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What to expect from an antenatal health visitor visit?

(7 Posts)
MetalMidget Sat 21-May-16 10:41:34

Our region sends out health visitors to visit homes before the baby is born. I've heard mixed things about what to expect (some saying it's just so that they can get to know you beforehand, others saying that they go through your entire house to make sure it's suitable!), so I was just wondering what people's experiences were.

I did do a search, but most threads seem to discuss postnatal health visitor experiences, or are from over ten years ago!

StealthPolarBear Sat 21-May-16 10:43:15

It is now a requirement to offer an antenatal visit after 28 weeks.
I'd hope it is to get to know each other and talk about any specifics relating to having a new baby in the family. Also to discuss feeding plans and where you might need support.

sammyjayneex Sat 21-May-16 10:56:42

I had this two weeks ago when I was 37 weeks pregnant. I'm 39 weeks now. They don't check your whole house to see if it's suitable and if they did ask that you have every right to refuse but don't worry they won't. All they do is ask about feeding preferences, how your feeling, whether you have any mental health issues or history of depression. Ask whether you have all the things you need for the baby. Just usual questions. Just be prepared because they can be a bit nosy. This is one thing I hate about health visitors, they think they should know everything about your life but you don't have to answer anything you don't want to.

GoldenWorld Sat 21-May-16 10:58:36

I'm not a health visitor but a midwife but I've attended a few antenatal visits with health visitors whilst I was training. I think a lot of the reason they were introduced is because women's homes weren't being seen before the baby was born and health professionals were going in and finding out there were safeguarding issues, the house was a mess, they needed at help at home etc. which could have been organised before the baby was born.

But the ones I've been on have been a getting to know you exercise, asking about family history/genetics so they're aware of any childhood illnesses or conditions that might crop up, how you're coping emotionally, whether you know what to get for baby/if you can financially get it, whether you need any referrals for help with benefits, domestic violence, depression, how well supported you are by family etc.

They shouldn't be going through your home with a fine tooth comb. Honestly, a bit of mess is expected they just want to know you've got nothing dangerous like cupboards with drawers hanging out that could fall out and hit someone, that kind of thing. They might ask to see your bedroom but it depends on the area - they did where I trained because they want to make sure it's safe if baby is going to be in there, you know the suggestions for trying to prevent cot death, that kind of thing. We did it because once a baby died in an unsafe bedroom and no health professionals had been upstairs so had no idea it was dangerous so it's a standard check now.

Stumbleine Sat 21-May-16 11:47:39

The purpose of the visit is to make an assessment of family health needs - in practice yes, this means asking what can be considered 'nosy' questions. This then allows the HV to offer/facilitate the appropriate level of support after the birth. It is also to give various bits of information re the the healthy child programme (Department of Health led, delivered by all HV teams). So this includes info re immunisation schedules, routine development reviews, feeding support etc.

The idea of doing this antenatally is that those families who might need more support/intervention will get it earlier. And to give an increased awareness of the role of the HV team for families l

ifigoup Sat 21-May-16 11:52:25

I just had mine when I was 32 weeks. She asked about congenital and hereditary diseases in the family; DH's and my mental health; plans for feeding; it was quite low-key. She also asked about domestic violence as they standardly do.

She seemed very unworried about the state of the house even though we only recently moved in and currently have no bedroom.

She also gave me the baby's red book and talked me through the first few appointments after birth, transfer from midwifery to HV team, etc.

MetalMidget Sat 21-May-16 17:29:29

Cheers for the info, all!

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