Disappointed with HV(19 Posts)
So I've just come on here as I'm feeling hugely disappointed and frustrated with my first HV visit.
DD is 13 days old and has struggled with feeding from the boob. I've been giving her ebm from a Medela bottle and I've been pleased with her progress. (She was quite poorly at first, no wet nappies, quite severe jaundice) she's now gaining weight and getting happier and well rested.
Today health visitor told me there were lots of issues with my method of feeding (community midwifes have been quite happy - if it works for me and all that...) and has told me that I really need to get her on the boob. She got me to try today and LO screamed the place down. She faffed around on the boob, nipped the end of my nipple and bruised it and then sat with her moth around it so exhausted she didn't really suck properly.
Then when she did the full body check she pointed out DD 'S strawberry birthmarks (she has two) and told me to Google them because they can spread and cover large amounts of the body and look unsightly. And also told me I need to have them verified by my gp because I could be accused of child abuse if someone else sees them on her body! And having them verified means that there are medical records proving what they are and when they appeared.
All in all she's left me really unsettled. I've been struggling with baby blues but I just want to sit and bawl my eyes out.
I'm trying my best to do everything right, and I know it might not be perfect but my baby is well fed with my milk and she's loved more than she could imagine.
It sounds like you are doing incredibly well! And at the end of the day if you and baby are happy that is great. Health visitors are a mixed bag. I've had some great ones, but also some terrible ones. My hv for my first baby told me that if I stopped ironing and fed my baby properly he would put on weight better. A week later (at four weeks old) he was diagnosed with heart failure and had an op a week after that. I could never trust her again!
However whilst she has been remarkably tactless she is probably trying to help. Expressing and bottle feeding is the hardest work, you have all the hard work of both and none of easy parts! Also you may find supply dwindles over time. So you might want to try and get her back on the breast if possible. However, I hate the book shoving in babies mouth that some people do.... And I'm not convinced it will help. Maybe try loads of skin to skin and go to bed with her for a couple of days and see if she can gently transition onto the breast.... Just to make it easier for you? However, if you are happy as things are disregard my advice!
As per birthmarks they should all be noted on the baby check, and if not she can just as easily note them in the red book as the gp. This is important with some birth marks (for example the ones that look like big bruises!) but strawberry ones are usually quite distinctive and shouldn't cause a problem. They can get a bit bigger (but often dont) but even if they do be assured that after 1they get smaller again, so it makes no odds.
You should feel really proud of yourself, first babies are hard! Congratulations and good luck! It becomes much easier to ignore health visitors the more children you have!
Sorry to hear you've had a rough visit. The last thing you need from them is unnecessary worry.
IMO as long as your DD is feeding and putting on weight then surely it doesn't matter how she gets the milk. If you can get her on the boob at some point then great, if not then it certainly isn't the end of the world.
And with regards to the strawberry birthmarks I can understand where she is coming from in terms of getting them recorded on her medical notes. But there is no need to put the fear of god into you about people thinking they are signs of child abuse. Surely healthcare professionals would be able to spot the difference. Try not to worry about them growing too large. My DS has one on his back and although it has grown to about the size of a little fingernail it's stopped now and according to the NHS website should go by the age of 7.
No doubt you are doing amazingly. Forget what shes said and try to enjoy these first few weeks with your DD.
The birthmark thing is crap but standard. My dd2 is7 weeks tomorrow but we were told the same and warned that we needed to report any new ones because if we didn't they would think 'abuse'. Try not to take it personally. Ignore your hv regarding feeding. Exclusively expressing is difficult so you are clearly doing brilliantly. I express once per day and unless I express first thing I struggle. I take my hat off to you to be doing all feeds that way!
On the feeding side of things sounds very similar to me. Dd would never latch and I ended up exclusively expressing for 3 months. I would not wish it on anyone quite frankly it is an incredible amount of additional stress. Make sure you get some proper breastfeeding support (obviously not from your hv) if you want to continue trying to breastfeed directly. It will make life so much easier for you. Expressing is a totally fine method of feeding but it is hard work for you.
I just wanted to send you an unmumsnet hug. You are doing amazingly well, these early weeks and months are so hard and that whole visit must have been so stressful.
I've been very lucky to have a lovely HV who has supported me through post natal anxiety. However one of her colleagues was awful and made me feel like a crap mum. If you need future support I would ask to see a different HV as there are good ones out there.
As for the strawberry mark, dd has one and we were never told about it looking like a sign of abuse! That's just crazy. It did get checked by the GP at her 8 week check who was very nonchalant about it. Hers grew quite quickly but then stopped and now at nearly a year old it's fading.
Keep doing what is right for you and your baby and have lots of tea and chocolate.
I had an awful HV too. She left me in tears.
I felt I had just turned a feeding corner and she just shot me down and made me feel utterly useless!
It's such a shame because now in hindsight I wish I had told her to do one, but at the time your so vulnerable and trying to figure it out you really take to heart what the so called professionals say.
You would think they were taught a bit of tact and understanding.
I know not all HVs are like this but unfortunately your story and mine are not rare.
You are doing amazingly to ebf and also via expressing+bottles so double hats off to you.
The mendela bottles are great. If she is eating from them then you know she can latch and suck so keep offering boob if you want her to get back on but if your both happy and she is eating then all is good either way.
That's your only job for now.
Our DD has some birth marks and the just noted them and said to tell nursery when she was enrolled.
Some of these health visitors are on power trips. You are doing fine, ignore her
Mine was unkempt and mostly interested in tea biscuits and chatting. I endured the visits. There are some strange ones out there.
My friend is a HV and was completely completely and utterly crap with her own DCs. Truly awful. Massive health problems that her friends spotted and she didn't have a clue.
I was vvvvvhappy she wasn't my HV!
My own HV told me that xyz was "impossible". Guess what? Impossible happened!
Do not worry.
These HV don't know how deep their words can cut. I ebf, he wouldn't feed from me at all. The HV didn't believe me as he gained so much weight, said I must be a milking cow!!! I was producing a lot of milk, but how unprofessional. You are doing amazingly and I believe Mother knows best at time. You are with your baby 24/7, they are not. They all can't be textbook babies!
Thank you everyone for your support. I'm managing the expressing for now, and I think I'll try to get her on the boob, but I am just in a place where I'm comfortable and happy with the progress we are making after a horrible time. I cried in front of HV and she started taking about PND. I know this is a serious thing, but equally, I felt she'd turned my new normal upside down and at 13 days old, it could be my hormones still?! I've cried lots but surely everyone does.
I think I just need the confidence to tell her to back off. She's coming on Monday to watch me feed again. I'm not sure whether to just get DD to try and do it and play her game so she leaves me alone or tell her To back off.
Get someone who can support your breastfeeding ideally by Monday to be there to support you when hv is around
Have you had your DD checked for a tongue tie? Even a small one can stop them latching properly. If you can, find a support group with a proper lactation consultant, midwives aren't always trained to spot less obvious ties (all three of my DC had 25% posterior ties which were missed in hospital but picked up later by a lactation consultant, having them divided made a huge difference to their ability to latch on and feed efficiently.) Good luck and keep doing what you feel is best for your DD, you're doing a brilliant job
Oh you poor thing theres no need to make you feel that way. Things are hard enough as it is. Sounds as if she doesn't know with things in the correct way.
If your really not happy with the HV call the clinic/team and request someone else. I did just that and the HV that comes to see me now is wonderful, normal, realistic and I can talk to her! The first one stepped in to my living room, saw my cats and asked when they were being rehomed by the time I asked her to leave she was trying to convert me to be a Christian!
Your doing an amazing job! See if there's a breast feeding workshop in your area that you could attend. They can be really helpful.
It sounds like you're doing really well, and are a lot more together than I was at 2 weeks! Expressing is hard work (for you), but if you're happy with it then do what works for you both.
My health visitor was also crap, no help with breastfeeding and when I said how DS had started fussing at the breast and described how he was licking it and not really latching she made an "eugh" face and a nervous laugh (thankfully it was just a phase and he stopped a few days later, no thanks to her). She also came every bloody week to weigh him.
And at 3 weeks old she told me that I should be reading to him every day to "help his development" and she'd be assessing this development at 6 weeks; I had a thread about that one, because I was still just working out how to get through the day at that stage with feeding, and had no idea how I was supposed to get DS calm and settled enough to be receptive to me reading to him. I cried because I thought my inability to read to him would make him fail his 6 week check.
DP and I are considering emigrating to get away from her.
I suggest going to a breast feed support group as they might actually be supportive and help you get baby onto boob if that's what you want. It also has the added bonus of being a tool to say yes Hv that's the plan
smile nod and please go away
The reason Hv is encouraged you to go to boob is that it is extremely hard to express long term, that doesn't excuse her from being rude and unsurportive. My Hv is crap too, I've learn to listen smile nod and make appropriate noises.
I've just had dd2s 6 week check and I won't see my hv again until 4 months. After that it's the 1 year check. I'm amazed at how different it is in some places. Mine has been lovely but I wouldn't want to be visited every few weeks like that. We can book an appointment if we want but that's it. I've already told them I'm not going to the 4 month session as its a group session on weaning. Being a second timer I know what I'm doing and have all of the information.
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