[Baby] Health Visitor's Advice. Thanks, But No Thanks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

health, visitor, advice, mama, mum, new, first time, baby, weight. percentile, health, eating, mummy, mom, blog, blogger, uk

Eating spiralised cucumber at Nanny's.

I have to admit I've been a bit of a bad mother. I'm joking. I just didn't get Edith weighed for 4 months. Not that I had any concerns for her weight so didn't see it as essential thing to do.  I'm not a fan of our baby clinic and it can very busy and crowded and a lot of people in a small space so I wait until the holidays so my husband can come with me and it tends to be quieter.

A couple a weeks ago we took Edith to be weighed. It was the usual procedure of "do we have any worries" which we don't. Questions about her weaning and how active she was. Well she's not. Yet. No she can't crawl, but she can bum shuffle a little and gets herself round. Hey she even has a walker, I know preventing her from crawling, more bad mum points for me. But she moves around really well in it. Anyone who meets Edith always says about how happy she is. And she really is. It then came to her being weighed. In February she weighed 20lb 2oz so I wasn't expecting her to be small. The health visitor weighed her and she was 25lb. Wahooo I thought she's gaining weight really well and she's happy and healthy. 

But no. I was met with. Oh she's off the scale. Edith has always been following the top percentile so it was no real surprise. The mood changed slightly and although I don't think the health visitor meant to come across in an accusatory manor it felt that way to me. I was told about appropriate food for a baby and portion size. I have never felt so patronised in my life. I get it. I am a first time mum so I'm not clued up about everything but when it comes to what passes my babies mouth I am pretty strict. Not too strict because I am a firm believer in moderation. I have studied a nutrition course but most of all its common sense. Even though we didn't say a word to each other I knew that my husband was as outraged as I was. Both of us were a little in shock how quickly the health visitors tone changed.

I thought that was bad. I then was told that they used to send Mums on a healthy eating course, at this point I should say that this was all directed at me, I'm not Edith's only parent. We bring her up together, making important decisions together so why as her mother should I face the "blame". But I guess that's just one of those things. There is no way I would go on a course telling me what to feed my baby what a complete waste of my time that would be. After that I was told that the course doesn't run anymore, probably because parents don't need to be patronised, but they do have information sheets from it. The health visitor asked if she could send me the info. I said you can send it. Meaning full well I'm not going to take your advice. My husband backed me fully on all of this too. I think the health visitor could tell by the tone of my voice or my less than impressed facial expression that I wasn't happy as she proceeded to tell me that she was just doing her job. 

I told her the truth. Edith eats healthy food. She eats better than most adults do! My family find it funny that I won't give Edith kids yogurts (they're packed full of sugar) instead I make her natural yogurt with fresh fruit. At this point my husband said "Oh we'll have to cut her down to just 12 chicken nuggets instead of 20" the trainee health visitor laughed to herself, the older one didn't find it as funny as the rest of us. I told the health visitor it's not the food she eats that makes her weigh what she does it's the milk. The health visitor was just about to tell me that she could cut down on formula when I told her that Edith has only ever had breastmilk. 

Oh she said. At that point I felt like cheering. Health professionals are all about breastfeeding which I totally understand. It's tailor made for a baby and it's free. What's not to love! But how can you tell women to breastfeed and then when babies are gaining weight from milk tell me that I'm not feeding my baby properly. It makes no sense to me. I can't stop Edith from feeding. I only feed her when she's hungry and apart from leaving her to cry and go without I have no option. I can't cut her down , and won't cut her down until she's ready and does it herself! 

The information arrived last week. It's full of common sense. I learnt nothing from it, as expected. Although it recommended giving your baby custard. Really? Custard that can be packed full of sugar. No thank you. I think I'll stick to fruit and veg. Maybe the course needs to go on a course. 

I thought I'd share with you what Edith eats on a typical day and you can see for yourself how unhealthy she eats.

Sunday 12th June

- Milk 1:30
- Milk 4:00
- Breakfast- 1/2 slice toast with full fat cream cheese. All eaten. 
- Milk at 9:30 (small feed)
- Milk at 10:00
- Lunch - 2 cucumber slices, 1 chopped cherry tomato, 1 scrambled egg. 2 Ella's Kitchen Puffs. 1/4 egg eaten. 2 puffs eaten. Water
- Milk  3:15
- Dinner - 1 cube of sweet potato, 1 thin slice of green pepper. 1 tiny piece of chicken. All roasted. Sweet potato and chicken eaten. 
- Milk 7:15
- Milk 11:00

As you can probably tell, I'm not going to be taking any of this advice to seriously. At the end of the day that is all it is, advice, a suggestion. We know our baby better than anyone and unless we've got serious concerns things are not going to changing anytime soon.

I'd love to hear if you've had any similar experiences!

I would just like to say that this post is in no way an attack on Health Visitors they do a fantastic job and I've never had an issue with one until now. This post was created to highlight that every baby is different and you shouldn't be made to worry about something that isn't a problem. 
2 Replies


  1. Haha oh the advice you can get as a mother! Good for you being so confident in doing what's best for Edith. You're doing great mama. Xx

  2. Jeez, all that cucumber! No wonder you're being spoken to this way! Well done for standing your ground. x


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