Old Wives Tales are Officially Medical Advice

There’s a popular phrase in the arsenal of village newsletter writers which fills more column inches than “rained-off”, and that’s “due to inclement weather”.

Due to inclement weather, I went along to baby clinic with Katrina and Lucy today. Despite several disappointments in the past (actually, make that disappointments every time we’ve seen one), today was really good. The clinic woman was very pleasant, seemed to show a genuine interest in children (surely that’s a requirement to joining up?), and offered useful advice without being downright condescending.

My main beef with the health visitor people is that they appeared to be simply passing-off old wives’ tales as medical advice. Take for example the large patch of dry skin across Lucy’s forehead during weeks 3 to 6. It came up really quite nasty-looking, but was nothing serious – only really a cosmetic issue because it didn’t bother her in the slightest. You would assume a reasonably common complaint with a tried-and-tested solution. Apparently not.

The first advice we were given was from a midwife, who suggested the use of olive oil. Being parents for less than three weeks, we dutifully basted our daughter twice a day. That is, until the health visitor suggested we just use plain water. OK, let’s try that. That lasted a week, then another health visitor suggested the use of baby lotion. Independently, Katrina spoke to one of her friends (another health visitor), who recommended E45 cream. Four people, four different solutions. We ended up using baby lotion and it cleared, but whether that was simply due to clearing itself in the goodness of time or the BL actually helped we will never know.

The check today went well and all is good: a 5.30kg (11lb 11oz) baby who’s giggling, smiling, and holding her head up fine.

By the way, it’s going to be raining tomorrow – the health visitor told us. She saw some cows lying down in a field this morning.