The role of a maternity nurse
A maternity nurse is on duty 24 hours a day five or six days a week. The role of a maternity nurse is to help new mothers in all aspects of caring for their baby/babies.
Support and guidance from a maternity nurse include breast feeding support, establishing a manageable feeding and sleeping routine, general baby care, taking care of babies washing/ironing, keeping the nursery clean and tidy, helping mum get some much needed rest.
Maternity nurses generally sleep with their charges and either bring the baby to mum for breast feeding during the night or bottle feeding the baby themselves so that mum has a chance to recover from the birth.
For those mothers who don’t have family support close at hand or who have had twins or a caesarean this can be an invaluable help. A comforting presence and a willing pair of hands at 3am can make an enormous difference.
Maternity nurses provide total care for mother and baby. They advise on breast feeding and any problems arising from it, teaching first time mothers how to bath and become comfortable around baby, helping establish a routine and providing moral support for the mother when she most needs it.
Maternity nurses will prepare feeds when needed, deal with all the baby’s laundry, keep the nursery clean and tidy, sterilise bottles and prepare light meals for the mother if she is not up to it.
Maternity nurses should involve any other children in the house with the baby but shouldn’t be expected to look after other siblings – they are there primarily for the care of mother and baby.
This is where the cost begins to make sense! The maternity nurse is on duty 24 hours a day five to six days a week. However, they must be given a few hours respite time every day and at least one full day off a week.
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