What is a Maternity Nurse?

What is a Maternity Nurse?

For many new parents, a Maternity Nurse is the shining light at the end of the tunnel! Often qualified but more importantly, very experienced in the care of postnatal mothers and newborn babies. A  maternity Nurse is skilled in supporting, caring for and teaching new parents how to care for their newborn baby while also allowing parents the time to rest and recover from the birth of their baby.

Whether baby is breast or bottle fed, a Maternity Nurse will advise and carry out all duties relating to the care of mother and baby during those first crucial weeks following the birth. She will perform “nursery duties” meaning she will take care of all aspects of the baby’s care including washing of baby items and keeping the nursery and feeding equipment clean and tidy. Some parents may simply require the help of a Maternity Nurse to “take over” when they need a rest so it depends on the individual requirements of the family when it comes to the specific duties.

A Maternity Nurse usually lives-in and is on duty 24 hours a day up to six days a week. That said, it is important that your Maternity Nurse is allowed to have sufficient breaks to enable her to catch up on her own sleep, ensuring that she is fit and well enough to care for your baby while on duty.

Is a Maternity Nurse qualified?

Some Maternity Nurses are very experienced and were practicing long before the modern qualifications came into play. There are now a range of qualifications up to level three being offered by accredited training providers. There is also a move away from the traditional title of Maternity Nurse, many now being called postnatal carers or maternity practitioners. Use your own judgement, an experienced Maternity Nurse can be a far better fit than a newly qualified candidate. Cost will also dictate this and if you’re looking for basic support, consider a trainee maternity nurse who may work for a much lower rate than the £100 to £150 per day average charge.

What do I need to provide for a Maternity Nurse?

In addition to the respite noted above, you should also provide a room (usually shared with the baby) and use of a bathroom. Ideally an en-suite if available so that she does not disturb Mum and Dad during the night. A private space should also be provided so that the Maternity Nurse has somewhere to spend her off time without being interrupted. Meals are also to be provided.

What makes a good Maternity Nurse?

Qualifications and experience together, make for a good start. Nothing however, can replace a word of mouth recommendation or a string of excellent references. When choosing your Maternity Nurse, personality plays a huge role in the decision making process. Before starting your search, it is important to keep in mind that many Maternity Nurses are booked up well in advance so don’t leave it too late to start looking. Make a list of the key attributes you’re looking for. Make a list of questions to ask at the interview and ask the prospective Maternity Nurse what she will do and what she won’t do. You’ll soon get a clear idea of who fits best.

It may be that you prefer a very structured approach to routine and feeding or perhaps you’re a little bit more relaxed and want someone who isn’t going to strong-arm you into doing things their way or no way at all. A Maternity Nurse is very experienced in caring for Mums and newborns however, to get the most out of the experience, it is important that you get along well as you’ll be spending a lot of time together at a very special time.

It is worth noting that a while a Maternity Nurse will carry out the standard “nursery duties” you cannot expect her to care for other children in the home. Her primary responsibility is in caring for the newborn, establishing healthy routines and ensuring that both mother and baby are taken care of in those early weeks following the birth. It is however, a good idea to introduce your other children to the Maternity Nurse as she will no doubt at some point, interact with them and she can also offer advice on how to deal with issues such as toddler jealousy after the arrival of the new baby.

How do I find a good Maternity Nurse?

With the advantages offered by modern technology, parents now have more access to a wider range of choice when it comes to childcare. Using a search platform such as Childcare.co.uk offers parents the freedom to advertise for, search for and select the ideal candidate for the job.

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