The Complete Guide to Having a Maternity Nurse at Home

Pregnant Lady

Published on July 7, 2021

Congratulations! As you are reading this article I presume you or your nearest and dearest are about to become a parent. This is a super special time and a little specialist maternity care can go a long way to making it really enjoyable. In this post, we are going to give you a quick guide to the whole process of finding the perfect Maternity Nurse at home for the family.

Maternity Nurses are specialists in newborn care, they will help both parents and babt in the first few months. They are a fountain of maternity care knowledge and make the transition to parenthood an enjoyable and precious time. Whether it is your first baby or baby number four, having a Maternity Nurse at home can help you settle into a routine with the baby and cater for your individual needs.

Think hard about what you want and need from your Maternity Nurse at home. This is maternity care tailored specifically to your needs. (I personally know I do not function well on little sleep, so for me, back up at night would be a must until baby slept most of the night.)

What do you need your Maternity Nurse at home to do for you?

Have you thought about whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed? Or perhaps a combination? Do you want your Maternity Nurse at home to support you in learning to breastfeed? Do you need your Maternity Nurse to be medically trained or have experience with multiple births? Think about the sort of person you are looking for. You need to get on well with them as they are going to be around a very large amount of time while they help and support you with maternity care.

How long do you want your Maternity Care Nurse to support you?

Typically, a Maternity Care Nurse accepts a short term contract at the start of the process before the baby is born, so it’s important to know how long you want them to stay. Maternity Nurses take bookings in advance and will get booked up so it is important to start your search for your perfect Maternity Nurse as soon as you feel you can. They usually take a deposit at booking so be prepared for that too.

Every family is different but a Maternity Nurse at home would usually be engaged for the first 2 to 3 months. Your due date will be used to calculate the start of the contract. It’s a good idea to have some idea about whether you plan to go into labour naturally or are booked in for a cesarean section.

How many hours do you want your Maternity Nurse to Work?

Do you want your Maternity Nurse to be on call 24hrs a day 5 or 6 days a week?  They will need to sleep too and you want them to be in tip-top condition while looking after your precious new addition. A Maternity Care Nurse will need at least a few hours a day to catch up on sleep and recharge. Perhaps you just want your Maternity Nurse at home to help support you in the day or only at night? Perhaps you need 7 days a week support – well this is also possible too but you’d need to have two working in shifts.

Think about the practicalities

Does your Maternity Nurse need to drive? Where will your Maternity Nurse at home sleep? Lots of Maternity Care Nurses are happy with a bed in the nursery with the baby. But perhaps you could offer a spare room where she can catch up on sleep, recharge on her downtime, freshen up and store her personal belongings.

Will your Maternity Nurse need to travel with you? Will you be travelling within or outside the UK? Do they need to have an in-date passport or organise visa’s to travel? What accommodation will you be able to provide when travelling? Are there any pets in the house? Not everyone is comfortable around pets or able to work in homes with pets due to allergies. Are there any food allergies or customs your Maternity Nurse needs to know about and respect?

What are the costs?

Maternity Nurses are usually self-employed and set their own rates which will reflect their experience and qualifications. A medically trained Maternity Care Nurse may cost up to £400 per 24 hrs. Generally speaking, in London, a Maternity Nurse will charge anywhere from £160 – £225 per 24hrs for a single baby, for twins £190 – £250 per 24hrs and for triplets £200 – £300 per 24hrs. Depending on how you choose to go about finding your Maternity Nurse you may also have agency fees to pay at the time of booking.

How do I find a Maternity Care Nurse?

Some Maternity Nurses advertise themselves and you may choose to go directly to them. Agencies such as Polo & Tweed can help you find your perfect match. They will guide you through the whole process, from writing a job description to securing your preferred Maternity Nurse. Every agency is different in the services it offers so make sure you know what they are doing for you.

Does your Maternity Nurse have an enhanced DBS?

This is an official UK government document and should include a check against the children’s barred list. It is a criminal background check which shows whether or not a person is allowed to work with children.  Ask to see this document, your Maternity Nurse should be happy to show you.  If they don’t have one, you should ask them to apply and only consider hiring them once they have it.

Should I meet my Maternity Nurse at Home?

Maternity nurses tend to be busy people and difficult to pin down due to the nature of their work. But you really should at least meet with them at home, an interview is a two-way conversation. You need to decide if the Maternity Nurse fits with your family and home, has the experience you want and can offer you all the skills you require them to have. They also need to get to know a little about you, you are going to be spending a significant amount of time together so it has to be right for them too.

Don’t be pressured into making a decision if you are not ready, but equally be aware that your favourite choice may well be booked if you take too long.  Think about some good questions to ask when you meet them and here are a range of topics you can discuss.

Should I check references?

Absolutely, especially if you are going directly to the Maternity Nurse. A good Maternity Nurse should be able to provide you with a list of recent clients who you can speak to. A quick chat with them may highlight some great skills they have. Equally, it may highlight their approach is not going to sit well with you. Try to talk to more than one person as everyone has a different view and what works for one person doesn’t work for another.  After all, you want to find the perfect maternity nurse for you and your family.

What happens next?

Once you have found your ideal Maternity Nurse you need to book them for the time you want them. Maternity Nurses are usually self-employed and will provide you with their own contract. Most take a deposit at booking. If you have gone through an agency you will also have your agency fees to pay. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your pregnancy, safe in the knowledge you have the perfect maternity care organised and the support you need when your little miracle arrives.

Meet a Maternity Nurse

This is Zimmie – she is a qualified and experienced maternity nurse, and she talks about her experiences and life as a maternity nurse.

How Polo & Tweed Can Help

We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in learning more or want to book your own maternity nurse.  We recommend booking early to ensure you get the best selection (as the good maternity nurses book up quickly!)  Why not drop us a line and we can see how we can help you.

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