Tue 03-Nov-15 15:42:21

Wooly is how I would describe the two that I had. Perfectly pleasant but useless. One kept saying 'give the baby a nice hot bath' for every worry that I had, that was her answer for everything. I can't really see what purpose they serve, apart from the obvious, like picking up PND (but only the half decent ones would be able to do that).

Dollymixtureyumyum Tue 03-Nov-15 15:45:50

Health visitors are there to point out all the inadequacies your mother forgot to mention

Pyjamaramadrama Tue 03-Nov-15 15:47:27

The midwife said babies just cry to me too.

There's something not quite right with ds though, I'm not thinking it's serious, but he's just never been quite content or comfortable, he definitely has some kind of digestion issues.

All healthcare professionals just seem to see weight gain as the only indication that he's ok.

I did actually have a lovely HV with ds1, when I was stressing about his toilet training she advised me to just leave him be and he'd do it when he was ready. 3 months later he was dry within a week. She made the point that the age you come out of nappies has no impact on the rest of your life.

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