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Health Visitor AMA

62 replies

Smile18 · 20/11/2019 19:02

Thought this may help a few people. I'm currently on mat leave myself and have become a new member of Mumsnet. Would like to help new mums/dads out there if I can.

OP posts:
hvnc · 20/11/2019 19:10

Fiona is that you!?

Smile18 · 20/11/2019 19:13

No sorry I'm not Fiona. Smile

OP posts:
MsChatterbox · 20/11/2019 19:46

My son has just turned 2 and seems to have delayed speech. He is slowly improving but very slowly. He will say things like "mama shoe" "dada chair" if it's my shoes or dad's chair. He says a lot that only I can understand. For example kaa is milk (hes taken the last letter of the word here) juju is orange (picking out the g there). If I break down the word for him in a singy tone like ohhhhhhh-range! He will say ohhhhh-rigde but then I say orange fast and he will go back to juju. He says juice I will ask him to say juice please mama. He will just say mama mama mama. He always picks out the last word! Yet he can say all of those words individually if I say them one at a time. He really tries. And he is proud of himself when he says mama mama mama like he achieved the sentenced! As he's tried I always say good boy, I don't make him feel bad about saying it wrong. I'm just wondering if there's anything else I can be doing? He really wants to talk. When were singing songs he will just mime his mouth or shout out the random word that he knows. And he will babble to himself pretending to read a book. Sorry for the essay!

DewDropsonKittens · 20/11/2019 19:53

Why are health visitors so self righteous?

Tableclothing · 20/11/2019 19:57

I met my HV for the first time the other day. She seemed lovely and v experienced etc. Just one thing - she spent a full five minutes explaining to me and DH exactly why we shouldn't shake our baby when it's born. I mean, I don't disagree with anything she said, but.... Do we look like we want to shake the baby? Is that something she has to say to everyone?

Also: Should we be insulted that she didn't want a cup of tea?

Smile18 · 21/11/2019 05:22

@MsChatterbox Thank you for replying. First of all well done for keeping positive with your son. It's sounds like your a great mum and really trying to bring along his speech. Has your son had his two year review by a health visitor? It's usually at this visit that we would pick up on any speech or hearing issues.
Has he had his hearing checked? It sounds like your doing exactly what you should be doing but I can tell your still concerned. Please get in touch with your HV and request a visit for them to observe his speech. He may just need some input from SALT (speech and language therapy)
Also may I say that it's great that you are staying positive with him as it can be very frustrating for children when they are trying to talk and can't yet get the words out. He is only two years old so please don't worry too much. But definitely get him observed by a health professional.

@DewDropsonKittens sounds like you may have had a bad experience...... care to elaborate....

@Tableclothing please don't be alarmed by this. It is our jobs to discuss the guidelines around baby shaking. It's a tough subject to approach but please rest assured we do discuss this with every family we meet. I hope that didn't ruin your experience for the first time meeting your HV. May I ask if it was the first time is that because your expecting?
And also no please do not be offended at all if your HV didn't have a drink, I can't speak for her but myself I tend to say no thank you to the cup of teas as when we are out on a full day of visits there are limited toilets on the road. 😊

OP posts:
BeanBag7 · 21/11/2019 05:27

I don't think I ever had someone talk to me about not shaking the baby.

Is there some continuity if training for health visitors? I've been to clinics on subsequent days and been given directly conflicting advice by 2 different health visitors. (One said baby must feed for at least 20 mins per breast each feed, one said 10 minutes was fine and they didn't have to have both sides). Is there "official" advice they are supposed to provide or is it more down to their opinion/ experience?

MsChatterbox · 21/11/2019 05:56

Thank you for your reply. He hasn't had his 2 year check through yet, should I chase this up or just wait? He hasn't had his hearing checked, but I've tested him by asking him to say words he knows whilst in the dark. Could there still be an issue with his hearing if he manages this?

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow · 21/11/2019 06:03

My health visitors let me down. One didn’t listen when I expressed concerns about one baby’s health and she told me I was “depressed”. Baby was rushed to hospital next day with his symptoms and diagnosed.

Third baby had horrific reflux and different HV was again useless and gave me leaflets about unrelated things and left.

Was I just unlucky? Both times I was let down and desperately needed support. I see HVs as people I get rid of as soon as I can who tick boxes.

Is there uniform training? Or is it a job by instinct? As a new parent, I relied on books and mumsnet and websites.

ParadiseLaundry · 21/11/2019 06:14

Did you have children before you became a HV? Did you breastfeed? I'm assuming part of your job involves advising women on breastfeeding.

zaffa · 21/11/2019 06:48

@Tableclothing I'm pregnant with my first and the subject of baby shaking is very thoroughly covered. The HV discussed it along with the thing about coping with crying and having a plan for it (there is an acronym that I can recall but it was basically don't shake your baby, if you are at the end of your tether with endless crying leave them safely in their crib for five minutes to have a breather... and have a plan on how to cope if baby cries a lot) but the midwives who run the NHS courses also covered this quite thoroughly. I think it's a new initiative? (Even the NHS website now has a bit about never shaking your baby) I had no idea it was so prevalent that they had to issue warnings about it to this extent, but I think after some high profile media cases there might be a crack down?

she also refused our tea, and just did the usual reminders about baby being in our room for at least six months.

No questions OP - HV has been lovely so far but no actual baby yet so I've only met her once Smile

rippingburrito · 21/11/2019 06:50

How long is your health visitor meant to have contact/visit with you? Who initiates this?

I last saw my health visitor when my DD was around 3 months old. After that I would go to regular weigh ins and ask any brief questions I had to whoever was available. But since I stopped going to weigh ins (when she 1) I haven't had any communication other than to attend her immunisations and 12 mo checks.

On the whole, this is fine but I'm always confused as to how anyone manages to have such a close relationship with their health visitor.

ChikiTIKI · 21/11/2019 06:56

I was let down by my health visitor and won't be using the service again. When I have a baby next year I will just opt out, or say I don't want to opt in, to the service. Will they leave me alone after that? I certainly don't want them coming in to my home again.

bellinisurge · 21/11/2019 06:58

I've only had negative experiences - judge on bf "failure" (turned out I was very ill with an MS relapse and they didn't spot it), not turning up and claiming they called me about it, including putting that on my notes. I'd sat in by the phone all day waiting for their call or visit. I phoned a complaint, was promised a call back and was told they forgot about me .Not before they asked me if I was the new mum with thrush on my street. There were only two new mums on my street. I wasn't the one with thrush.
How do you deal with someone who has a bad experience with your colleague- defend the colleague or focus on the patient'a current need?

Smile18 · 21/11/2019 09:06

@MsChatterbox yes please get in touch with your HV regarding this. I'm sorry your having to chase it up it really shouldn't be up to you but unfortunately sometimes it happens.
@Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow I'm sorry you've had a bad experience, this happens more often than I'd like and why health visitors are sometimes given a bad name. Please don't let this cloud your judgement on us. To become a health visitor we must be a registered nurse to begin with. Either from a midwifery, paediatric or adult background. I am paediatric trained. Then you go on to complete a masters degree in public health.
@ParadiseLaundry I did have a child before I became a qualified health visitor yes, I have also had children after qualifying. I have breastfeed all my children - not without it's issues let me tell you. I've had all the breast feeding training going and did struggle at times. It is extremely difficult for some ladies. However I got through it and am writing this text now whilst breastfeeding my youngest.

@zaffa I'm so pleased you have a lovely HV good luck with the rest of your pregnancy. Very exciting times for you.

@rippingburrito unfortunately it does depend on where you live as to how many visits you have and what the core contacts are for your area. Ideally you should be seen while pregnant for your antenatal visit to meet your HV and discuss your pregnancy so far. This is where your HV can identify any specific needs or worries you may have, then you should be seen after baby is born ideally around 10-14 days old. Then again at 6-8 weeks, 6 months, 1 year and 2 year old. Obviously if there are issues in between your HV should be visiting you on a regular basis.

@bellinisurge I'm so sorry you have a bad experience. I wouldn't like to comment on the circumstances of your experience, all I can say if it was me I would discuss with you what your concerns/worries were and try and give you a solution to these. Please have faith in us.

Ladies please remember that if you do not agree with any health advice you have been given and you feel that you need more support / second opinion you are well within your rights to request this. Xxx

OP posts:
MsChatterbox · 21/11/2019 12:55

OK thank you. Just saw your message that you have breastfed all your children. I couldn't get it with my son no matter how many consultants I saw. I had plenty of milk too. But pregnant now and really want to do it this time. I've looked up the Thomson method which is completely different to what I was shown. Is this what you would recommend?

Smile18 · 21/11/2019 13:35

@MsChatterbox I'm sorry that breastfeeding didn't work for you last time. This is something that I am very passionate about and believe every woman is entitled to the same help and support. Midwives at the hospital are often your first port of call for BF support however I am aware of the crisis of midwifery units at this time and unfortunately this is not always possible. Your next support will be your HV and they should give you as much or as little support as you need. And please keep asking if you dont feel you are being supported. It is our jobs after all so do not ever feel like you are a burden for asking. I always tell my ladies this! The "Thompson method" has recently come to light in our area and I'll be honest I haven't looked into it as much (I am on mat leave at the moment I have had two back to back pregnancies) however saying that from what I do know about the method is generally what we would advice new mums to do anyway. Regardless of how they intended to feed baby we would always say as much skin to skin as possible immediately after birth. (Obviously in some birth cases this is not possible.) feed baby as soon as you can. Get baby close to your nipple and stay for at least and hour.
Stay positive. I know it's not easy believe me. I've had night on end of crying and being very frustrated and at times telling the hubby to run out at 2am for formula milk. At times for me it was toe curling painful (this was due to a bad latch in the beginning) Breastfeeding is extremely hard work!! BUT it is so rewarding in the end. Best thing you can do is stay positive. If you are determined to do it you will! It's as simple as that! I really hope your HV gives you the support and encouragement you need. I will help you as best I can when baby arrives if you like. When are you due? Have you had your antenatal contact yet? X

OP posts:
MsChatterbox · 21/11/2019 13:52

I did get so much help in the hospital. There was one midwife that actually helped me get a pain free latch. And she's the only one that told me not to hold his head. I just wish I got her name because I never saw her again and I wanted her to show me again and again! 😂. Congrats on your current pregnancy, how much longer do you have left? I'm not due until 27th.. Ages away! Got booking appointment tomorrow. I had an emcs with my son so I have the whole vbac or elective to consider too!! Any opinions on that? 🤣🤣. It was only due to failure to progress. I got to 8cm but it took 36 hours and waters had broke!

Smile18 · 21/11/2019 14:38

@MsChatterbox I'm so glad you got early help in the hospital it's definitely most important soon after birth. My baby is now three months old. There is 14 months between my youngest two. You say your due 27th? What month?
I couldn't possibly say what I would recommend without knowing your history in depth however I will say that if possible go for vaginal birth, if it's passed by your consultant. X

OP posts:
MsChatterbox · 21/11/2019 14:47

Oh my gosh sorry I meant June 27th 😂😂😂. How are you finding the 14 month gap? I think I'm leaning towards vbac but obviously will have to see what they say!

Smile18 · 21/11/2019 14:51

Lovely a summer baby then. Yes see what the consultant says however remember ultimately it's your choice. The age gap has its challenges let me tell you, especially while breastfeeding the baby. But I love it and wouldn't change anything about it. I am very blessed and I know that. Did you manage to contact your HV regarding your sons speech? X

OP posts:
MsChatterbox · 21/11/2019 15:10

I have phone them they said they will send a letter in the post for the 2 year check when it comes up! I think in this area they do it between 2 years & 2 months - 4 months. No doubt it has its challenges. Sleep being one of them 🤣. But they will grow up so close!


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thisusernameun · 24/11/2019 15:15

Are health visitors required to just stick to a script or are there very rigid guidelines? I had a bad experience with my hv. In my case I was exhausted and had pnd. I could Luckily breastfeed but my son would not have milk from a bottle. My pnd came from exhaustion but all I got from her was definitely no co sleeping (whilst eg my midwife had said she cannot advise it but to read up on safe Co sleeping if I were to do it which I find much more supportive and actually directed me to good advice). This was at the start since it took time to be discharged from midwife. Then later on when exhaustion led to pnd due to the constantness of ebf, when I asked about hello with bottle feeding I got that she can listen to me about my issues and pnd but would not be able to help with bottle feeding except to tell me to keep trying if this is what I really want - I am sure that if I wanted to bf rather than bottle feed she would have helped... In my case a prob with bottle feeding was that I was only giving him the tip to suck... Is what I realised later

EightWellies · 24/11/2019 15:24

I had a bad experience with both HVs I've encountered. My DDs are adopted and we had to have the HV come for visits and be involved in meetings until the Adoption Orders were granted. Unfortunately, they seemed to have no knowledge of attachment, FASD or particular issues around adoption and, despite that, were unbelievably patronising. Is that standard for HVs and what are they supposed to be contributing?

darkriver19886 · 24/11/2019 15:25

I really liked my HV, I think she felt frustrated with the mental health service when mine started to fail. She fought really hard for me despite the outcome.

Do you ever feel that your dealing with a brick wall when it comes to getting help for desperate mother's.

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