How to interview & select a Maternity Nurse

Why hire a Maternity Nurse?

For some families, the idea of welcoming a new baby into the world with the support of an experienced professional, can offer real peace of mind, particularly for those families who have relocated and don’t necessarily have the support network of family and friends to rely on. Other families may be facing the arrival of twins or multiples, or perhaps already have older children and the idea of having an extra pair of experienced hands to help out with the care of the new baby, can be very reassuring. Parents are then better able to meet the physical and emotional needs of the older siblings while still being able to enjoying their new baby.

The role of the Maternity Nurse

A maternity nurse works in partnership with the family. Prior to hiring, you will meet a number of maternity nurses to discuss your needs and how you see life with your new baby. Your chosen maternity nurses’ primary duty is to provide postnatal care for mother and baby and in doing so, she relieves some of the stress that new parents face in the crucial first weeks of baby’s life, creating a positive experience for all.

At the interview stage, you will discuss your family and your lifestyle, this gives you all an opportunity to decide whether or not you all get along and it also provides you with a chance to discuss various parenting methods. Many maternity nurses favour one particular method over another but it is important that you share her views or are able to talk openly about what approach you would like to take with your baby. A good maternity nurse works with parents to achieve a routine and approach that works best for the family as a whole.

Your maternity nurse will either visit you in hospital shortly after the birth and accompany you home, or she will arrive at your home once you’re all settled and ready for her to join you. This is very much a personal choice and you should decide when you would like your maternity nurse to arrive.

On arrival, your maternity nurse will help you to establish a routine, she will offer breastfeeding support if required and will show you how to care for your baby if you are first time parents.

If your baby is bottle fed, this can often mean that your maternity nurse will do the night feeds so that you can get a good night’s sleep and are then able to recover well following the birth. In addition to the general care given to mother and baby, your maternity nurse will be responsible for the cleanliness and tidiness of the baby’s nursery, she may also take care of baby’s laundry and ensure that all bottles and feeding equipment are cleaned and sterilised. Your maternity nurse may also keep a log of the routine or schedule noting all feeding times, nappy changes, sleeping patterns and general observations as necessary.

Finding a Maternity Nurse

Finding your ideal maternity nurse has never been easier. Gone are the days of relying on pricey recruiters to fulfil your requirements. With the arrival of the internet and all that it offers, you can now search for your ideal candidate online, refining your search criteria and viewing CV’s of those matching your requirements rather than just being presented with the details of those registered to a particular agency.

Using an online search platform such as offers families and maternity nurses the opportunity to connect instantly and communicate directly. This revolution in maternity nurse recruitment means that at the click of a mouse, at a time to suit you, there are hundreds of candidates to consider. Once you’ve created your profile and made contact with maternity nurses who meet your requirements, it is simply a matter of arranging the interviews, carrying out your checks and coming to a decision about who to hire.

The interview process

Once you have selected your candidates and arranged the interview dates, you’re now a few steps closer to making your final choice! It is important to meet your maternity nurse for a face to face interview. Please be aware that in most cases, given the distances involved, you may be expected to pay for travel expenses to and from the interview. For this reason, it is important to consider your candidates carefully as the costs can quickly mount up. Use the check list below to guide you through this initial interview stage.

Interview checklist:

• Make a short list of maternity nurses to interview

• A good ice-breaker can be to show the maternity nurses around your home, giving a tour of the nursery and the living accommodation on offer

• Check with your maternity nurse in advance regarding travel expenses to and from the interview

• Ensure that the maternity nurses provide a detailed CV with a full reference list and contact details for you to follow up on after the interview

• Make sure that any gaps in CV’s are explained clearly

• Take copies of the DBS / CRB check and any qualifications, first aid certificates and OFSTED registration if applicable, so that you can verify these before making your final decision

• Ensure that your maternity nurse has adequate insurance in place

• Make sure that your candidates are legally allowed to work in the UK, ask to see proof of this and retain a copy if the job is offered

• Prepare a list of interview questions and ask all candidates the same questions in detail. Make notes as required

• Prepare a list of topics that you wish to discuss such as the use of dummies, night feeding arrangements, mixed feeding and siblings

• Discuss the deposit required to confirm the booking

• You may wish to discuss the cancellation policy should the need arise

• Discuss your preferences with the candidates and ask for their views on the various routines and methods

• Discuss the details of employment and be clear about the fact that your maternity nurse is self-employed and therefore responsible for paying her own tax and contributions, note this within the contract

Selecting and hiring your Maternity Nurse

A good maternity nurse is often booked up well in advance. It is not uncommon for parents to start the search for a maternity nurse as soon as they discover they are expecting a baby. With this in mind, it is important that you contact your prospective maternity nurse as soon as you have decided that she is your chosen maternity nurse following the interviews. It is also good practice to let the other candidates know as soon as possible, that they were not successful in their application, feedback can also be helpful.

Selection and hiring checklist:

• As soon as you have made your decision, contact your maternity nurse to offer her the job and to check that she is still available

• The offer should then be followed up in writing and you should include a list of topics discussed during the interview to include the duties to be carried out during the term of the contract

• You would also note that you are aware that the maternity nurse is self-employed and will be responsible for her own tax and contributions

• As that your chosen maternity nurse provide you with a contract as soon as possible, clearly stating the booking deposit, fees and cancellation policy as discussed during the interview

• You should then return the signed contract and pay the booking deposit without delay

• It can be useful to keep in touch with your maternity nurse every month or so to let her know how you are getting on in your pregnancy

• If you have any questions regarding items to purchase for the baby, your maternity nurse can often provide a list of essentials and some practical advice on various popular or new to market items

Most importantly, your maternity nurse will be joining you in your home during a very special time for you and your family. She will become part of your family and will play an important role in the early weeks of your new baby’s life at home withyou. You may wish to contact your maternity nurse closer to your due date to ask whether or not she has any dietary preferences and perhaps stock her favourite tea or coffee for the time she is with you, she will no doubt be up through the night on many occasions and little touches can make her feel comfortable and at home during her time with you.

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