Pushing another human out of your body is pretty difficult in itself, and that’s before you consider the hormones, emotions and sheer panic that you don’t know what you’re doing.
So, it’s fair to say that new mums appreciate a kindly spoken word here and there, especially from those entrusted to professionally help them like health visitors.
But what happens when you and your health visitor don’t quite see eye to eye?
Mumsnet forum users have come together to share some of the most shocking things they’ve been told by their health visitors, from comparing their baby’s birthday to Hitler’s, to completely ignoring signs of postnatal depression.
‘A midwife and student midwife came to see me a few days after I had my daughter. The midwife prodded my (still swollen) belly and wiggled her finger to wobble it said we call that jelly belly and they both laughed. I was mortified!’
‘”All babies cry, it’s because she’s your first” and “She can talk so there’s nothing wrong” despite not meeting milestones and a massive list of concerns. Diagnosed with autism when we finally persisted and got to a paediatrician. Still cross – her attitude was awful! And she stank of smoke before every visit!’
‘”Don’t worry about post natal depression, you’ll be too busy for it”. Hmm this is after I told her there was a family history of it- basically every woman in my family has had it severely.’
‘After my first son was born, I tried to raise some of the scary things I was feeling with the health visitor. She visited again the next day and helpfully asked: “Are you feeling slightly less deranged today?” Was subsequently diagnosed with postpartum psychosis.’
‘Discussing son’s birthday she casually said, “Do you know, that’s Hitler’s birthday as well?”‘
‘She asked where baby slept and I said well he’s in with me and hubby (we were following the safe co-sleeping guide given to me by her co worker) and she turned to me in front of a group of people and said “your baby will die”.’
‘When I had just had my son and was also suffering in silence with pnd. Health visitor asked how I was getting on, I said I was struggling to cope at the moment, she then said did you have him as an accessory😮 My husband was also there and heard her, needless to say My pnd got worse.’
‘when inspecting my stitches midwife laughed and said I had been sewed up like a chicken’
‘When I voiced my concerns about my first son getting enough calcium, as he was allergic to milk and soya, she suggested I give him yogurt. Just as well one of us knew yogurt is made from milk; he might have died if I followed that pearl of wisdom.’
‘The first thing mine said to me was “You must be Grandma!”I know I looked tired, but crikey. Way to go to not make me feel like shit on a stick’
‘Told me that “in a way” I was lucky that my dad had died (just). Because hers was 90, blind, and needed caring for. Quite the most spectacularly twatastic thing anyone had ever said to me. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel that way.’
Do you have any shocking health visitor stories you want to share? Comment below with your own experiences.