When Gina, 35, mum to two-year-old Cleo, contacted her local health visitor for help with potty training, she wasn’t sure what to expect. However, after a few visits from Nicola, a health visitor with the Trust, Gina soon realised she’d get more than she expected.
“My GP suggested I contact my health visitor” explains Gina, from West Bridgford, “because Cleo was struggling to poo on the potty. I didn’t know what to expect from Nicola, but I didn’t think we’d get anything like the one-to-one care that we did. She was fantastic.
“Potty training Cleo seemed easy at first” recalls Gina “but I soon noticed she didn’t want to do a poo on the potty. If she needed a poo, she’d become very upset -scared even - and hold it in. Once I even found her trying to push a poo back in. It was really distressing.
“Over the following few months, things got worse. Cleo wouldn’t poo for a week, ten days or more. And she developed a poor appetite as well. Our GP prescribed Movicol for constipation.
“It was a really stressful time. Cleo was upset. I was anxious. It felt like we were in a vicious circle that was never going to end. That’s when I got in touch with Nicola.
“She visited us at home and telephoned in between visits. She had lots of suggestions, many of which I hadn’t thought of, to help Cleo. She gave me ideas to help Cleo drink more. And when she was refusing her Movicol, Nicola suggested mixing it with jelly or making ice lollies with it. She recommended some useful story books too."
Nicola was so reassuring. I became less anxious and, because of Nicola’s support, I realised it would only be a matter of time before Cleo felt comfortable using her potty properly.
“It’s taken six long hard months, but we finally seem to have cracked it! I am so thankful for Nicola’s help. Parenting is tough but you don’t have to do it alone. Health visitors have so much experience of children and it’s so helpful to be able to discuss your concerns and worries with them.
“I hope Cleo carries on as she is, but it’s a comfort to know that I can call on Nicola if things don’t go to plan. She’s a lovely lady and Cleo was always delighted to see her.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you Nicola!”
Health Visiting Week is from 26 – 30 September. Visit our A-Z of Services for more information about health visiting.