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HOW TO CHOOSE A MATERNITY NURSE

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Why to hire a maternity nurse, what to ask them and what they do...

What is maternity nursing and what are the benefits of hiring one?

 

If sleep and support are an issue when you have a newborn baby, and if you feel you can afford it, you might want to hire a maternity nurse. But what does a maternity nurse do, and how can they help? Louise Moxon from Cocoon Maternal Support tells us everything we need to know about neonatal nurses…

1. What is a maternity nurse? Is it the same as a baby nurse?

A maternity nurse is someone qualified or highly experienced in caring for newborns.

2. How much does a maternity nurse cost?

A maternity nurse salary is between £150-200 a day for single babies and £200-250 for twins.

3. What qualifications should a maternity nurse have?

The most common and most widely recognised qualifications are the following:

  • OCN MNT (Open college network for maternity nurse training). This can only be completed if the candidate already has substantial newborn experience
  • Midwifery & Nursing Diplomas
  • NNEB (National Nursery Examination Board), BTEC (Business & Technology Education) & NVQ Maternity
  • NEST PNC Diploma (Newborn Education Services & Training Post Natal Carer), NAMCW (National Association of Maternal & Child Welfare)

Midwives, registered nurses & health visitors are also recognised.

Our agency informs you about the maternity nurse's qualifications, experience and first aid certificates. All agencies should also provide you with references for the maternity nurse. 

4. How long do they stay?

They stay from anything from 2-6 weeks as an average, but some can stay for 6-12 months

5. What services should a maternity nurse provide?

These are the kind of services you can expect from a maternity nurse (or night nurse)

  • Feeding (if applicable)
  • Assisting with bathing
  • Changing and settling the baby
  • Taking care of the baby’s laundry and nursery
  • Sterilising of baby equipment such as breast-pumps, bottles and teats.
  • Helping to develop a 24-hour pattern for your baby, if required.

 

6. What won't they do?

Most maternity nurses tend not to cook for the whole family. However, if mum has had a traumatic birth or c-section then the maternity nurse can help cook and take care of mum during the day.

They are not expected to clean the house or do the whole family’s laundry. 

7. What should I look for in a maternity nurse? 

The most important thing to look for in a maternity nurse is that you get on well and you feel comfortable around them. A maternity nurse should come across as being professional, competent, efficient and knowledgeable. However, I always suggest to clients to speak personally to one or two of the maternity nurse’s references – this will give you the confidence in choosing the right maternity nurse.

8. What should I ask them in the interview?

  • What is your preferred approach to routines?
  • What do you make of other approaches?
  • When and how do you normally manage to get a baby sleeping through the night?
  • Will you support me if I change my mind about routine?

A maternity nurse will take up space in your home, after all it’s not just them but also their belongings too. Think about who you will be happy with in your home. Ask questions such as:

  • Are you happy to share a room with the baby?
  • Do you require extra space for the evenings?
  • Do you expect your own television?
  • Do you expect meals or are you happy to cook for yourself?
  • If we all eat together are you happy to help with washing/cleaning up?
  • Are you happy to give the family time alone?
  • Do you have any special dietary requirements?

Understanding why they want to be a maternity nurse says a lot about their character. You could ask:

  • Why do you do maternity work?
  • Are you happy to teach me about my baby?
  • Are you happy to include the father and teach him too?
  • Will you be happy to make cups of tea or food for the family occasionally?
  • Do you need to stay at the house on your day/s off?
  • Do you mind running the occasional errand?
  • What do you believe makes you a great maternity nurse?

9. What should I provide for the maternity nurse?

  • A bed or sofa bed and a small chest of drawers either in the nursery or in a spare room
  • TV, but not essential
  • Food and drinks

10. What are the benefits of hiring a maternity nurse?

A maternity nurse will help build your confidence as parents. It can be a wonderful yet overwhelming time settling into a routine with a new baby and a maternity nurse will listen to your requirements and provide you with a bespoke service aimed at supporting you and your newborn at a time when you need it most. Whether you opt for breastfeeding, mixed feeding, or bottle feeding, a maternity nurse will support your choices. They have a wealth of experience to offer you and can make the transition to motherhood a much smoother process while allowing the mother to recover from the birth and get as much rest as possible.  Most importantly, I believe a maternity nurse can also lower the risk of postnatal depression, because you have someone with you in those early days building your confidence, helping to reduce worry, anxiety and allowing you to sleep and recover from the birth. 

:: For more information about Cocoon UK and the nanny services they offer, please telephone 020 3287 463 or see their website

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