"My Health Visitor experience"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services

(as a parent/guardian),

Seen about 5 since my son was born 15 weeks ago.

My first visit with HV she made an emergency appointment as she thought my wee one had a skin infection. Turned out it was just normal dry skin. Was told to stop feeding on demand as he was gaining weight too quickly.

Turned out I should have been feeding him for his weight not his age as he was born a large baby, long not fat (advice from NHS 24 they also said I should never leave my baby hungry even if it was before the 4 hours which is only a guideline) so he wasn't getting enough which is why he was feeding so much.

Also the HV had converted his weight wrong so his weight gain had been normal.

Just recently I was told that:

1. He NEEDED a comforter (he's never had one)

2. That he should be in his own room (been told the guidelines are 6 months)

3. He should be sleeping through the night. He goes down at 6pm wakes at 1-2am for a feed then sleeps til 6am.

4. Was told I should up his day time feeds to ensure he sleeps at night (the exact opposite of previous advice). This was after I had said I had tried to up his feeds (he acts like he wants more after his bottle is finished) but he threw up the extra milk as it was too much for his tummy.

5. That I should wake him before putting him down (I said he falls asleep getting burped after his night time bottle)

6. That I should let him self soothe and not run to him when he cries. I told her I wasn't comfortable with this as if I let him cry he gets worked up and starts coughing and choking. She told me well he's your child.

7. She was against me weaning at 17 weeks which I was advised to do many times because of him looking for more and feeding times and his size.

8. When she said to feed him 2 teaspoons I asked was it 2 teaspoons of the dry powder or the wet mixture. She laughed and said you'll know. I'm a first time mum so obviously I don't know.

I am lucky enough to be part of a closed forum for mums and get loads of amazing advice (one is a children's hospital nurse) and they have told me to do the exact opposite of everything I've been told to.

I just worry that other new mums out there wont have the same support system I have and will follow this advice.

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Response from Susan Stewart, Associate Director of Nursing, North Lanarkshire, Health & Social Care Partnership

picture of Susan Stewart

Dear Not a happy mum,

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you on the birth of your son. It is really important that new mums feel supported and able to contact their health visitor for professional advice and support; I'm sorry that this doesn’t appear to be the case for you at the moment.

Whilst I’m not able to address the issues you have raised in this forum, I am keen to make sure that we are providing the level of care and support that you and your son need. I would be grateful if you could contact my Patient Affairs Manager Laura Bryan on Tel No: 01698 858321 so that we can review your circumstances and address the specific issues you have raised.


Susan Stewart

Associate Director of Nursing Children and Families

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