I came across a post this morning on FaceBook in a very large babies/kids group I am in. I was touched by her experience of the Maternal Child Health Nurse (MCHN) service in Victoria, as mine was similar. No chopping and changing of appointments, but the nurse that I had was focused on so many micro details, that she failed to see I had a happy healthy baby on my hands. I was given very poor advice on numerous occasions, and I ended up changing nurses. I too made a complaint but it was not even followed up with a phone call. But how many mums would actually take the time to complain when they are sleep deprived and juggling new motherhood? The system needs an overhaul. We need support at times like this, more than ever.
After 3 hours the FB post had 71 comments and growing. It certainly is something that is very common to many mum’s out there. I have reproduced it below with the original mum’s permission (thank you Jessica Saracino).
EDIT: just to clarify my issue is completely with the system, not the individual nurses, though based on comments this is also a concern & I’m so sorry so many of you have had bad experiences with them. Hopefully we can get someone to actually listen to our concerns.
My first experience with a MCHN was great! Lovely nurse who listened to me cry about my very colicky baby who seemed to constantly scream. She was always full of encouragement, great advice & I always felt that both my baby & I (I suffered terrible anxiety as a first time Mamma) were being well looked after.
Fast forward to my second baby who is now 18 months old & my experience has been the complete opposite. The biggest reason has been that in all our visits we have only ever seen the same MCHN twice. And while each individual nurse has been nice I have a real problem with this. To top it off I have been contacted to reschedule appointments more than 3 times & had appointments rescheduled without being notified. 🤬! I have made two formal complaints to the coordinating nurse in my municipality and yet the problems have continued.
I put an fb post on another Melbourne mums page & was surprised by the comments. Some said they had a great experience but the overwhelming majority said they hadn’t & that was from all over Melbourne. I had people PM me with their stories. But as busy mums no one really had time to make more of a fuss & most said they just stopped going.
This upsets me! This service is there to support mums & their babies in what can be a great/shitty/joyful/sleepless/overwhelming time. If you & your child don’t have the opportunity to build a relationship with one consistent person it doesn’t work! If you are getting the run around & have no time for rescheduling because you are busy as all shit it doesn’t work! And something needs to be done!
So I’m hoping some of you will share this to help bring some attention to this & see if we can make it better because all our Mammas & their babies deserve better!
So thank you for letting me share your post Jessica. I hope that there may be some people out there with some ideas about how we can make this system better. Please leave a comment below if you have had a similar experience or have any ideas about how we can help improve it