A guide to employing a Maternity Nurse

Employing a Maternity Nurse

The role of a Maternity Nurse:

Maternity nurses often work with babies from birth and are highly qualified non-medical professionals. A maternity nurse works in partnership with the family. Prior to hiring, you will meet a number of maternity nurses to discuss your needs and how you see life with your new baby. Your chosen maternity nurses’ primary duty is to provide postnatal care for mother and baby and in doing so, she relieves some of the stress that new parents face in the crucial first weeks of baby’s life, creating a positive experience for all.

At the interview stage, you will discuss your family and your lifestyle, this gives you all an opportunity to decide whether or not you all get along and it also provides you with a chance to discuss various parenting methods. Many maternity nurses favour one particular method over another but it is important that you share her views or are able to talk openly about what approach you would like to take with your baby. A good maternity nurse works with parents to achieve a routine and approach that works best for the family as a whole.

Your maternity nurse will either visit you in hospital shortly after the birth and accompany you home, or she will arrive at your home once you’re all settled and ready for her to join you. This is very much a personal choice and you should decide when you would like your maternity nurse to arrive.

On arrival, your maternity nurse will help you to establish a routine, she will offer breastfeeding support if required and will show you how to care for your baby if you are first time parents.

If your baby is bottle fed, this can often mean that your maternity nurse will do the night feeds so that you can get a good night’s sleep and are then able to recover well following the birth. In addition to the general care given to mother and baby, your maternity nurse will be responsible for the cleanliness and tidiness of the baby’s nursery, she may also take care of baby’s laundry and ensure that all bottles and feeding equipment are cleaned and sterilised. Your maternity nurse may also keep a log of the routine or schedule noting all feeding times, nappy changes, sleeping patterns and general observations as necessary.

Maternity nurses work on either a five or six day-week on a 24-hour basis. They are paid a gross salary so they are responsible for their tax and national insurance.  Daily and nightly maternity nurses may have travel expenses, food and accommodation costs to pay. It is important to be aware that all maternity nurses will expect time and a half or time off in lieu for all bank or public holidays and they will also request travel expenses to and from the booking.

Daily maternity nurses will generally cover the same role and duties as a 24-hour maternity nurse within the hours they are working. They will assist with settling the baby, routine, feeding and provide advice and support. Daily maternity nurses will usually have daytime meals provided within the home.

The night nanny will come in the early or late evening and stay with the baby overnight. Night nurses will rest when the baby is asleep and need to be provided with a comfortable place to sleep in the nursery or an adjoining room. Although a night nurse will not have meals provided they should have access to drinks and light snacks. They can work between 10 – 12 hours a night and can come to you between one – six nights a week.

Typically a maternity nanny will come to your home for anything up to approximately 8 weeks following the birth of the baby (but some stay for 12 weeks). Generally they will live with the family until a routine has been established working 6 days per week 24 hours per day, caring for the mum and the new baby.

Maternity Nurses are trained or experienced nurses or nannies who specialise in the care of newborn babies.

A Maternity Nurse will help the mother from the time she leaves hospital until both mother and baby are settled into a routine at home.

This is normally a period of between 4-8 weeks; however the amount of time you wish to book a

Please remember that although Maternity Nurses are ‘on call’ 24-hours a day they do need some sleep!

We recommend that you allow your Maternity Nurse at least a couple of hours a day to catch up on sleep or to have some ‘time out’.

Why hire a Maternity Nurse?

For some families, the idea of welcoming a new baby into the world with the support of an experienced professional, can offer real peace of mind, particularly for those families who have relocated and don’t necessarily have the support network of family and friends to rely on. Other families may be facing the arrival of twins or multiples, or perhaps already have older children and the idea of having an extra pair of experienced hands to help out with the care of the new baby, can be very reassuring. Parents are then better able to meet the physical and emotional needs of the older siblings while still being able to enjoying their new baby.

The interview process

Once you have selected your candidates and arranged the interview dates, you’re now a few steps closer to making your final choice! It is important to meet your maternity nurse for a face to face interview. Please be aware that in most cases, given the distances involved, you may be expected to pay for travel expenses to and from the interview. For this reason, it is important to consider your candidates carefully as the costs can quickly mount up. Use the check list below to guide you through this initial interview stage.

Interview checklist:

  • Make a short list of maternity nurses to interview
  • A good ice-breaker can be to show the maternity nurses around your home, giving a tour of the nursery and the living accommodation on offer
  • Check with your maternity nurse in advance regarding travel expenses to and from the interview
  • Ensure that the maternity nurses provide a detailed CV with a full reference list and contact details for you to follow up on after the interview
  • Make sure that any gaps in CV’s are explained clearly
  • Take copies of the DBS / CRB check and any qualifications, first aid certificates and OFSTED registration if applicable, so that you can verify these before making your final decision
  • Ensure that your maternity nurse has adequate insurance in place
  • Make sure that your candidates are legally allowed to work in the UK, ask to see proof of this and retain a copy if the job is offered
  • Prepare a list of interview questions and ask all candidates the same questions in detail. Make notes as required
  • Prepare a list of topics that you wish to discuss such as the use of dummies, night feeding arrangements, mixed feeding and siblings
  • Discuss the deposit required to confirm the booking
  • You may wish to discuss the cancellation policy should the need arise
  • Discuss your preferences with the candidates and ask for their views on the various routines and methods
  • Discuss the details of employment and be clear about the fact that your maternity nurse is self-employed and therefore responsible for paying her own tax and contributions, note this within the contract

Selecting and hiring your Maternity Nurse

A good maternity nurse is often booked up well in advance. It is not uncommon for parents to start the search for a maternity nurse as soon as they discover they are expecting a baby. With this in mind, it is important that you contact Bambino and Butler (www.bambinoandbutler.com) as soon as you have decided on your requirements. The above guidelines are all recommendation. By using Bambino and Butler, the above check points are referencing will all be completed for you.

Most importantly, your maternity nurse will be joining you in your home during a very special time for you and your family. She will become part of your family and will play an important role in the early weeks of your new baby’s life at home with you. You may wish to contact your maternity nurse closer to your due date to ask whether or not she has any dietary preferences and perhaps stock her favourite tea or coffee for the time she is with you, she will no doubt be up through the night on many occasions and little touches can make her feel comfortable and at home during her time with you.

Salary Guidelines

Maternity Nurses are self-employed and are responsible for their own Tax and National Insurance Contributions. They will set their own rates of pay depending on age and experience.

Below are some salary guidelines:

Single Baby: £180 – £220 gross per 24 hours

Twin Babies: £220 – £300 gross per 24 hours

Triplet Babies: please contact us www.bambinoandbutler.com

Hourly Rate – Single Baby: £14.00 – £18.00 gross per hour

Hourly Rate – Twins: £16.00 – £18.00 gross per hour

Hourly Rate – Triplets: please contact us www.bambinoandbutler.com



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