The health visitor’s role starts during pregnancy and continues to offer support through the first few weeks after the birth and all the way through until early childhood.
All health visitors are nurses or midwives with specialist training in family and community health. They work with parents and their families to improve health and wellbeing.
New birth visit
The health visitor usually visits you at around the time that the midwife discharges you and your baby – this is normally when the baby is between 10 – 14 days old.
Each time you are seen, your health visitor will concentrate a great deal on you and your partner’s health. She will be concerned to know how both of you are feeling and how you are coping with adapting to parenthood.
Why does the health visitor visit you at this time?
During the visit from your health visitor, they will:
- Review any previous health needs or concerns you may have
- Offer support and advice about your baby’s development
- Continue your baby’s 0 to 19 health record
- Assess your wellbeing, offering appropriate support and advice as needed.
When you health visitor comes to visit, they will:
- Weigh your baby and provide support with feeding
- Give you the opportunity to discuss the birth
- Discuss any concerns you may have
- Feeding your baby and breastfeeding support
- Discuss how to keep your baby safe
- Provide emotional health for the whole family
- Discuss how to understand your baby
- Discuss how and where you can access support
- Discuss how to keep yourself safe and well
- Discuss baby and child development
- Help your family to adjust to the new baby – sibling rivalry, relationships (dad, mum-in-law, grandparents), and feelings
- Help you have realistic expectations
- Discuss post-natal care
- Discuss immunisations.