10 Things to Discuss When Hiring A Maternity Nurse

New Born Baby

Published on February 24, 2017

Finding a new maternity nurse is an exciting time for any household. Whether you’re expecting your first child, or it’s the first time you’re considering hiring a maternity nurse to help out.  Take your time in the interviewing process.

Sometimes, hiring staff can be relatively straightforward, but hiring a maternity nurse should take more consideration. Maternity nurses often have lots of short term roles, varying from a couple of months to even several days.

We offer guidance when interviewing candidates for a maternity nurse role, as there are certain things you need to clarify!

So, what are the 10 things you must discuss when hiring a maternity nurse?

What is the Exact Job Role?

At this early stage, it is important to manage expectations, and be very clear about the tasks at hand. Maternity nurse roles can be all-encompassing, so make a list of the different tasks required and go through these with the candidates during the interview.

Living Arrangements

Is the maternity nurse going to sleep in the same room as your baby, or would you like her to be in another part of the house? Different parenting methods have different views on what is best for your baby, so if you’re in two minds about this, you should discuss it during the interview. The maternity nurse could even advise on different methods which you could research and consider.

If you have a very clear idea already on what the living and sleeping arrangements should be, question the nurse on her experience on this, and make sure she is clear on what is expected of her.

Sole or Joint Charge?

Will the nurse be fully in charge of the child, or will the mother and father or any other people be helping out with the care too? It is important for the nurse to get an idea now of how she will be working in the house, and how involved other people might be.

Are there other staff she will be working alongside, or other maternity nurses to share the care with? If so, talk to her about her experience in this field.


Setting expectations for the working hours is important. Will the hours be different on a daily or weekly basis? Is 24 hour care needed on some days, or all days?  Ask the maternity nurse how flexible she can be with last minute changes.

Does the nurse have to travel far to the property? This can be a crucial factor when starting early, or staying late. Also, what is the candidate’s home situation? If there are young children they have themselves, the candidate might not be able to be as flexible with hours as you require, and might not be able to commit to a 24/5 or 24/6 role.


Normally this would not be in the services of a maternity nurse, but if you would like this type of help around the house, and have the candidate be in charge of grocery shopping and cooking, experience is crucial here.

The candidate must have knowledge of recipes, combining different types of ingredients and menu planning. If this is a very important part of the job for you, than testing it will be worth it- ask the candidate to propose a menu for an evening, or describe favourite dishes to cook, and which ingredients they would use.


Managing a newborn baby in a household will require a wide variety of skills, and a maternity nurse will fulfil many different tasks on a daily basis. Being highly organised is a must, and ask how well the candidate can multitask!

Can they name examples of situations of high pressure they have had to work in – and how did they deal with getting everything done?

Working Around Other People in the House

Maternity nurses should all be highly experienced in working with newborns, but in how many private households have they worked? It is very different living and working in a private household with the family than working on the maternity ward of a hospital.

Also, think about other staff that might be working in your household already, and how well the maternity nurse you’re hiring will fit alongside these people.


If the candidate is required to drive, this will come down to experience. Is the Maternity Nurse a confident driver, and is she familiar with driving in the area you live in?

Some people do have their driving license, but might not feel comfortable or secure driving in big cities like London, and this is good to know before hiring a maternity nurse.


Test the candidate’s knowledge on illnesses and potential complications that could happen with newborns and young babies. Has she been in a situation before where there was medical knowledge or skills required? How did she deal with these situations, and can she name examples of different illnesses or issues she has had to deal with before?

Parenting Approach

Hire a maternity nurse who has the same parenting approach as you do! #parenting Click To Tweet

Although your baby is a newborn, it is important to understand what types of parenting approaches the maternity nurse believes in, specialises in, and uses.

Examples of this could be Gina Ford, or attachment parenting. If you already have specific ideas about parenting approaches, then do ask about her experience with your preferred approach.

Polo & Tweed – How Can We Help?

At Polo and Tweed, we have helped many families in hiring a maternity nurse! If you have further specific questions or need help, feel free to reach out to one of our recruitment professionals.  We would be delighted to help you further with any of your staffing needs.

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