3 things to expect from the Public Health Nurse

PHN, public health nurse, heel prick test, developmental checks, weaning,

When it comes to development issues, your public health nurse can be a great source of information and help. You can expect a visit or a phone call from your Local Public Health Nurse when your baby only a few days old! Here’s an outline of what to expect from your public health nurse.

What to expect

For many women, the first contact she has with her local public health nurse is after having a baby – but along with your GP, your public health nurse can provide you with plenty of support and advice after giving birth, both in the hectic early days and as your child develops and grows.

  1. If you have given birth in a hospital, a public health nurse generally contacts you within days of giving birth (each public health nurse is given a list of local women who have given birth).
  2. They usually try to visit you in your home as soon as possible after discharge – many perform
    the heel prick test during that visit.
  3. In the initial visit, your baby will be weighed and examined, and this is a great opportunity for you to discuss any worries you might be having.
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Some things you can discuss

Feeding and Weaning

Your Public Health Nurse may well run a local support group for those breastfeeding. Ask her what kind of support a group like this (or similar ones) could give you.

Similarly, if you have any questions relating to weaning, your Public Health Nurse will have extensive knowledge of the area.

Developmental checks

Standard checks are usually done at nine months, 18 months and two years (your nurse will generally ring you for an appointment; if not, you can ring your health centre), and take into account milestones regarding hearing and eyesight, speech, general growth and motor skills. If you have any questions regarding development at any stage, your public health nurse is always a good point of contact.

Advice and Support

The wide range of knowledge and experience can be a lifeline to new mums so don’t be afraid to ask your Public Health Nurse anything that might be causing you worry or stress.


For more on the public health nursing scheme, see here!


Originally posted 2017-12-01 09:04:25.