Maternity Nurses are trained or experienced nurses, nannies or midwives who specialise in the care of newborn babies.
As experts in their field they know all there is to know about newborn babies and are a great source of help and support for a short period after you and your baby return home from hospital usually until both you and the baby are settled into a routine at home.
How long to book for?
We normally recommend booking a maternity nurse for 4-8 weeks, however they can be booked for any length of time up to 3 months depending on personal circumstances.
Types of Maternity Cover
A Maternity Nurse will be on call 24 hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week, of course this can be flexible depending on individual needs. Although on call for 24 hours they do need some rest and should be allowed at least 2-3 hours off during the day to rest. Most maternity nurses share a room with the baby and some have their own room depending on your needs. Day/Night maternity nurses are also available and generally work a 10-12 hours shift.
What to expect
The role of a Maternity Nurse is to undertake responsibility for the care of both the newborn baby and mother. Typical duties will include:
Supporting a new mother and helping her learn to care for her baby including offering advice for the mother`s diet and rest.
Preparing formula feeds as required, sterilising bottles and establishing good nursery hygiene.
Feeding the baby day and night if bottle fed.
Guiding the mother on many aspects of baby care including advising and supporting breast and bottle feeding and setting up helpful routines that work for the family.
Settling the baby after a feed , establishing sleeping patterns and supervision of the baby overnight ensuring that Mum gets a good sleep.
Washing and ironing all of baby’s clothes, cot linen etc.
Bathing and changing the baby as required.
Daily tidying of the nursery.
Assisting in establishing a routine that suits the family’s needs
Salaries guidelines for maternity nurses
Maternity nurses are self-employed and work on a freelance basis therefore take care of their own tax and national insurance contributions. They set their own rates of pay depending on age and experience. Rates also vary depending on the number of babies she is responsible for, e.g. single baby, twins or triplets.
£160-200 per 24 hours for a single baby
£200-280 per 24 hours for twins/triplets
£14 – £18 per hour for single baby
£18 – 20 per hour for twins/triplets
Until recently there has been no specific maternity nurse qualifications although in recent years maternity training courses have been developed and the following two are now well known in the industry;
MNT Training (OCN Maternity Practitioner)
N.E.S.T. (Newborn and Nanny Education Services & Training) Other qualifications that are also appropriate for the profession are:
Cache level 3 (previously known as the NNEB certificate (National Nursery Examination Board)
BTEC Nursery Nursing
Midwifery & Nursing Diplomas, certificates and degrees.