My name is Emma and I am a health visitor in South Yorkshire.  I have supported hundreds of families to develop their confidence as parents, answer questions and sometimes even be a supportive shoulder to cry on.

I thought it would be helpful to explain a bit about health visitors and how you transition from midwifery to health visiting.

Health visitors are nurses and/or midwives who have done further post graduate training in public health. We complete antenatal visits, new birth visits (between 10-14 days), 9-12 month development reviews and 2-2.5 year reviews. As public health nurses, our aim is to reduce health inequalities and ill health. We also are there to make sure families and children are safe and can support parents if there is domestic abuse, drug and alcohol issues, or parents are struggling to cope, such as with poverty and mental health, and the day to day challenges of parenting.

We are here to support you and your child until they start school (they are then under the school nursing team). We can offer more support for parents if you are struggling or are concerned regarding your child’s health, wellbeing or development. I feel passionately about supporting parents to have up to date evidence based information, so they can make informed decisions.

There are a wide variety of topics that we can support parents with, such as parental mental health and adjusting to parenthood, your child’s health and development, getting them ready for school, such as potty training, when to see a doctor, breast and bottle feeding, managing crying, reducing minor illness and accidents and healthy lifestyle and weight.

We work very closely with midwives, GP’s and children centres. We talk and meet regularly with our midwifery colleagues to make the transition to health visiting smooth and supportive for you.

If you would like further information about health visiting, the Institute of Health Visiting has a website for parents and professionals.

Useful links and further reading: