By in Family

How To Annoy A Breast Feeding Mother

Health Visitor Checks On Babies

In the UK, health visitors call on new mothers in their homes at regular intervals to check that babies are growing and developing as expected and to provide interventions if there appears to be something wrong, in the areas of eyesight, hearing, growth or developmental milestones, for instance.

One Year Old

My youngest grandchild has just had his first birthday and the nurse / health visitor called to give him his one year assessment. Everything was fine, as we knew it was but she still managed to create two "WHAT?" moments during the visit.


She asked if the baby was still getting breast milk, which he is, then said dismissively, "They don't get much nutrition from it after 12 months, will you not have problems trying to wean him at a later age?" A quick search on Google show that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding being continued until at least 2 years of age ( ). There is also research that shows that infants can get up to one third of their daily nutritional requirements from breast milk even after 12 months of age and that these children have fewer illnesses ( - this page provides academic citations)

Sight Test

She then proceeded to carry a quick sight test on the child. Now any parent knows that a toddler is the best vacuum cleaner available for picking up and eating any tiny thing lying on the floor! Instead of asking whether he did that (he does, if you don't get there fast enough) she held out her hand and shook a container over it, at which some tiny coloured items dropped out onto her hand. The Tiny Terror , who was watching all this intently, asked "What's that?". "Just some sugar sprinkles" came back the answer, as she held her hand out for the baby to pick up and eat sugar sprinkles! My daughter is trying to remove as much sugar as possible from their diet and the nurse didn't ask permission to load the baby with sugar!

Some things never change

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VinceSummers wrote on March 15, 2019, 8:42 AM

I understand the first part. In Bible times, a mother might breast feed as long as five years, though that seems more than a little strange to us today.
As to the sugar thing, I don't see that as an issue. I'm sure Mom has her reasons. Some parents begin by putting one foot before the other as a child develops, but soon the child is tripping about everywhere. My daughter wanted to feed my grandkids very carefully and judiciously. They soon began eating their share of junk food. It's an ongoing issue, but not too serious.

melody23 wrote on March 16, 2019, 5:57 AM

I spent 8 weeks health visiting as a student nurse and I hated every second of it! Now I don't ever plan on having children but the whole 8 weeks all I was thinking was that if I did have kids I wouldn't be letting the health visitor into my house, all they were doing was telling people what to do all day and anything that wasn't as per their guidelines was obviously wrong. I honestly would have thrown them out of my house if I had been some of the mums, but then if you don't engage with the health visitor you end up with the social work at your door I guess which is probably why people put up with these visits

MegL wrote on March 16, 2019, 6:50 AM

My husband allowed the health visitor in one time and never again. She never asked to come back! LOL But your points are all correct. The usual health visitors have been fine but this was a new one, although seemed to be coming close to retirement age!