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Is it routine for Health Visitors to visit *before* birth?

(31 Posts)
MrsAnxiety1 Fri 29-May-15 12:55:47

I just received a letter saying that our local HV will visit me at home when I'll be approx 32 weeks to go over paperwork, and from the small amount of info in the letter, check to see whether the home/health/people within the house are... I don't know, suitable?! I'm a wee bit concerned that I'm being picked out for some kind of 'special treatment' even though everything so far has been totally routine!

Did this happen to you? What did they discuss?

Elvish Fri 29-May-15 13:00:57

It happened to me for DC2 but not DC1 - so might be something they are doing now.

It was really quite boring, just chatted about how I found things last time and what I felt about this time.

I forgot she was coming for the visit and I was up the step ladder putting the Christmas tree decorations up blush

She sat in the living room and didn't look at the rest of the house or anything, so it's not necessary to clean everywhere or anything like that!

starrydk Fri 29-May-15 13:01:09

Don't worry, i'm sure it's just routine. I gave birth in April to my 2nd child & had a visit just before. We talked about feeding, safe sleeping, etc. We also watched a dvd about how to deal with a crying baby smile

ZappDingbat Fri 29-May-15 13:01:11

Standard procedure where there are enough resources to do this. Research has shown that women/people are more receptive to health advice in the antenatal period. Eg re breastfeeding, sids etc. Will be informing you as much as checking that you have appropriate services for your needs. Please don't worry about it.

Steph1502 Fri 29-May-15 13:04:34

I've never had this before (currently pregnant with DC4) but you're not the first person I've heard saying this. It may be that it's just a new thing they do to meet you prior to having your baby and to make sure you're prepared and offer support where needed. so many kids been falling through the net these days. I was really shocked at some of the personal questions I was asked by the midwife at my booking appt this time around. It was all new to me

IPlayBass Fri 29-May-15 13:04:52

My eldest is 4 but we didn't see a health visitor until after she was born. I remember the hv asking some quite intrusive questions such as how many bedrooms in your house and do you own your home. I had to fight the urge to say mind your own business! But they ask everyone (or at least they do round here, I asked others!) It's their job. And just think, after a couple of years you never have to see them again smile.

RabidFairy Fri 29-May-15 13:07:07

I didn't have this with DD or DS (born in 2009 and 2012) but I had a letter this time around with DC3 (due June) offering me an appointment on X day. I rang them up and said that sadly the time wasn't convenient as I was still at work, which was fine. They asked if and when I wanted to reschedule and I declined the appointment, explaining that this was my 3rd baby and they were quite happy with that, too.

It's just for advice and info as far as I know, but I just don't have the time myself.

SaulGood Fri 29-May-15 13:07:40

Normal when I had first. When I had my second I'd moved areas and they phoned to let me know they didn't have the resources to offer it to everybody but they would come out ante-natally if I thought I needed the visit.

It's a good thing. It's easier for them to offer appropriate support if they're aware of familial and individual circumstances in advance. Most people won't need the extra help but for those that aren't aware of support available, the visit can end up being invaluable.

You don't have to agree to the visit. Likewise you don't need to worry about it. It isn't an inspection. My HV came round, she brought biscuits and we talked about festivals. We drank a lot of tea and sat in the garden. My HV was a ruddy brilliant woman.

RedandYellow24 Fri 29-May-15 13:09:27

Do you live in area with higher financial deprivation? I know where I live there a lots of overcrowding bad housing, families living in one room and if there funding makes sense to target families who may have extra problems. not saying you are but just your postcode!

EmzDisco Fri 29-May-15 13:09:30

I think it's quite normal and common, in my pre-printed pregnancy notes I have a box to fill in for a health visitor appt between 36 and 38 weeks, in amongst all my midwife appts. Am 25 weeks though so not had it yet, so don't know what it involves!

MozzchopsThirty Fri 29-May-15 13:11:19

It's routine here in certain areas. If you fall into certain postcodes you'd get 2 antenatal visits, then visited every week from 2-8 weeks after delivery.

PenguinPoser Fri 29-May-15 13:17:12

It's routine in my area too. Was fine she only came into the living room and chatted for about half an hour. Don't worry.

Emus Fri 29-May-15 13:22:56

Never heard of this and I'm 35+5 with my second! In fact I won't get a HV until a few days after we are home (everything happens later with subsequent children here!).

WankerDeAsalWipe Fri 29-May-15 13:23:16

Yes I had it before my first (back in 2000). I think they just want a quick nosey to check on the general environment so that they can flag up any issues. She just sat in the livingroom and had a cup of tea and went through the forms and asked if I had any concerns, she asked if I had things ready for the baby, I offered to show her the nursery but she said it was fine. We were reasonably new to the area so didn't have any ongoing relationship with the surgery. My second was born in 2001 and they didn't bother to come out as they already knew us and we just filled in the relevant paperwork when i was down in the surgery. I wouldn't worry, they are there to support you and your baby.

CuppaSarah Fri 29-May-15 13:37:14

I had it. It was a lovely appointment really. Talked about my local support, how I was feeling etc. I don't know if I'll have it this time with it being my second.

MrsAnxiety1 Fri 29-May-15 13:43:48

Ahhh, thanks all for the responses. As redandyellow said, it might be to do with our postcode bordering an area of social deprivation, though this is not our particular case, I suppose it's done automatically!

I'm really glad that all of you found it a positive experience. I have been to a local bf class run by a former-HV and she was really nice, so if they're like her it'll be great! smile

boatrace30 Fri 29-May-15 14:25:10

I live in a really affluent area and it is routine here. My impression was that it is routine. Anyway - mine only lasted 30mins and was just a chat really, nothing to worry about!

MarchLikeAnAnt Fri 29-May-15 14:32:33

Its routine in my area. You can phone up and refuse it if you want.

GotTheKey Sat 30-May-15 05:50:13

It is now part of the routine service that they offer to all families.

applecore0317 Sat 30-May-15 06:37:02

Routine now, I don't live in a deprived area. My HV told me that it's a new thing they introduced so that we could meet them prior and be familiar with their face, she ran through a few dos and don'ts. Askes how I wanted to feed and talked about breastfeeding support available, asked what support I had and that was about it. She was a really nice lady smile

BeaufortBelle Sat 30-May-15 06:54:12

I think it's an excellent idea. I met my HV who turned up without making a mutually convenient appointment when my first baby was 12 days old. I was already ill with what turned out to be a recurrent breast infection at that stage. She was both rude and spectacularly unhelpful.

I had asked at the hospital ante-natal classes how the hv was appointed and was told "you go along with it; like when your child starts school, the child goes to the closes school with space - all this choice business is a nonsense once you become a parent". Um, not why we waited until our 30s to have a child actually hmm.

It would have been great to know who my hv would be and gauge how experienced/competent they were rather than being told they would be able to help and support, etc. Had I known the state of the service, I'd have had time to make alternative arrangements before the birth and before I was ill but I was led to believe they were professionals who could help with things like feeding. Mine couldn't do anything other than read a leaflet aloud which wasn't really an enhancement as both DH and I can read but there was an assumption that all parents were dimwits. The HVs I came across were very political and very chippy - and I'd have liked the opportunity to have screened them out rather than vice versa.

hiccoughybump Sat 30-May-15 06:59:09

We're having an antenatal visit too, although I've rescheduled it to a week before the birth when in actually on maternity leave. No way I'm taking a day off mid week to hang around the house.

AvocadoLime Sat 30-May-15 07:13:47

I had a letter like that come a few days after I got all emotional and welled up at a midwife appointment, and I got worried about the same thing. I asked the group at antenatal classes though, and it turned out it was just standard in our area.

I felt a bit uncomfortable before birth about the whole 'coming to check you out' aspect of the HV service but I don't really think about it now, they only ever say nice, encouraging things to me!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sat 30-May-15 07:28:54

Routine here and not a deprived area. Mine came last week (also just moved to the area and have a toddler so would have been flagged twice as they do routine visits if you move to the area with a pre schooler).
All was fine, no intrusive questions. She gave me into on baby groups, put me in touch with the breastfeeding peer supporter etc.

hullabaloo234 Sat 30-May-15 07:41:38

I had this earlier this week as I am 37 weeks. She came for approx 40 mins and just chatted to me about how I and my parter and feeling,feeding and sleeping options and where to access different services and support, groups etc after the baby is born. All very non-intrusive and friendly smile Won't see her again now until the baby is 14 days old. Apparently, funding allowing, it's something all areas like to do not just deprived areas etc so don't feel singled out smile. I hope your HV is as lovely as ours is.

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