Note: Please bear in mind that this is a discussion board, not a place to advertise childcare vacancies or recruit childminders/nannies etc. We don't mind the odd mumsnet regular mentioning that they're looking for a job/mindee (although you're probably better off in MN Local) but repeated job "ads" and posts from nanny/babysitting agencies aren't fair to people who are paying for small business ads. Do feel free to report any you see. Thanks, MNHQ.

Maternity nurse issues

(39 Posts)
Melpf Tue 12-Mar-13 02:01:54

I have 12 week old twins and a maternity nurse has been living with us. She sleeps in a room with the babies and wakes me up to feed. Tonight she overslept and I walked in to find her asleep holding one of the babies. I am now freaked and and want to sack her but don't know if I'm overreacting. Do maternity nurses often fall asleep holding babies? I thought it wasn't safe. I'm not paying her a fortune to fall asleep with my child! Help!

ReetPetit Tue 12-Mar-13 08:06:11

haven't a clue but do you ever wake up for your own babies? do you know how tiring it is?

ghislaine Tue 12-Mar-13 11:05:32

FGS ReetPetit you really have it in for people who have in-house childcarers today don't you?

I would be very concerned if I found an employee who was supposed to be looking after my child asleep on the job. It is dangerous to fall asleep in an uncontrolled way with a young child (I take it she's not supposed to cosleep with them). Did you hire her through an agency? Can you talk to them immediately and see what they say?

fraktion Tue 12-Mar-13 11:12:01

It is dangerous but have you been honouring her sleep catch up/rest time? Has she mentioned feeling tired?

You certainly need to sit down and talk about it but unless she's exceptionally bad at her job and wholly irresponsible I imagine this wasn't typical behaviour.

grabaspoon Tue 12-Mar-13 12:04:02

Agree with Frak

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 12-Mar-13 13:25:06

i would be worried that she fell asleep holding a twin, but not so that she was asleep unless the baby was crying in her arms which woke you up

doing 24hrs a day is tiring and she should have 2/3hrs a day free time which should be her 'sleep' time

i have done a lot of twins recently back to back,but i work nights only and can catch up on sleep during the day

Karoleann Tue 12-Mar-13 13:50:41

I don't think you're overreacting at all, she could have easily dropped your baby! She may well be tired, but that's no excuse for acting unsafely around your babies.
I would certainly let her go, as they're 12 weeks you could probably just have a daytime helper and you could catch up on some sleep during the day if you have a very bad night.

ReetPetit Tue 12-Mar-13 14:17:40

why on earth do you have a live in maternity nurse for 12 week old babies anyway?

you are right ghislaine, it gets my goat tbh....

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 12-Mar-13 14:43:41

if she is doing her job well, then hopefully your twins should be sleeping 10.30/11pm-7am or even possibly 7pm - 7am

when is she booked to?

Seb101 Tue 12-Mar-13 15:02:50

Most mothers fall asleep holding their baby at one point or another: it's absolutely exhausting! Give the girl a break, she's only human!

TryDrawing Tue 12-Mar-13 15:16:01

Er, if she's doing her job well, your twins should be sleeping and waking exactly as they need to at 12 weeks.

There are two issues in play: her ability to cope with what you require of her and whether your requirements are sustainable. I wouldn't be happy for someone to fall asleep holding my child but I remember the crushing exhaustion of looking after just one newborn, so two must be an interesting challenge, to say the least.

If you are otherwise pleased with her, then you need to sit down and talk to her about it and find out what happened from her side. You need to make it clear that this is unacceptable to you and that if she needs more support, you will provide it.

If you are otherwise unhappy with her, I would say it is grounds for dismissal (morally, I don't know about the legals).

Best of luck.

annh Tue 12-Mar-13 15:39:19

How long is the nurse contracted to stay with you? How many hours a day is she working and is she getting sufficient sleep? I'm not sure why she is sleeping in the room with the babies if she is waking you up to feed anyway?

minderjinx Tue 12-Mar-13 17:36:47

When you say she overslept, I take it that she was supposed to bring them in to you at a specific time, rather than waiting for them to wake and bringing them to you when they cried (and woke her). If so, perhaps one woke "early" and she was giving him/her a cuddle to try to avoid waking you early and dropped off herself. It is easily done; in fact many people co-sleep quite deliberately, but I am sure she is mortified. I think you do need to discuss what you can do to avoid it happening again. Does she have plenty of uninterrupted time off during the day and a private and quiet place to catch up on her sleep? Most people do find it more difficult to sleep in the day and are more easily disturbed.

alice298 Tue 12-Mar-13 17:41:47

Was she lying down? I think you must talk to her, but don't sack her immediately if you like her otherwise and she is doing a good job. I had a maternity nurse for both of my children (not twins) for 6 weeks each, and I would have been extremely surprised to find her asleep - but would have understood as a one-off. ReetPetit - why NOT have a mat nurse if you can afford it? It makes you utterly enjoy those first few weeks of having a baby when it can otherwise be a hard time (esp for 1st time mother). Whats not to love?

mrswishywashy Tue 12-Mar-13 20:13:22

I'm a maternity nurse and it is exhausting however I'm yet to fall asleep with a new born, if I was so exhausted that I couldn't stay awake and baby was unsettled then I would get a parent.

As a maternity nurse we are only on call for 24 hours, we do need break times of up to 3 consecutive hours every 24 in fact with twins I ask for four hours.

I would be concerned but I'd also look at the whole situation. What other help does she give? What are they sleeping like? At three months they should be mostly self settling and pretty much sleeping through the night. What experience does the MN have? If she is inexperienced then she is probably still learning how to pace herself. What does her contract say for gross misconduct? If I was in her situation my clients could let me go immediately with just paying what I had worked.

If you've lost trust in her, I would recommend you let her go as per her contract and if you got her through agency then let them know the reason.

It is extremely frustrating to hear a report of this as professional MN's would not let this happen.

Mumtosago Tue 12-Mar-13 21:43:14

I may question myself and ask if I have done enough to support my nurse to be well rested. I don't think she chose to fall asleep, more fatigue of 3months caring for your babies has caught up on her and not being well rested. I would possibly speak with her about this and how it can work more safely for your babies and both of you. How can you help facilitate this. Maybe its time she did only nights as your babies are 3months old. I agree with Seb101, fatigued mums do this all the time due to lack of sufficient respite. I think this is more the issue. You must have been happy with your nurse to have kept her on this long, personally I would keep this in perspective and think twice about firing her as a reflex.

ReetPetit Tue 12-Mar-13 21:50:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

justabigdisco Tue 12-Mar-13 22:05:48

'At 3 months they should be mostly self settling and pretty much sleeping through the night'

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 13-Mar-13 00:23:53

As mrswishywashy says by 12 weeks a good Mn who is doing her job ie being paid to get twins into a routine and sleeping through the night and yes learning to self settle

And yes Mn or night nannies do generally sleep in same room as babies and either feed formula or expressed milk via bottles or take to mum who feeds then Mn will settle / wind / change baby while mum goes back to sleep

Have you had a chat op?

Is she booked for much longer?

mrswishywashy Wed 13-Mar-13 06:01:22

I've worked with at least 50 babies and by three months they have all settled themselves to sleep (no crying) and slept 12 hours, maybe with one feed. They have been a mix of breast, formula and combined fed. It is possible to set a rhythm of the day that enhances sleep for my clients and baby and that's what I do well. Not really anything to laugh at.

I hope the original poster makes a decision to suit here.

LadyWidmerpool Wed 13-Mar-13 06:38:36

Well if you can get any 3 mo baby to sleep through the night without crying I suggest you write a book because you will become a millionnaire.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 13-Mar-13 06:41:04

Ditto mrs w

Though I only work nights I set a routine for the parents during the day which they follow and have looked after countless babies including twins - 4 sets of twins in last year and some still with one feed at night but most sleep 7-7 by 12 weeks

It is our job and what the parents pay us for

mrswishywashy Wed 13-Mar-13 07:39:08

Sadly know can write a best selling book as each baby and parent (expectations) are different. I'm mostly follow the same ideas however they are easily adapted to suit the situation. And its more about giving the parents the confidence to meet the babies needs and making sure the babies are given a chance to sleep which is just as important as any other aspect of their care. The hardest clients I've worked for are the ones who've read every baby book and the market and don't trust their babies cues because they want to fit into which ever book they've chosen to follow. Nope, a book won't work but a realistic and supportive (after birth) group may and that's what I'm in the throes of designing.

givemeaclue Wed 13-Mar-13 18:05:24

That is awful. Very dangerous. I had twins there is no way I would let that situation continue. If she dropped the baby, it fell off bed, she rolled on it etc it doesn't bear thinking about. You need to find a different arrangement where carer isn't so exhausted they are falling asleep in these circumstances. Is there any point in you both waking up for dubsw feed? That means two people are shattered instead of one.

MNPin2013 Wed 13-Mar-13 19:33:08

The OP MN has acted irresponsibly IMProfessionalOpinion, I have looked after twins x10 and triplets x2 and never fallen asleep holding them, I don't always have catch up sleep time but do often go to bed with the babies at 8pm ish and wake for the late feed.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now