Nicola Herman is a maternity nurse developing her specialism in assisting families with multiple births. Helping those with more than one addition to the family, supporting and teaching the family through what can seem like a very daunting time. Nicola very kindly spoke to us about her career and how a maternity nurse can help a family.
Full Name: Nicola Herman
How did you decide to become a Maternity Nurse?
I started my first nursery job when I was 12 years old. I did a day release from school at the age of 14 and enjoyed it so much that I decided to make it my career.
Have you had training outside your jobs?
- Maternity OCN (Twice)
- MANNTA Sleep Training Course
- BFN Breastfeeding Course,
- First Aid
- I am working towards a degree in Human Biology which will lead to the IBLCE Lactation Consultancy Course, thus, becoming a Lactation Consultant.
When you say you’ve served as an extension of the parent, what do you mean?
As a Nanny you can sometimes be a substitute parent, giving as much love and attention to your charge, as any loving parent would. Most Nannies are sole charge, so this is very important. As a Maternity Nurse, you work alongside the parents, supporting and training them in the care of their child/children. The same amount of love is given, but a little more formal and structured.As a Nanny you can sometimes be a substitute parent, giving as much love and attention as any loving parent would. Click To Tweet
What should a family look for in a Maternity Nurse?
In the world of Maternity Nursing, there is good money to be made. A Maternity Nurse/Nanny should not enter this profession just for the money. The work is much too important and without real love and kindness, the Maternity Nurse/Nanny would not last. It is hard but rewarding work.
Look for someone who is genuinely kind, patient, caring, experienced and qualified. Look for someone who can empower the parents and not leave them ignorant and helpless of their own child/children. The parent should know all that the Maternity Nurse knows, and able to implement every action by the time her contract is up. A parent should choose a Maternity Nurse, if necessary, and not feel that they need one. Empowerment is the keyword.
How can a Maternity Nurse help a family with multiple babies?
Working with multiples is very different from working with a singleton, and a multiple birth can be very daunting for parents. If I was a parent with multiples I would look for someone who had a little experience rather than none at all. It is such a specific and difficult area to work in that I would choose someone who has completed at least one contract. Within that job, they would have to have knowledge of supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed. This is very important.
A few years ago I went to see a mother who had developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome because her Maternity Nurse (of eight months) did not know how to help her position the babies correctly during breastfeeding, and mum and dad were unaware that this advice was a part of her job. To have this knowledge is very important and to accumulate this knowledge from any childcare educational establishment is easy these days.
There is a big difference between a Maternity `Nurse who is dedicated to her work and does not mind putting in some hours studying, getting experience and building up her confidence, compared to someone who is just in the career for the money and has become lazy.
If possible, I always make sure that I am around when a Midwife comes to visit so that I can learn from her. Through her/his experience and knowledge the Maternity Nurse can help support and build up confidence in any parent under any circumstance.
What made you decide to specialise in multiple birth families?
Most parents need the extra help with more than one child and I enjoy the challenge.
What’s the most difficult experience you’ve ever faced in your professional career and how did you overcome it?
The most difficult experience in this career is working with difficult disrespectful parents. A child has no ego, it is just eternal love. Adults, rich and poor, come with baggage that includes a very large ego.
How do you handle picky eaters?
I don’t really work in the field of long-term nanny anymore, but my advice would be to always have meals with the children and to create interesting healthy meals. Try and make meals times as fun as possible by trying to include the children in the preparation when possible and always remember that children do go through food fads. Also, introduce healthy foods as soon as weaning which will make the process much easier later.
As for a newborn, seek professional help from a lactation consultant to make sure that the latch is correct and to get advice on milk let down. Encourage expressing, and if things get too difficult, use formula and return to breastfeeding at a later date. Some babies seem to work out what to do a little later than others. The most important part of feeding a newborn is to make sure that the child’s weight does not drop.
What do you do when children won’t go to bed?
As a nanny, I was never around at bedtimes, but as a Maternity Sleep Consultant, for an older child I would have to check the routine and sleep history of the child, accommodation, nutrition and if there is anything throughout the day that may be bothering them. A small thing for us is a big deal for a child.
For a baby, I would look at the overall routine, we usually do the sleep trainers pick up put down and eventually ease our way out of the room, as the child becomes accustomed to being put down for longer periods of time. The child should never feel abandoned and afraid.
What advice would you give candidates looking to become a nanny or develop to a high level of maternity nurse work?
This career needs a strong personality and inner and outer strength. Integrity and a thirst for knowledge, ambition and drive are the qualities that seem to work for me. Also remembering that the career belongs to the individual worker, so it is up to that person to make it work for them.
Lastly, what are your dreams and hopes for the future?
To become a qualified Lactation Consultant and a Pranic Energy Healer. I have previously combined energy healing with my Maternity jobs with great success. I would very much like to continue doing this.
If you need more advice on hiring a maternity nurse or want to connect with Nicola, why not get in touch with us – we’d be delighted to help you with any guidance or to start a new search for your next maternity nurse.