Maternity nurse often called a baby nurse
Having a newborn baby arrive into your world is a huge life changing event and for some new mums and dads it can be a very daunting time. Many new parents choose to make this time as calm and easy as possible by getting a Maternity nurse to support and help them over the first few weeks or months.
Many of my past families knew little about maternity nurses and our role so asked me to write a page that would explain all about us, what we do and how we can help in many different family situations.
Years ago it was the grand parents who helped you in the first weeks. Now with families living all over the world and with many mums now having their baby’s at a slightly older age it may mean that grand parents are not able to be as hands on.
The role of the maternity nurse
Today the role of the baby Nurse is quite flexible. A good modern day maternity nurse will be able too adapt to each families own way of life and fit in with their needs.
A maternity nurse can be a huge help to first time parents, teaching then how to handle their newborn, help with breastfeeding or bottle feeding, get then into a good routine if the family ask for one and give them all a great start.
We can then help the second and third times around by supporting mum to care for baby and giving helpful advice on how to look after two or more children.
She will be able to bring a vast amount of baby knowledge as well as helpful hints, tips and advice into your home and can often pick up on any minor baby health issues that may arise.
I have been in many different family situations ranging from a mum who passed me her baby once I had arrived and said “he is yours for now, I will see him in a month” to supporting breastfeeding mums of single baby’s or twins and working with them as a team.
We are mainly there to provide help, reassurance and support to the new mom and guide her with all aspects of baby care. We are also very happy to show dad the ropes and also work with siblings to integrate baby into the family home.
The main areas we help with are:
- breast feeding
- bottle feeding
- bathing baby
- nappy changing
- care of the post partum mom
- integrating baby into the family
- any minor medical issues such as baby reflux or breastfeeding problems
- baby laundry
Maternity nurses also known as newborn care specialists or baby nurse are non medical specialists who work with newborn babies and their parents mainly in their own home for a set number of weeks or months.
While we are with our families we will help set up a good routine for baby and make sure mum gets plenty of rest and sleep by either taking baby at night to bottle feed or take baby to mum to feed in the night and then once baby is fed we will wind, change and settle baby again until the next feed.
We are also there to show parents how to sterilise baby feeding equipment, how to use prams, car seats and other baby gadgets and give advise on general safety in the home.
Several maternity nurses will also specialise in various areas of newborn care such as multiple births or sleep training.
The role of the baby nurse can also involve caring for a parent coping with post natal depression, a sick child or on very rare occasions the death of an infant.
Maternity nurse hours of work.
The baby nurse is often booked many weeks or months in advance of the birth.
She will be contracted to work for the set number of booked weeks. This is done through the agency the baby nurse works for or can be word of mouth.
The maternity nurse will usually start work when mum and baby leave hospital and return home.
She will then work 24 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week. She may ask for a set amount of time off per day to catch up on sleep but not all nurses do this and may just choose to nap when baby sleeps.
Days off are decided with each family at the start of the job but are mainly at the weekend.
There is usually a signed contract that outlines the maternity nurses role and start and finish dates.
There is often a 50% pay clause written into the contract that starts on the contracted day of work if the maternity nurse is not yet needed due to baby being over due or baby or mum being kept in hospital.
How much will a maternity nurse cost?
Having a baby nurse in your home is not a cheap option but it is a very worth while cost.
The average cost for a maternity nurse to look after a single baby is £180.00 per 24 hours. This can be slightly higher or lower depending on the experience of the nurse you have chosen.
The average cost for a maternity nurse to look after twins is £220.00 per 24 hours. This again can be slightly higher or lower depending on the experience of the nurse.
Maternity nurse training
Most maternity nurses will have a child care qualification depending on when they first qualified.
Many have been nannies for many years, like myself, and have chosen to enter the field of maternity nursing so we are able to pass on all our baby knowledge and advice to new families.
Many have a nursing background and have been midwife’s or nurses and some maternity nurses are mums themselves and have older children.
All maternity nurses should be CRB checked and also carry an up to date paediatric first aid certificate. They will have at least 3 years experience of working with babies and with newborns and their moms.
Some have completed the MNT Level 3 OCN Maternity Practitioner Award or have completed other courses including breastfeeding, care of the multiples or post natal depression.
I hope that my maternity nurse page has helped you decide if getting some help is a good idea for you.
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