By L.T. Wright
New Baby, You and Health Visitor Too
It is exciting when a new baby comes along, but it can also be a worrying time too. Most parents want to do the best they can for their baby, but they still need to attend their local baby clinic.
The Health Visitor will check the baby's growth and development and answer any questions or concerns parents may have. Often, the Health Visitor is the first person to notice there may be something wrong with your baby. If there were any concerns, she would make the necessary arrangements for further checks needed.
Failure to gain weight or loss of weight can be one of the first signs there may be a problem. The Health Visitor will investigate if the problem lies with feeding routine or the milk baby is taking, she will suggest a visit to the G.P. if necessary. Weight is recorded and plotted on the centile chart in your Personal Child Health Record Book.
Baby's length and head circumference measurements are checked on the growth chart. Any problems are quickly picked up by your Health Visitor and further checks instigated.
Your Health Visitor will send out appointments for age appropriate development checks. These will include, eye and hearing tests, mobility (rolling, lifting head, grabbing with hands etc) and later on crawling, sitting and walking. Other tests will include holding toy bricks passing them from hand to hand and building them up, shaking rattles and looking down at a toy dropped on the floor etc.
Parents will receive an appointment when their baby's first immunisation is due at two months old. Your Health Visitor will check that all baby's immunisations are up to date and no after effects have been suffered.
Try to see your Health Visitor and have your baby weighed weekly or fortnightly to begin with. Once there is regular weight gain, she will advise you how often she needs to see your baby and will advise you to contact her if you have any concerns.
Health Visitors are extremely professional and very knowledgeable. They give excellent advice and guidance to the many parents they deal with and offer support whenever they can.
Do not be afraid to voice any concerns or ask questions. She is there to assist you in the care and progress of your baby and to ensure your baby is happy, healthy and thriving. It is helpful to parents knowing they are not alone and who better to help put their minds at rest, but a caring, sympathetic Health Visitor.
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