My daughter is almost 1 and here in the UK that means a visit from her assigned HV (health visitor). HVs are appointed to every baby born in the region and they are there to help new parents navigate parenthood. If you have any questions or problems you can contact your personal HV and this will give you a quicker response instead of scheduling an appointment with your GP.
*Disclaimer* All views in this post are entirely my own. My experience with the health visitor team is solely my own experience and I don’t want you to assume all health visitor teams are like mine. If you need urgent advice don’t disregard your own HV based on my opinions. Ok, let’s crack on!
I knew this visit was coming, it was mentioned the last time my HV came to visit. My last visit was instigated by myself, I had been feeling very down. I was struggling to ‘get up’ in the mornings, I was physically getting out of bed but mentally I was throwing the duvet over my head and closing my eyes to return to sleep. I had to get up, I had to be a mother today, I was starting to loath being a mother. My daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but in my head, I was starting to fail at life. I went to my GP, she scheduled a HV visit for the next day, “things are moving forward” I thought. I poured my heart out to my HV and she looked me right in the eyes and said: “I think you need to go to a baby group”.
Now, that’s not exactly what I was expecting to hear. The mother who is struggling, the mother who feels like she is a failure has to attend a baby group full of fellow mothers who by no means look like they’re failing. I knew that wouldn’t make me feel better at all. I did say this to my HV and she told me to just “give it a go”. Marvellous.
I didn’t attend a baby group.
I did eventually start to feel better, lots of talks with my husband who reassured me that I was doing amazingly and I started to really get out of the house more, lots of walking and so many parks were visited. I never realised just how many there are around where I live! Anyway, that was my last contact with my HV until today.
She phones up to say she’s on her way and my baby is fast asleep when she arrives. She starts asking lots of questions about my daughter. Although my daughter is not yet 1, she can walk and I mean properly properly walk and my HV doesn’t seem to believe me. After all of the questions she declares that my daughter has scored 12/12! Hooray! As if by magic, my daughter wakes up. She proceeds to jump down and run into the hallway, the HV is amazed and finally she believes me. My daughter reaches across the sofa and takes her dummy/dodie/pacifier and the HV says “now, she needs to stop that, it will stunt her speech” and basically this opened the doors on her speech of all of the things that I am doing incorrectly.
No dummy. No juice, just cold boiled water. Limited sugar. No more formula milk. No more than 1 pint of milk per day and only at night. No drinks during the night. On and on and on and on!
After she had finished making me feel rubbish, she said that I must’ve had a good year because she hadn’t had any contact from myself! I literally couldn’t believe it, I mentioned the last time she visited and she said “oh I don’t remember, did I recommend a baby group?” I actually laughed.
My daughter is signed off as being healthy, happy and developing well. We are done with the health visitors until next year. Maybe next year we’ll be out when she’s supposed to visit, maybe we’ll be at a baby group, who knows!