I have had the pleasure of two different Health Visitors, and wonder really what they should be offering to new mums? I hope that mine were in the minority because it certainly wasnt a pleasant experience. After the birth of my first baby, my first encounter with my Health Visitor was when she marched in like she owned the place and took over from there. She visited regularly, usually it seemed to point out what I was doing wrong. As a new mum I felt a complete failure. She was in her 60's and had an air about her that just told me not to question her. Eventually, I spoke to my GP about it, he just said that I shouldnt cause a problem. At a time when I should have been bonding with my child, I felt that I was just 'doing it all wrong'. They usually visit for just a few weeks, mine continued to visit for much longer, again making me feel useless. I know now that I was not. A couple of years later I had my second child, and had moved to another area. In complete contrast, I hardly ever saw the Health Visitor. But this was the time I needed some advice. My son was causing me some concerns and I needed some advice. I would ring her clinic to find her out visiting, would leave messages but it would usually take a week for her to get back to me. By the time my son was in nursery I was still concerned about aspects of his behaviour, she would eventually visit, and just say he would grow out of it. I was asking for advice, somewhere to turn, and might as well have been banging my head on the wall. A couple of years ago, we moved again, yet another health visitor. After eventually being referred to various consultants about my son, my GP asked my Health Visitor to pop round and offer any advice. And so hugely helpful she was NOT. She pointed out that once the child starts school, as mine had done a couple of years earlier, then they hand over to the school doctor! I asked for local support groups, anywhere to turn to for advice reall
y, and got nothing, not even an offer of a phone call back after she had looked into it. My consultant is now looking into groups for my child to join, groups I didnt know existed despite asking around. We are lucky in that area we live in has a disability register and my child is registered on it. They have been a great source of information. I have certainly begun to wonder what exactly the Health Visitor role is. When you have a problem with your child where do you turn? who will give you advice? who do you ask when you just want to sit and talk some things over? as I said, I hope I have just been unlucky in my dealings with the profession.
Seeing as someone else has written about health visitors I thought I would share my opinion too. When my son was around 18 months old I *knew* there was something wrong. he woudl scream for hours, not be comforted, wouldn't sleep at night. Once he started walking he turned into a tiny tornado and was always getting himself hurt. As time went on he became aggressive, hyperactive, impulsive. He was always in Casualty for one accident or another. By the time he was about 6 years old he was a complete mess. He couldn't concentrate, was inattentive, destructive and aggressive. Over all this time i had regular contact with my health visitor obviously, but all she would say was "It's just a phase", "he'll grow out of it", "it's because he's a boy", or "It's just terrible twos". Well we had terrible twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens, eights, nines and tens! At 12 he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (high functioning Autism), but not before failing miserably at every school he had been to by this time. He had been picked upon, bullied, scapegoated and his learning difficulties had not been recognised by the education or the health system, despite him being in 'the system' since being a baby. I would say to anyone else who is 'fobbed off' by unconcerned or ignorant so called medical professionals, wjo make you feel like an attention seeking neurotic, if you feel there is a problem, follow it up. Don't be like me, trusting to luck that everything 'will be OK in the end'. It won't! A Mother's instinct is always right.
I am not sure weather this should be in this section but didn't know where else to put it. Since my youngest son was born with lots of problems I have found myself being in more contact than I ever imadgined with my health visitor. I have found them to be absolutly great and have always given me lots of useful information. I know it can be hard for people when there child is poorly and I have found that the doctors at the hospital always use 'there language' which most of us don't really understand.This is when I have found the health visitor invaluable as she always explains things in clear terms that I understand. She is normally m first point of contact if George is poorly and she will decide weather he just needs to see the GP or weather he needs to be checked at out the hospital. She really is invaluable to me at the moment and I have know realised what a great job they do.