Maternity nurses support, care for and teach new parents to look after their new-born babies. They are now often referred to as post-natal carers or maternity practitioners.
Responsibilities and duties:
A maternity nurse will advise on general baby care during the crucial weeks following the birth of the new-born, including:
Caring and establishing healthy routines
Offering breastfeeding support and/or bottle feeding
Ensuring that both mother and baby are taken care of in the early weeks following the birth
Making sure the baby is familiar with daily life and the family can continue after the maternity nurse leaves
A good maternity nurse will also advise on equipment needed, producing a list of items that parents may wish to purchase before the birth as well those that may not be necessary (despite the influence of advertising).
It is usual practice for a maternity nurse to live-in and she is generally on-duty 24 hours a day, up to six days a week.
The maternity nurse will support the mother with matters such as caring for herself from a nutritional standpoint, and showing her how to work towards establishing a routine so that when the time comes for the maternity nurse to leave the continuity of the routines are established .
A maternity nurse will deal with all aspects of the baby’s care, including washing of baby items and keeping the nursery and feeding equipment clean and tidy. Parents' needs vary - some may 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.
You cannot expect a maternity nurse to care for other children in the home but it is a good idea to introduce her to all of your children as she will no doubt interact with them at some point and will also be able to offer advice on how to deal with issues such as toddler jealousy after the arrival of the new baby.
What the parents will need to provide:
You should provide a room (usually shared with the baby) and use of a an ensuite bathroom, ideally so as not to disturb the parents during the night. Meals and her own private space are to be provided, as she will need somewhere to spend her downtime without being interrupted. It is of course important that your maternity nurse has sufficient breaks (to catch up on sleep) as she needs to be fit and well enough to care for your baby while on duty.
Accredited training providers offer a range of qualifications up to Level Three. The traditional title of Maternity Nurse is now often is referred to as Post-natal Carer or Maternity Practitioner.
You will be able to use your own judgement in deciding that an experienced maternity nurse can be a far better fit than a newly-qualified candidate. If cost is a major consideration and if you are looking only for basic support, you could consider a trainee maternity nurse who may work for a much lower rate than the standard, fully-experienced maternity nurse.
A great number of maternity nurses are very experienced and were practicing before the modern qualifications became available.
What makes a good maternity nurse?
Qualifications and experience, along with excellent references is a good start, but chemistry and personality are always a decider. We will identify all the key attributes that you are seeking when we take a detailed brief of your requirements, assessing what your maternity nurse will and will not be required to do.
Make it plain what your preferred approach to routine and feeding is, whether structured or more relaxed, and satisfy yourself that the maternity nurse is not too rigid in doing things her own way. To get the most out of the experience, it is important that you get along well, as you will be spending a lot of time together during this special period in your life.
What checks does the agency do on the maternity nurses?
Only qualified and/or experienced maternity nurses are registered with Midas. We interview all candidates personally and their references are checked, so be aware that many are booked well in advance and therefore you will need to start the selection process early,
We pride ourselves on our thorough recruitment process, ensuring our maternity nurses are top quality. They will all have an up-to-date enhanced DBS check and first aid training certificate, and at least three years’ direct experience in a home environment with new-borns.
Maternity nurses are self-employed and work on a freelance basis. The cost of a maternity nurse varies based on age, experience, and location. Looking after a single baby, twins or triplets will impact on the rate.
The following costs are a guideline only for placements in the UK:
24-hour rate for a single baby: £160 - £180 (£960 - £1,080 per week)
24-hour rate for multiple births: £180 - £220 (£1,080 + per week)
The costs shown are gross payments as maternity nurses are responsible for their own tax and National Insurance contributions. This makes the hiring process straightforward, with minimal responsibility on your part. At Midas we will always do our utmost to select suitable maternity nurses at short notice and will also assist as best as we can with emergency placements.
We will usually ask for a booking fee up front to secure the hire period with the balance paid as agreed in the contract. It is important that you discuss all the terms of the contract before signing and be aware of the cancellation policy.
When should I start looking for a maternity nurse?
Maternity nurses tend to join clients just after they have left the hospital with their baby. Clients will contact us four-six months prior to their due date.
Maternity nurses will generally take bookings up to six months in advance so it is beneficial to start your search and contact us at your earliest convenience in order for us to find suitable candidates. Your maternity nurse can start whenever you feel is necessary.