How do I handle a negative experience of health visitors? - Laura

Nurse Smurfette


I went into parenting with the following mantra -  don’t expect anyone to care about your child except you. It might sound harsh, but what the heck it’s me - you should know me by now. It's served me well. It's stopped me blathering on about weaning to people that couldn't give a Farleys Rusk what he's eating. It means that when a friend voluntarily asks to see pictures of my kid, I'm overjoyed and when the girls organise coffee in a cafĂ© that's an obstacle assault course for buggies, I don’t take offence.

Similarly health professionals are just doing their jobs, you and your special snowflake of a baby are just another customer. I wouldn't expect the cashier in Sainsburys to stop mid swipe and advise me of the best accompaniment to my litre of Lambrini. I just want them to get me through the process of bagging my groceries as swiftly as possible. The same goes for midwives and health visitors. This isn't an opportunity for me to come down on the men and women that support us during pregnancy and birth - I couldn't have got through it without them. Particularly a midwife called Maria who held my hand and told me I could when I was literally screaming, 'I CAN'T' during the last few pushes, when my bloke was probably sobbing in a corner somewhere. Shout out to all medical and medical support staff everywhere. I salute you. But the ones with more than a few kind words, the one's that phone you out of hours and bring you a hot cup of tea just when you need it, they're going above and beyond. Unless you’ve never had a bad day or a forgetful moment or you’ve never responded to someone shortly when they ask you something insanely obvious and you’ve got raging PM, then you're not really in a position to judge.

Of course you deserve respect and an adequate service. And when you don’t get that you have my permission to go full scale mama bear on whomever is in the immediate vicinity. Just don’t let a few negative people mar the amazing experience you're having with your pregnancy and baby. That's what family's for.

For more information from a health professional that understands, check out Gas&Air by Clemmie

7 comments

  1. Recently with my 2nd child the health visitor came once and was fine. I give midwives and health visitors because they are overworked these days. They are providing advice and support to lots of people at the same time. I was very lucky to have an amazing midwife at the beginning of my last pregnancy. Best wishes

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  2. Thanks for your comment! You make an excellent point about how stretched midwives and health visitors are.

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  3. I feel totally the same as you. Never expect too much from anyone else!! Thank you so much for linking up to #MummyMonday hope to see you again tomorrow!xx

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  4. It's so difficult because you're in a situation that you're going to be highly emotionally involved in. From that a bad experience can knock you or attach you emotionally. The boys mum is a breastfeeding support worker and when she tells people I know she gets a bad time because some have had bed experiences. But not everyone will be like that. It shouldn't affect the wonderful experience your having or make you weary in the future.

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  5. When Little B had tongue tie & I had to wait 2 weeks for an appointment to get it snipped the health visitors were wonderful - visiting me at home and helping me with different latches so I could still feed him myself while waiting for the procedure. Hats off to them. #fromtheheart

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  6. I remember thinking the health visitors had all the answers to how I should care for my baby but then I clearly remember the day when I though, 'I've got this', They can only give so much advice but I know my baby best. I really appreciate how they were there when I needed them but I also think getting too much advice (a lot of the time conflicting from different HVs) does more harm than good to a new scared mum. I'm still very happy to have them :) #advicefromtheheart

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  7. The health visitors I've had have been generally good although I've heard about some shockers! It does take 6 weeks to schedule in routine check ups in my area :/ #fromtheheart x

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