The public health nurses’ visits are something that can put the fear of god into some parents for very little reason. The truth is, a public health nurse is someone you should appreciate as the work they do is vitally important.
The public health nurses’ visits are something that can put the fear of god into some parents for very little reason. The truth is, a public health nurse is someone you should appreciate as the work they do is vitally important. The public health nurse visits will be an integral part of you and your child’s life, so it is best to know what to expect if you are a first-time parent and new to the world of parenting. Here is some simple ‘need to know’ information.
The first visit
Firstly, the public health nurse is a healthcare professional who offers support and assistance to those who need it in the community including older people and babies. For new-born babies, the public health nurse will visit you at home
usually within 48 hours of discharge from hospital following the birth of your baby. They will sit with you and offer advice on breastfeeding, bottle feeding and what to expect in the coming weeks with your new baby. You can take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and they may take the time to check over you too. It may scare you to see the nurse weighing your baby and being examined but this is normal, and your baby may cry but they are not uncomfortable. Furthermore, the public health nurse is a good support to mums who may be struggling to cope or feeling worthless. A public health nurse will help new mums and their baby too.
The public health nurses job going forward is to promote your baby’s health and coordinate with you to ensure your baby is developing as he/she should be.
Here are some things that may be checked in your future visits:
- Dental health
- Developmental progress
- Eyes, ears and hip checks
- Speech development
- Motor skills
- Measuring your child to navigate their growth and progress
The developmental check includes measurements of your child as normal and you can discuss with the nurse if you have any worries about your little one’s development. This is a time where the nurse may notice something about your child’s development and they may offer a referral to a specialist or a follow-up appointment to see them again soon. Most checks are done when your baby is around 9 months, eighteen months and two years old. You will be notified when there is an appointment made for your baby. It is advised if you can’t make it rearrange it, as these appointments are vital to a baby’s health and they can flag any problems your baby may be having. A public health nurse has probably been asked everything there is to be asked about parenting and your baby’s health, so feel free to ask questions. Don’t be shy or feel silly as every question matters and doing so shows you are trying your best to raise your child in the best way possible. Public health nurses aren’t scary
, and they are there to support and advise families so you can rest assured that your child is healthy and developing as they should be.