Health visitors

Pre-birth, post-birth and checks.

I have always feared health visitors ever since my mum told me she saw hers out the door after she compared me to her dogs. (Apparently they had been up all night too.)

My interaction couldn’t be further from that. I have had an all round great experience with my health visitor.

My first visit was when I was around 30 weeks pregnant. She came round to introduce herself and to let me know things that I may easily forget after giving birth. I thought this was incredibly patronising but now after having my twins, I am very grateful for it. She told me all sorts about what to do at the hospital and after to get the girls registered as proper humans.

The next visit was around day 12 (I think) after I was discharged by the midwives. I wasn’t quite with it during that visit, but she checked the girls, weighed them, measured their heads, checked their height and a few other bits. It was nice to get reassurance that we were doing a reasonable job at keeping our kids alive.

Then our most recent visit was at six weeks. Again it was getting the girls weighed, heights measured and all round check they are ok.

All round, I would say there isn’t actually anything to fear. They aren’t out to get you, as so many people would have you believe. I think my health visitor is a former nurse so she does actually know what she’s talking about.

The only major thing I would say is that there is zero involvement from six weeks until nine months. Zero. I don’t have to go to clinics if I don’t feel I have to get my girls weighed, I don’t have to check in with anyone for them to double check they’re still alive. And this, I believe, is where too many children slip through the net and where you hear stories about neglect or worse. The fact there is no involvement from anyone and that you don’t even have nurse check ups from 16 weeks after their immunisations to me is irresponsible. I don’t really know who is responsible for it. The council, the NHS, the government ultimately. We need to do more to protect children.

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