The health visitor

How do you as a dad benefit from being there when the health visitor comes?

As a father, you are part of the family that the health visitor comes to see, and you can benefit from joining in when the health visitor comes, if you have the opportunity. Here you can keep up to date on your child’s development and get answers to questions you have about your child, your role as a father, family life and much more.

3 tips for when the health visitor comes

– Think about what you want to ask.
– Talk to your partner about your needs.
– Be there and ask the health visitor about your questions.

Stick around when the health visitor comes

Although the focus is on your baby and your partner right after the birth, the health visitor is there for you too. You can gain a lot from taking an active part when the health visitor comes, so think about what you want to ask, talk to your partner about your situation, and stay around. That way, you’ll engage with the health visitor advice, and can mention the role of dad.

What can the health visitor help with?

As well as keeping an eye on your partner and the baby’s well-being and yours too, the health visitor knows a lot of practical things and can give you helpful advice as a new dad. For example:

  • The child’s development
  • How you as a dad can contribute at the beginning
  • Sleep and wakefulness
  • Things you can do with your baby: contact, activities and more
  • Preventing illness and accidents
  • The best ways to hold your baby
  • Parenting and parenting roles

So don’t hesitate to ask the health visitor about anything you are unsure about or need input on. You can ask questions about the baby, your role as a father, or how you can best bond with your child at the beginning.

FACT BOX: Who is the health visitor?

– The health visitor plays a part in the municipal health service.

– The health visitor is a trained nurse, and has taken further training in the needs of children and families.

– The health visitor does not come to find fault, but to help and guide you as a family.

When does the health visitor come to visit?

How often the health visitor comes to see you depends on which municipality you live in. Most municipalities offer four visits from the health visitor in your child’s first 10 months.

The first visit is within the first two weeks after birth, where the health visitor will check your newborn’s wellbeing, check for infections, and talk to you about breastfeeding, poo and your new life as parents.

At the next visits , the health visitor will typically weigh and measure your child and there will be time to ask questions.

Screening for postnatal depression
In many municipalities, the health visitor also offers to screen you for postnatal depression. Consider this if you are showing signs of stress, depression, lack of sleep, thoughts racing in your mind, or if you are struggling to cope or manage your child. Talk to your health visitor about the possibility and timing of screening, and about the help available in your municipality.