The day I left the hospital after giving birth to my first child, I was told to expect a health visitor to drop by the next day for a follow-up. At first, I was hesitant about the thought of a stranger coming into our home to check up on both me and my baby. However, after meeting her, my mind was set at ease. She was a registered nurse as well as a mother of three who had some valuable information to offer me. Here are some of the benefits I received from my encounter with a health visitor named Anita.
After introducing herself, Anita asked if she could look over my daughter. She had a portable scale on which she weighed her. She said that my daughter had lost a little bit of weight since her birth, but that was expected. She looked at my daughter’s umbilical cord to see that everything was normal. It was. She gently examined the fontanels on my child’s head and reassured me that things were fine. After the examination, she sat down and asked me about my daughter’s appetite and how much she had slept the night before. I was glad to be reassured that everything was progressing normally. It was especially nice to hear it from a nurse who had been dealing with babies and new mums for twenty-five years!
I realised I had some questions and was glad that Anita was there to answer them. For instance, I told her that my daughter had slept solidly for three plus hours the previous night. I wondered if I should’ve awakened her to feed her. Anita suggested that my daughter would let me know when she was hungry. I asked Anita when I should give my daughter her first bath and even asked her some tips on how to get my daughter to nurse more easily. Anita’s training as a nurse as well as her years as a mum gave me a sense of confidence about being a new mum. She encouraged me and made me feel more secure in my abilities. She even gave me her number at the hospital if I thought of any more questions after she left.
Anita also offered me a level of objectivity that I needed as a somewhat nervous new mum! She let me know that some of the things I was worrying in regard to the care of my baby were not worth my concern. In other words, Anita was able to reassure me at a time when I was feeling sleep deprived and my hormones hadn't returned to normal.
My health visitor turned out to be a very competent, compassionate individual dedicated to her profession. I felt grateful for her knowledgeable help. Next time I have a health visitor, I will think of it not as a disruption, but as an opportunity to garner some assistance.
Please be aware that the articles on this site are written by mothers who are discussing their own experiences and their own opinions. They do not, and are not meant to, represent professional advice and should be read with that point firmly in mind.
Our children’s welfare is paramount; if you are ever in the slightest doubt about any aspect of caring for a child you are urged to seek qualified, specialist advice from a professional advisor.