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Health Visitors.

(11 Posts)
user1490444663 Sat 01-Apr-17 10:49:58

I'm just looking for alittle more understanding about these tbh. I just have a ''Invite'' through the door from the health visitor ''inviting'' me to an appointment. However it says if I can't make it they will rearrange it which makes me think these aren't optional. To be completely honest, As someone who is having at least 1 or 2 appointments a week already, it just seems like more time I have to give. Yes, It is inconvenient and they keep sending me to the hospital that afew towns over from where I live, which actually totals up to £15 minimum everytime I have to go and even then its for a few minutes and I'm out again. Once or twice a week.. every week, it adds up, But they keep sending me there!

Anyway, My question is, Are health visitors necessary? I have no information what so ever. If a health visit can be included into a check-up or midwife appointment or hospital appointment, Fair enough, No problem, But if its just another chunk of money and another day of travel, Its alittle annoying.

Please, Anyone looking between the lines and ''assuming'' please don't leave any comments, As I often see you do. Im looking for advice on health visitors and nothing more. To the people who are looking to comment to help, Thank you :D

OrangeJulius Sat 01-Apr-17 10:57:49

My health visitor came to me, I thought that was standard.

I found the health visitor fine, but not massively useful. She coo'd over my baby a bit, weighed her, asked how we were getting on, and told us about local services that might be of interest to us (most of which I already knew about). She made an extra visit in the beginning when I was struggling to breastfeed, and although she couldn't actually help with my latch, she tried to be supportive and tell me who could. I think they can be helpful when it comes to referrals, if there may be a problem with your baby.

So you could opt out, unless you develop some questions and decide to go see them? In my town the HV hold a drop in, once a week. Services sound like they may be a bit more scarce in your area?

GreedyDuck Sat 01-Apr-17 11:01:20

Some HVs are great, some are a bit useless. But if you're already moaning about giving over time to hospital appointments before your baby is even born. hmm Also a bit naive if you think you can control people's responses on a public talk board.

My HV was lovely and kept us on her books until we'd sorted out feeding issues (in fact it was her that spotted my dd's tongue tie, and referred her to have it snipped).

They seem to get a lot of bad press on here for being 'interfering' or 'clueless' but actually, if you're lucky, they can be a good point of contact for advice and support in the early days.

Your baby will also probably be called for a 1 and 2 year check by the hv to check that you have no major concerns about their development, and that they are hitting milestones. There are specialist SEN hvs as well, who can help with referrals and EHCPs.

putdownyourphone Sat 01-Apr-17 11:06:28

They're optional. I found useful for the first few weeks when I felt really out of my depth with things like bad nappy rash, reflux etc, but I've not seen one since the last visit (they came to me as I had twins). Maybe see how you feel once your baby is here and if you don't feel you need an HV then cancel the appointment?

grainmum Sat 01-Apr-17 13:37:58

Maybe you could call up and have a chat with her, explain the situation. It might just be a pre delivery "hello" and with so many appointments already she may well be sympathetic to your position and leave it until after baby arrives.

ACatCalledFang Sat 01-Apr-17 13:45:13

My understanding is that they are optional but I suspect if you refused to engage with them at all, it would look a bit funny. The minimum where I live is a home visit when baby is ten days old, and the one and two year development reviews. They will probably encourage you to take your baby to their drop-in clinics for weighing.

As with all professions, some HVs are great, some useless, most somewhere in between. I have been unlucky as the ones in my area are not great and I haven't found them very helpful at all (indeed, some have been downright unhelpful). But not everyone has my experience so it might be worth ringing them with an open mind and seeing if there is an option for them to come to you in view of the cost of transport.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sat 01-Apr-17 13:53:14

Almost everything is optional, health visitors, pregnancy scans etc.

As PPs have said a lot depends on the health visitor and what they do will vary by area somewhat but could be useful especially if it's your first baby.
Mine gave advice on safe sleep, home safety, feeding, local groups in the area for when on mat leave, where to get baby weighed, vaccines etc.
After the birth they also do home visit to see how you are both doing. Included PND check and baby weighing. Both my DC had some minor health problems and I had a section so someone coming to me was quite useful.
My HV still does checks every year or so on DCs development.

It's up to you whether you find it useful or not but would probably see what's on offer at this stage. Following the birth you might want someone to call or a bit of support.

SheepyFun Sat 01-Apr-17 14:00:49

It's not entirely optional - there was a BBC series about midwives, and one was trying to do the first home visit after a mother and baby had been discharged from hospital. When they got to the address, there was an eviction notice. They did manage to track down the child, but made it clear on camera that had they not been able to do so, it would have been a police matter, as they couldn't be sure the child was safe.

Having said that, the HV always came to me. We ended up with extra visits at their request as DD didn't want to wean, and wasn't overly keen on getting mobile. I took the view that I said yes to everything I could, and was saving the no for something I thought was actually detrimental to DD.

HeyCat Sat 01-Apr-17 14:55:57

Health visitors are completely optional.

If you don't want to see them just ring and let them know, they have massive staff shortages to deal with so best not to waste their time.

blue2014 Sat 01-Apr-17 15:15:38

You don't need them until after baby comes - before is just a getting to know you visit. Phone them and explain what you've said here?

Wombletor Sun 02-Apr-17 15:24:37

Phone them and have a chat, you don't need to go and see them. They are helpful in my experience, and once your baby has arrived are a good point of contact for most things. Keep an open mind, they are there to help.

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