Health Visiting Service - Dorset Healthcare
Our health visiting service provides information, advice and support to pregnant women, expectant fathers and parents of new babies and young children.
Health visitors are specialists in nursing and/or midwifery. They work with parents and families to ensure the physical and emotional wellbeing of children up to the age of five, covering antenatal support, immunisation, parenting support, health checks and development reviews.
We provide services across Dorset, seeing people at home as well as at GP surgeries, children’s centres and local community clinics or health centres. Group sessions – such as parenting advice and under 1s groups – are also available in a range of community settings.
Our teams liaise closely with GPs and other children’s services, and can put people in touch with other agencies if more specialist support is required.
All pregnant women will receive a visit from a health visitor from 30 weeks of pregnancy. Parents with babies and children under the age of five who transfer into the area and/or change their GP will be contacted by a member of the team soon after registering with a GP.
If you need to speak to your health visitor outside of the routine checks, or want to find out more about what support is available in your area, please get in touch.
Telephone Contact Numbers for Health Visiting Teams Across Dorset
Bournemouth & Christchurch Hub
Dorset East & Purbeck Hub
Breastfeeding provides your baby with the best start in life.
Research shows that many of the benefits are life long. Feeding your baby breast milk exclusively for the first six months offers the most benefit.
Should you only be able to feed your baby for a short time, any amount is good for your baby. Benefits Breastfeeding reduces the risk of:
Necrotising enterocolitisurinary tract infections
Allergic disease (eczema and wheezing)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Breastfed babies may have better:
More research is needed but breastfeeding may also provide protection for the infant against:
Tonsillectomy for the mother
And for the mother, protection against:
Women who have breastfed are at lower risk of:
Hip fractures and bone density.
newborn hearing screening test helps to identify babies who have permanent
hearing loss as early as possible. This means parents can get the support and
advice they need right from the start. Ideally, the test is done in the first four to five
weeks, but it can be done at up to three months of age.
You will be offered a screen at a home visit by your health visitor. Alternatively, your baby may be screened in hospital if he or she has an extended stay in the special care nursery.
For more information please go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/newborn-hearing-test.aspx
You can also contact your health visitor, from the numbers listed in the section above, or call the Dorset Newborn Hearing Screening Service direct on 01202 443839.