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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

What is the point of the community midwife and/or health visitor?

(4 Posts)
JDad2015 Fri 06-Nov-15 03:00:26

Don't get me wrong - I love the NHS: during JD's birth we received excellent hospital care from a diverse team of medical professionals.

But now that we are back home the post-natal care leaves a lot to be desired.

I think the concept of community midwives and health visitors is great - having continued support for new parents is a good idea.

But there is not much practical point if they are unable to deal with what (for their profession) should be fairly simple questions.

The 3 things we've persistently asked are:

1. C-section - how long does recovery take?
The most ridiculous answer to this came from an otherwise extremely helpful and lovely hospital post-natal midwife: "I don't know as I've never had a C-section". Well 1 in 4 babies are born this way and you are a midwife so isn't it your job to find out? I would hope that doctors and nurses are able to treat medical conditions without having to have the procedure done to them first.

2. How long does the itchiness associated with obstetric cholestasis last? Various answers to this ranging from a hospital consultant saying it would disappear with birth (wrong) to a midwife saying it was normal to last for a bit (vague). Again - it's rarer than a C-section but occurs in about 1 in 140 pregnancies in the UK so it isn't unheard of. Isn't it a midwife or health visitor's job to know?

3. Breast-feeding - JMum's breasts ache after each feed (the breast that JD has fed from): is this normal? What can we do about it? When we asked the health visitor about this today she looked as if we'd asked her if she could explain the Greek debt crisis to us. Surely breast-feeding is right up there as one of the most common issues that new mums will have questions about?

Finally, the health visitor who came today didn't even want to see our baby (we offered twice).

So I am left thinking what is the point of the all these post-natal visits. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

WheresMyBurrito Fri 06-Nov-15 03:16:03

Re bfing, yes, to a degree - I'd recommend that your partner seeks out other support available in the area. La Leche League have local groups/meetings and a helpline, for instance.

MrsWhirling Fri 06-Nov-15 03:23:14

Community midwives - Yes. The ones that can to me were fab. Health visitors - no. What do they actually do? After two children it is a total mystery to me!

Havalina1 Fri 06-Nov-15 03:27:26

I have wondered similarly about the midwives. Questions I asked were constantly fielded off - "that's something you should ask your GP/ ask them that when you go to the hospital / etc" I found them very lacking.

My HV on try other hand has been fantastic, she chases up others people in services that I need and had kept a close eye on me since giving birth.

I totally get your frustration. They should be able to refer to to a breastfeeding group/specialist (which REALLY helps when you're bfing for the first time). The HV is there for your wife to check she isn't isolated or struggling, and if she is to get her to the various support groups (so they should be getting her BF support) as well as weighing your baby and advising on general stuff like sleeping.

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