"Health Visitors"

About: NHS Grampian

(as a parent/guardian),

My child was born underweight and did not gain much weight (gained weight at the lowest end of what can be classed normal) for the first three months of life when they were exclusively breastfed. It was one of the most difficult times of my life ever. We were always fobbed off from seeing a pediatrician whenever we tried to, until I decided to fly to another country to see a paediatrician. I was told by that paediatrician that I was "starving" my child. The paediatrician also diagnosed my child to be born "intrauterine growth restricted". I was advised to formula supplement my baby. All this while my health visitor just stuck to her 'one size fits all' approach of "breastfeeding is the best for your child". My child was weighed on a weekly basis, but I feel the Health visitor was not informed enough to make a judgement based on clinical measures. That the infant was not progressing to the fullest potential. The child was under the lowest percentile for weight through out their first 3 months of life, but the health visitor kept thinking that all was ok, as long as they are "not loosing weight". What I understand from this is- Infants don't need the 'best start' in life, as long as they are surviving. The practice here is so disappointing & contrary to what the Scottish Government published in the Early Years Framework. All of those annual publications are worthless if not put into practice under clinical judgement by health professionals. While "critical thinking skills" is a huge aspect of medical training, I feel that very few professionals are putting it to use in practice.

I regret to have lost valuable time when my child's body (brain specifically) was developing at an astonishing rate that I can never make up for. Today at 3 years of age my child is diagnosed to be on the Autistic Spectrum of Disorders. I feel that my health visitor was simply there to fill out forms and nothing more.

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