A visit from the health visitor, you either love it or hate it. It is definitely a Marmite event in the life of a parent. I have found that I either get on well and connect with a health visitor or I don’t. But considering they are meant to be there for help and advice from as soon as your baby is born, it is obviously better to have a health visitor that you like and get on with. I have had the experience of having a health visitor that I didn’t get on with as well as having one that I have got on with really well. When I was a mum for the first time, it would have been helpful to have some tips and advice on having a health visitor visit. I didn’t know what to expect or the whole process of having a health visitor after having a baby.
So here are some tips and advice for when the health visitor visits:
- Don’t think that’s everything they say is gospel and take some things with a pinch of salt. – LifeWithLianne
- If you have any questions write them down before the visit so you don’t forget! – SarahLouWrites
- Take advice on board but remember a lot of advice and training is outdated and it’s personal opinion mixed in (my HV doesn’t agree with BLW and is pressuring me to go down the purée route!) – Coffee, Cake, Kids
- Listen to their advice but also remember the recommended advice can change frequently. Each health visitor with my three children recommended different practises, from dummy use, to co-sleeping etc. Remember nobody knows your baby better than you. – Mighty Mama Bear
- If you don’t like a situation remember you are well within your rights to request them to leave.
Ask anything and everything you want.
Ask about extra help that they or the council can offer and if they know if any groups in the area which you can go to when your ready.
Don’t spill juice all over you and your breastfeeding baby two seconds before the appointment like I did! – Saving Moving Mummy
- Don’t worry about cleaning and tidying, that’s not what they’re there for. Their job isn’t to judge the state of your house but to offer advice and support should you need it. – Whinge Whinge Wine
- Remember that guidelines change and there are some topics that many health visitors are sadly not experts on: breastfeeding and safe sleep (bedsharing) are two of the most common.
If you’re looking for breastfeeding support, then you need a lactation consultant – not a health visitor. As for bedsharing, I highly recommend the book Sweet Sleep by La Leche League (available on Amazon). – Live A Blissful Life
- Keep in mind HV’s (and GP’s!) have a broad knowledge of babies, but they’re not paediatricians. If you’re worried or feel you need additional support you should absolutely seek it! Equally, feel free to take on board what helps you and discard the rest – they may be experts in their field but the only expert re *your* baby is you! – The Less-Refined Mind
- Always remember you don’t have to have them visit. You can say no. I had some bad experiences with health visitors with my first and then with my other two I refused the visits. It’s not a legal requirement. – Messy Blog UK
- You can ask to see someone else if you don’t gel. The first one I had was awful, so rude and judgemental but the 2nd visit I had was a different one and she was amazing. Never be afraid to stand your ground! – The Grey Home
- Don’t feel pressured to do as they tell you or suggest. I had different HVs telling me different things with my first which was massively unhelpful, and resulted in me ignoring all of it and going with my gut. – Twins, Tantrums & Cold Coffee