”It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”
What is a “Health Visitor”?
Health visitors work with parents and children from mid-pregnancy until school entry, to give every child the “best start” in life. Health visitors are all nurses or midwives who have completed additional training in public health, which includes child development.
Health visitors work in teams with Community Nursery Nurses and also work closely with a number of other services, including GPs, Midwives, Paediatricians, Children's centres and Hampshire Children's services. We can often signpost you to the most appropriate organisation to help you.
The Family Nurse Partnership is available in some parts of Hampshire if you are a mother under 19 years of age and expecting your first baby.
Early Intervention: What happens during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life has a big impact on their future development, opportunities and outcomes right through to adulthood.
Being a parent can be wonderful and worrying all at the same time. Without help, small problems may become bigger problems. Early support has been found to make the biggest difference to children and families - we are here to help you. Contact a health visitor.
What can the Health Visiting service offer me?
Health visitors lead the delivery of the Healthy Child programme. This national programme consists of a series of developmental reviews, screening tests, vaccinations and information to support parents. The Universal Health Visiting Service is offered to all families; mothers, fathers and partners are welcome at all Health visiting appointments. We welcome diversity and aim to provide an inclusive service to all families. If you need an interpreter, or have any other additional needs, please let us know in advance.
The universal contacts:
- The antenatal appointment - This appointment will be offered to you from the 28th week of pregnancy. This is an opportunity to meet your health visitor, find out about our service and discuss your health, your baby’s health and preparations for your baby’s arrival.
- The new birth visit - The health visitor will see you at your home when your baby is 10 -14 days old. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your labour, birth and experiences so far as a parent. Your Health Visitor will be able to support you with advice on feeding and caring for your baby.
- The postnatal contact - 6 - 8 weeks. The health visitor will see you at home (or sometimes in a clinic or Children's Centre) to review your baby's health and development and your physical and emotional wellbeing following the birth of your baby.
- Health reviews at one and two years -these appointments focus on development, growth, health and well being and are an opportunity to discuss your child’s personal progress (children are all different and will develop at different rates for all sorts of reasons). We will send you and Ages and Stages questionnaire to help you record all your child's achievements and participate in this review.
- Child health advice clinic - these are held regularly in your area, for you to attend as needed. No appointment is necessary. Many parents find the clinic an easy opportunity to talk to the health visitor or community nursery nurse about the things that are worrying them about their child’s health or development. You can also have your child’s growth reviewed and many clinics have a “self-weigh” facility if you just want to pop in and have no other concerns.
The Universal Plus health visiting service:
The health visiting team can provide additional support with:
- Becoming a parent and getting to know your baby;
- Postnatal depression, feeling low or anxious, and other mental health difficulties that some mothers (and fathers) experience during pregnancy and after the baby has been born
- Concerns that your child is not developing as expected
- Behaviour management eg, sleeping difficulties, potty training and fussy eating
- Maintaining a healthy weight and healthy eating
- Staying safe and reducing accidents
- Managing minor illnesses
- Support for parents of children with a diagnosed health condition or disability
- Getting ready for school
- Quitting smoking.
Speak to your health visitor or drop in to your nearest Child Health Advice Clinic.
The Universal Partnership Plus health visiting service:
The Universal Partnership Plus service is provided to families and children that require coordinated support from a number of different organisations. This may be needed when a child or parent has a disability or health needs, or because the Early Help Hub or Children’s services are also providing support to help you. We will work with you to devise an individual plan of support based upon your needs and your family's needs.