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A Health Visitor is allocated to every family with a new baby to give support to mother and baby and protect child and family health and wellbeing. Health visitors offer support and informed advice from the ante-natal period until the child starts school at 5 years.
They usually work in teams and can be based in children’s centres, surgeries, community or health centres. Health visitors see parents through a minimum of 5 contacts from late pregnancy through to a developmental assessment at 2 years. Some visits may be done at your home, but the health visitor may also invite you to join groups, clinics and networks run by the health visiting team or colleagues who work with them such as: Community Staff Nurses, Community nursery nurses, children centre staff and voluntary organisations.
You will be contacted by someone from the health visiting team to make an appointment for the Health Visitor to come and see you between the 10th and 14th day after your baby is born. (The midwife may continue to visit as well as the health visitor.)
Here are some things that the health visitor will talk to you about:
- Infant feeding
- Home and car safety
- Registration of your baby’s birth
- Postnatal examination with the GP
- Family planning and contraception
- Smoking cessation
- Postnatal depression
- Domestic Abuse
- Safe sleeping
- Children’s Centres
- Support network and groups available
Families from all walks of life may need support for specific issues that affect their children’s health and development, so the service provided to each family may vary.
If you do not receive a visit from the health visitor between 10 and 14 days following the birth of your baby, please contact your midwife or GP who will be able to help you.
For up to date practical support on a variety of subjects to help you with your baby you can go to: