What is a Maternity Nurse? – London Governess

What is a Maternity Nurse?

The first days and weeks of a baby’s life are some of the most meaningful. And you will want to cherish the memory of them forever. It is best if you are relaxed and free from other duties that normally occupy you in order to make the most of this precious time. Having a pair of professional hands to help at this time can make this possible, and everything will be so much easier. The best way to achieve this is by hiring a maternity nurse for the early days of your baby’s life.

Maternity nurses are experts in the care of newborn babies. If you have just had your first baby, you will be brimming over with questions about what to do. A maternity nurse can answer all your questions and show you how to look after your baby. Even with your second or third baby, a maternity nurse will still be invaluable. If you have a hectic lifestyle, she can remove much of the headrush and transform the time into one that you’ll treasure. 

You need to be well-rested and might need to recuperate after the birth. Babies are well-known for having no idea about routines or being quiet at night. A maternity nurse can make sure you get the sleep you need by taking care of night feeds – and showing you how to do it – and getting the baby into a sleep routine.

What does a Maternity Nurse Do?

If you are a first-time parent, there is everything to learn. Some things babies present might scare you but they are perfectly normal; your maternity nurse will ease your mind regarding these things. She’ll deal with all the physical needs of the baby and the baby’s laundry, and take care of the things the baby needs, for example if baby is bottle fed, how to make sure it’s done right and the bottles are kept clean. She can teach you how to dress your baby and how to prepare him for bedtime. Learning all these things will give you confidence. 

But even if it’s not your first child, there are always things you will need help with. A maternity nurse can also help introduce the newest member of the family to the existing family and build relationships all round. The main duties the nurse will help you with are:

  • Guiding you on feeding, sleeping, bathing, and creating routines
  • Providing expert advice on settling and soothing techniques
  • Offering vital support with breastfeeding and pumping
  • Teaching how to use all equipment and keeping it sterilised
  • Dealing with all night feeds if baby is bottle fed
  • Resettling the baby after feeding, allowing mother to rest
  • Supporting mother with stressful times, postnatal depression, and illness
  • Helping harmonise the new baby with families that have other children

The Maternity Nurse Gives you Options

Experienced maternity nurses have seen and learned numerous different ways to do things and deal with issues. Because of their wide experience they can share the different methods they know, giving you options on which way to do things, so you can choose methods that suit you and your baby. For example, she can show you a baby bathing method that you prefer and feel safer doing. 

Make it Your Time

Having a maternity nurse removes worry and time pressure. This gives you time to be enveloped in the experience and to enjoy it with your partner and the family. If you have other obligations that you absolutely cannot avoid, you won’t become over-burdened or overworked. And if you have other children, you will need to spend time with them. With a maternity nurse to help, you can do all these things and be confident that your baby is in good hands.

What if we are not talking about a new one, but a new set of twins? The amount of time pressure such a bundle of joy demands could be overwhelming without a maternity nurse. Effectively, what she provides is time, enabling you and your partner to enjoy it together. As we all know, when we are under extra time pressure, that pressure can build up and cause problems when it is released.

Under an Expert Eye

Having seen numerous babies in their early days, the maternity nurse is able to tell you if there are any signs of emerging problems, such as lactose intolerance, colic, or reflux. What’s more, she will know what to do about it and advise you on what action to take and what needs to be done. She knows how babies should be reacting to things and what progress they should be making in their early days.

The maternity nurse is like a baby care encyclopaedia. You won’t need to spend time searching on the internet or through books for baby tips; you can just ask her. She’s also there to help you gain confidence and to remove your fears of doing things wrong or of not doing something you should be doing. She will be there to give you support during night feeds and to guide you towards doing things the right way. How long you should hire a nurse for is up to you.

What to Consider When Hiring a Maternity Nurse

Maternity nurses are usually hired from just a few days to six months. It just depends, on your circumstances and preferences. When you hire, there is the option for a nurse who lives in your house, or one who lives out and turns up at an agreed time each day. The hours you want her to work can be during day or night, and you can also request a maternity nurse who works 24-hour shifts; you will have your own specific requirements, and the times when you need help might change in the first few weeks. The nurse is a professional and will understand this, so you will be able to discuss any changes with her.

You should discuss your expectations beforehand and let her know how you want duties divided between you and her. You might not know anything about what needs to be done and ask that she comes in and guides you from the start, covering as much as possible until you can start doing things yourself. In this way she would be like a mentor to you.

When it’s Time to do it Yourself

When the day comes and your maternity nurse moves on to perform the same magic for someone else, it’s time to take over for yourself. You hired a good maternity nurse from a reputable agency and it all went beautifully. You learned so many new things and the whole experience with your newborn was an absolute delight. For some women, taking over everything after being helped so much is the hardest part.

The maternity nurse does an excellent job and makes everything so much easier; she becomes a part of your family for a while. It’s hard to let her go. So, it’s useful to think ahead to this point. Make sure you ask all that you need and learn everything you want. Thinking forward like this can make you realise that you need to hire her for longer than you imagined. When it comes time for her to leave, she might have something already lined up to start immediately, so you might not be able to ask her to stay longer.

Hiring a Maternity Nurse

Looking after your newborn baby is one of the most special times of your life. If you are letting someone into this deeply intimate new relationship, you have to know that you can trust them. You wouldn’t let just any stranger into your house to tend to your baby at night while you’re asleep. 

Hiring a maternity nurse is not like hiring someone to cut your lawn. The task you need them for is very intimate, so you might like to meet candidates in person before hiring. You will be spending very personal time together. We all take more of a liking to some people than others, and the personality of the nurse might really be the factor that sways your decision to hire her. If an in-person meeting is possible, it’s worth doing, otherwise it is always possible to meet virtually.

To make sure the maternity nurse you hire is professional and trustworthy, you absolutely must go to an agency that has a reputation for providing the best. You need to make sure their nurses have experience and knowledge you can depend on, and that the agency carries out all of the necessary checks to make sure they meet the standards. Hiring from a good agency will pay off in so many ways. Your baby will thank you for it later on.