Maternity Nurse vs. Maternity Nanny: What’s the Difference?


Published on January 3, 2017

Hiring a childcare professional can seem like a complex thing to do.  When you start to look for support for your new family, it can seem daunting that there are so many technical terms and titles. You can hire a maternity nurse, maternity nanny, doula, postnatal support specialist and more. But how do you decide which professional you actually need? Many people are confused between the concept of a maternity nurse or a maternity nanny. There are actually some big differences between the two, and we are here to share the key differences. This will make your recruitment process much easier. So when it comes to maternity nurse vs. maternity nanny: What’s the difference?

What is a Maternity Nurse?

A maternity nurse, otherwise known as a postnatal care specialist, is a qualified and highly experienced professional. Who comes to support you shortly after you give birth to your baby. They are there to support you with feeding, changing and bathing the baby. And can also help you guide your baby into a routine if required.

The duties of a maternity nurse also involve teaching you about your baby and its cues. They will often be hired for approximately 12 weeks on a 24/7 basis. So that they are always there if needed during the first few difficult weeks following birth.

Maternity nurses are usually trained in breast and bottle feeding, sleep, bathing, routine and comfort techniques. However, this may vary depending on their qualifications. More highly qualified maternity nurses can hold advanced knowledge in complex feeding issues. As well as gut health and birthing. And may also have osteopathic, obstetric and psychological knowledge.

What is a Maternity Nanny?

A maternity nanny is an experienced nanny who has worked with lots of babies and young children during their career. In order to do this role, a nanny doesn’t necessarily need to be qualified. But they do need to have lots of hands-on experience working with families and babies.

Maternity nannies usually have long term roles. And can stay with your baby until they are toddlers or beyond. Maternity nannies can work with newborn babies. But typically tend to start from 3 months. Once the maternity nurse has finished with their role.

Maternity Nurse vs. Maternity Nanny: What’s the difference?

  • From birth, Maternity nurses will be the ones suitable to start work already. Whilst maternity nannies most often work with babies that are 3 months+.
  • Maternity nurses are usually hired on a 24/7 basis for a number of weeks. Whereas maternity nannies tend to stay for at least a year or two.
  • Highly qualified maternity nurses are more expensive. But maternity nannies may accept a slightly lower rate.
  • Maternity nurses are highly qualified non-medical professionals. Whereas maternity nannies can do their role without necessarily having any qualifications.
  • Maternity nannies can help with your older children. Whilst maternity nurses will mainly support you and your baby.
  • Most maternity nurses are also equipped with the knowledge and experience to help you with more complex baby matters, such as breastfeeding. Whereas maternity nannies take on more of a general support role.

How Do I Decide Which Professional to Hire?

Often some of the deciding factors that help people decide which professional they need are.

  • How old your baby is
  • How long you would like support for
  • What kind of support you are looking for
  • What kind of budget you have in mind

Here is an example.

If your baby is 4 months old and you want support for the next 10 months, you will likely hire a maternity nanny. But if your baby is 4 days old and you need help with breastfeeding and sleeping routines for the next 6 weeks. Then you will probably choose a maternity nurse.

How do I Find a Suited Childcare?

So when it comes to maternity nurse vs. maternity nanny: do you now know what’s the difference? Some maternity nurses and maternity nannies advertise themselves independently or through various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Others are registered with agencies like Polo & Tweed.

Here at Polo & Tweed we have a number of maternity nurses and maternity nannies registered, so if you are looking to hire one in the near or distant future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be more than happy to help you find your perfect match!



  1. Nadia Half says:

    Looking for a maternity nurse in Dec.

    • mm LucyChallenger says:

      Hello Nadia, thank you for your blog comment. I’ve just sent you a direct email, and you are welcome to call us anytime on +44(0)203 858 0233 so we can discuss your maternity nurse recruitment. We look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

  2. Lal Dalamal says:

    Looking for a maternity nurse in San Diego for November 2021, whilst I am there for birth of my baby via surrogacy there. I will return home to London around end-November.

    • mm Aafke Meelen says:

      Thank you for reaching out – one of our recruitment consultants will be in touch with you over email. If in the meantime you would like to reach out to us directly, you can also do so via this link on our website.

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