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Positive health visitor stories and tips

(26 Posts)
Lotta1234 Mon 18-Feb-13 16:30:03

I'm starting this thread as I've had largely positive experiences of health visitors and I'm horrified by the thread claiming that you shouldn't let them in your home. Thought it would be good to share positive experiences of health visitors and tips on how to resolve any issues if you have had them with health visitors (for example, how to change health visitor).

Lotta1234 Mon 18-Feb-13 16:31:54

When I've received bad advice off a health visitor (and this has only happened once or twice), I've often found phoning the health visitor team for more advice a day or two later has really helped.

Scroobius Mon 18-Feb-13 19:50:01

I think as with everything there are some good, some bad. My sister had one that made her so paranoid she scrubbed her hands red raw, however she had another who was the only person to pick up on her postnatal depression and get a lot of help put in place for her.

Ninjacat Mon 18-Feb-13 22:28:00

16 years ago I had the most amazing hv who helped me through a very difficult time.
I was a teenage mum and suffered a huge bereavement. The support and advice she offered was invaluable.
She made a huge difference to my life.

wonkylegs Mon 18-Feb-13 22:31:57

My HV was great, she broadly left me to it but gently reminded me not to be a martyr (I'm disabled and was quite ill following DSs birth but I was also stubbornly independent.) She was really helpful researching specialist stuff she didn't know and offering to get me access to all sorts of stuff. Also really helpful when DS went through night terrors at quite a young age - which was a terrifying experience.

Dysgu Mon 18-Feb-13 22:38:13

My HV is great - she generally lets me get on with things but is happy to offer information and advice. I am 31 weeks with DC3 and have had the same HV with all 3 DC. She is even better on a personal level as, prior to becoming a HV, she was a NICU nurse and with my DC coming early and starting out in NICU, she has been great in knowing what to do and when to adjust the age and when not to.

I am looking forward to catching up with her next month when she is coming round to fill in the paper work prior to DC arriving - unless DC arrives sooner!

stargirl1701 Mon 18-Feb-13 22:43:25

My HV is fantastic. She is really knowledgeable and up-to-date. She makes me smile and feel like I'm being a good Mum. She was very supportive when I was relactating. Just lovely.

JakeBullet Mon 18-Feb-13 22:45:00

I am an exHV and I think there are good and bad as in any profession. However, in the past 15-20 years (I can only really comment on the last 15) there seems to have been a marked disagreement about what HVs should be doing. So in some areas they will do all baby clinics and development checks while in others they do the clinics very rarely and development checks have been phased out......until they are just as quickly phased back in. Nobody knows what they should be doing.....least of all the HVs.

So my role as a HV became less and less attractive as I realised what I really wanted to do was Family Support which I had less and less time to do.
I wanted to be able to drop everything when a Mum phoned me in tears...I wanted to be able to hold the baby so she could go for a shower and freshen up. I wanted to help deal with debt issues and behaviour issues...and that's what I did until the powers that be decided I couldn't do that anymore and would only see families where there were Child Protection issues.

Anyway I digress grin, my own HV was fantastic and so so supportive when I was in the depths of PND. She was literally phoning me daily at one point to see how the night had been etc...she was fabulous and I don't think I ever had any dodgy advice from her. Quite literally she was a lifeline for me at a horrendous time.

As for me, I am now a Parent Supporter on a voluntary basis with a few hours of extra paid work each week. It's much more what I went I to health visiting to do but was stopped from doing.

And for anyone who wants to change their HV, just write to "Community Matron, Children and Family Services c/o your local PCT. It will get where it should

Mine was great. Relaxed, gave good advice for me and baby, approachable and told me what worked for her children too as well as other women. She supported my bf and scowled when I told her another hv had indicated ds would need to be hospitalised due to normal weight loss. Saw her for a couple of ds's vaccinations and hopefully will see her in around ten weeks time when dc2 arrives. I couldn't have had a better experience, and feel gutted for the women on here who have experienced some truly nasty and horrid health visitors. It made such a difference to me, to have someone tell me I was doing ok whilst mil couldn't wait for me to mess up

Pancakeflipper Mon 18-Feb-13 22:46:09

My HV was great. Very down to earth and knew each child was an individual and that they do things differently at different times etc.

Mine was especially helpful in helping us to get the GP's to re-listen to our concerns about DS2's health and she suggested possible reasons for his vomiting and runny bum for 1.5 yrs. She was massively supportive.

SingingSands Mon 18-Feb-13 22:55:00

Mine was amazing. Down to earth, friendly, made me feel listened to and gave me a lovely confidence boost when I needed it. She had years of experience behind her, so always had a helpful "tip" to share - she'd never directly give advice, just say something like "I was at a house last week where the mum did XYZ to get her little one to sleep..." and I'd think "great, I'll try that!". I read some of the HV threads on here with horror and feel really grateful for my experience.

musickeepsmesane Mon 18-Feb-13 22:57:03

It has been over 25 years since I needed an HV. Mine was great. There seemed to be a general lack of respect for her because she never had any kids, that used to annoy me. I remember when my baby was maybe about 1 month old and he just wouldn't sleep. I was soooo tired. She called in, took one look, wrapped him really tight in his blanket (I had never mastered that) and he slept for hours. She was always available and so kind too. I now deal with the next generation of HV's as I foster and I have never had any problems. They are informed and helpful and interested.

Bunbaker Mon 18-Feb-13 23:06:14

DD had a difficult start in life and I was unable to take her to the clinic because of her medical issues. My HV was wonderfully supportive and helpful and helped me through a difficult time and gave me lots of sensible advice.

I also had a wonderful midwife and a brilliant community nurse.

Clearlymisunderstood Mon 18-Feb-13 23:37:12

My HV is lovely. She is completely supportive of everything I do and gives advice in a wonderful and friendly manner rather than he condescending tone that others seem to use.

Bumping thread - there must be more people with nice HV stories to share?! blush

atrcts Wed 20-Feb-13 10:48:55

My HV was a REAL person - very much professional yet also humble-spirited and never bossy or interfering.

My first interaction involved early baby check where she noticed the start of eczema mixed with normal dry skin - I had just thought it was part of his dry and fragile skin so had only been using moisturiser. She arranged (with my permission) to see the GP who organised steroid cream which nipped it in the bud immediately.

The next encounter was at the 6 week check when I was on my knees with exhaustion. She gentle and unobtrusively suggested I might want to consider trying a sleep routine to differentiate between day and night more easily. I was sceptical as I thought anyhow routine-orientated would go against my "live each hour at a time" and "go with the flow" mentality, but I gave it a go and was amazed by how it immediately made a difference to DS's ability to settle and sleep. That was GOLD-DUST for us!

I also had problems with DS refusing to stop feeding and the HV once again very kindly suggested that he would be requiring comfort rather than actual food for a lot of his one on the breast, and offered helpful guidelines for how long I can expect to feed and how to offer comfort in a different way that might work instead.

It's no good saying that family can always be there to teach a new parent, as no-one in my family had a forceps delivery and ever experienced a baby with such bruising and tearing on his little head.

Likewise its not always straightforward to research yourself as the experts in literature often say different things - on the one hand saying that if a baby demands feeds morning noon and night then you have to give it no matter how debilitating to the Mum .... and on the other hand (another extreme) saying ignore a babies cry unless it's been 3 hours since the last feed!

When my DH had an accident involving taking DS to A&E, staff warned us hat they have to routinely inform GP/HV and that we can expect contact get we get home. If a person were to be paranoid then they'd have to include not attending A&E as staff have to share details with other agencies!!!!!

My HV followed up the incident with a phone call saying that she knew everything was ok with us, but has to call to just say that she's touched base with us as it is the policy. She was short and sweet, apologetic and by no means questioning, and it was entirely reasonable.

When it became evident that my DS had reflux (again, no one in my family or circle of friends had any experience of this to fall back on), my HV was quick to organise a prescription from the GP without my need to make an appointment. From what I've read about (silent) reflux his symptoms were very hidden and not particularly text-book so even if I had read up about it before giving birth it might not have been obvious. The prescription made a difference though and life was more bearable for everyone involved.... thanks to a very efficient HV!

It's like all walks in life - you get some people who excel at their jobs and others who are burnt out or just unsuitable for that line of work. I guess HV's are no exception to this norm. But if you were going to start getting paranoid about it then you'd never go to a hospital, bank, insurance company, shop or take a flight anywhere as rude and obstructive people are in all walks of life! Luckily not ALL of the people ALL of the time though wink

MiaowTheCat Wed 20-Feb-13 11:57:48

The bank generally doesn't come into your house with the ability to do child protection referrals though so that's a bit of a bonkers analogy to draw.

JakeBullet Wed 20-Feb-13 12:34:33

Ah but Miaow, EVERYONE has the ability to do child protection referrals...not just HVs. A assuming your experience of your one was not positive though.

KittyMcAllister Wed 20-Feb-13 12:40:58

Another wonderful experience with HV'ds here. Really supportive with difficult BF especially for DC1, running the local baby cafe and always being approachable, sensible, non-judgemental & giving appropriate advice re: feeding, weaning etc. I feel like they really "know" our family.

atrcts Wed 20-Feb-13 13:57:39

Miow - sounds like you missed the point. Bankers are people, some good and some not so good. Just because you meet one who is rude or pushy doesn't mean you have to avoid all bankers. I hope that explains it for you grin

JakeBullet Wed 20-Feb-13 14:27:12

To be fair it sounds like Miaow has had a crappy experience. Am sure she knows only too well about the good and bad in any profession.

My own HV was very good and really supportive to me at a difficult time.She spent ages with me trying to help me get breast feeding going...without success. DS appeared to have no coordination....5 years later he was diagnosed with dyspraxia, then autism at 7 which made the early feeding issues make sense to me.

Twattybollocks Wed 20-Feb-13 17:51:10

There are good and there are bad. I've had two lovely ones and one nightmare so far. The nightmare was after dc2 and she was just the most patronising self important woman ive ever met. Thankfully she has now left and I have another lovely lady for dc3.
Good hv make you feel like you can ring to ask questions, not be judged and access help if you need it. Bad ones you generally can't wait for them to go and leave you alone (preferably before you do or say something you may later regret!)

MiaowTheCat Wed 20-Feb-13 18:37:21

The only bankers I tend to meet are ones with little keypads you push that dispense money... things with buttons that dispense money are welcome to come to my house - hell I'll even make them a cup of tea.

atrcts Wed 20-Feb-13 21:51:44

Haha - gotta love your humour! wink

JakeBullet Wed 20-Feb-13 21:52:23

Miaow grin

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