at 12 weeks. Parents can then access support through baby clinics and phone calls. Where parents need additional support they may be offered further home visits.
Health visitors are trained to support families where there are concerns about the child’s health or development, the child has emotional or behavioural issues, there are feeding difficulties, toileting or sleep problems. Or where the parents have health problems, particularly post natal depression, difficulty with parenting or difficulties in their relationship with each other. Health visitors can also provide information on immunisation, cot death prevention and other safety issues. The child’s health and needs are paramount and all health visitors are trained in child protection and work with other agencies, including social services, to achieve the best outcomes for children.
For children disabilities and ongoing health problems health visitors can provide vital information and support. These children often have complex medical needs, as well as challenging behaviour. Adjusting to having a child with a disability can be difficult on a practical and emotional level and put a great strain on relationships within the family. A health visitor can help by idintifying the needs of the child and family, providing emotional support to parents, making referrals and co-ordinating the work of other professionals who can be of help.
Why employ an independent health visitor?
Becoming a parent presents new challenges and a wide range of emotions. Being a parent impacts on every aspect of your life including your relationships, your priorities, your daily routines (work and leisure time), your finances. Adapting to your new role can be a very happy, exciting and fulfilling time. But is can also be a very stressful time provoking anxiety and loss of self confidence. It takes time, not only to adjust to being a parent, but also to get to know your new baby and build a relationship with them.
We learn how to parent from our experience of being parented as children and grandparents and extended family play a vital role in supporting the transition to parenthood and beyond. However, increasingly people are moving away from their parents and extended family to study and work. Couples are also leaving it later to start a family. This means that grandparents may not be around to provide help and support and new parents can feel quite isolated.