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Night nurse or day nurse for newborn + c-section recovery support

(95 Posts)
Pyra Sat 02-Mar-13 16:26:13

Need some advice, ladies...

I'm thinking of getting a maternity nurse for 4 weeks to help me come up to speed with my first baby due in May by c-section. Due to budget and space constraints, I want her services for half a day rather than full time, 5-6 days a week - either overnight or during the day. I think i would primarily need support in establishing BFing, some sort of routine, and helping with nursery duties while i recover frm the c-section. my mum will also be around to help - her only child - me - was born 33 years ago, so I'm not very sure how much she remembers!

I have interviewed a maternity nurse who seems to be a good option. Her rates as a night nanny are cheaper than her daytime rates (surprising?) and she suggested I would get more value (and rest) for my money from a night nanny rather than a daytime one. Is this something you agree with, or does it vary by baby? I'm hoping to BF, but may also use the occasional formula top up, especially at night, depending on how it goes. One reason I was reluctant to go with the overnight option was that it would cause some disruption to our lives - with DH, me, my mum, the baby and the nurse all in a 2 bed flat (slightly easier in the day with DH at work). But that is really trivial if there is a clear benefit of getting help at night.


RubyrooUK Sat 02-Mar-13 17:16:49

Each baby and mother is so different and how people cope with the early days is really such a personal thing that it's so hard to say. Sorry!

I found newborn nights hard because my DS woke all the time but I was very hormonal and couldn't bear to have anyone but me near the baby. I didn't know this before I had DS but I went a bit mad afterwards and couldn't bear him to be out of my sight. I wouldn't have wanted to give him to someone else at night because those times were sort of hormonally special to me.

It is also very hard to establish a routine with a newborn baby. They are pretty routineless; that tends to come several months down the line. Or in some case, years. grin An early newborn routine if breastfeeding tends to be dominated by when they want to eat. Which is often a bit random and based on their growth needs rather than your timetable.

I think it depends what jobs you want a maternity nurse to do; and what you will get your DH and mum to do. A maternity nurse could give you great breastfeeding support if an expert in this area but that might be a case of observing feeds over a few days. She might also be able to offer some good advice on winding your baby. What are the other nursery duties you want her to do?

To be honest, the most important things for me in the early days were having someone else tackle housework, cook meals etc. I really needed a Stepford Wife. smile

What is the most important stuff that you think a maternity nurse can do for you?

ClairesTravellingCircus Italy Sat 02-Mar-13 17:27:01

I don't know anything about night nurses, but personally I would have found so many people around a bit much!
I think the best kind of help for a new mum is someone who can do housework, laundry, shopping and cooking, leaving you free to get to know your baby. Like the previous poster I didn't want to let baby out my sight, and hated the "helpers" who wanted to hold baby to free me up and do things.

That is my experience, hopefully you'll get someone else with meaningful advice of how to make best use of a maternity nurse. (You want to have her round once your mum has left and dh back to work, to ease you into looking after baby on your own)

Good lucksmile

Pyra Sat 02-Mar-13 19:38:35

Thanks for this. I think a nurse might be best positioned to help me in the first few weeks when all of us are grappling with taking care of a newborn (think zero recent experience) and im trying to establish BF. My mum will be around for 3 months, but I will be transitioning to a live out nanny who will be with us a few hours a day to start with, once the maternity nurse hands over.

The other things I can think of her doing are cleaning the nursery, baby's laundry, giving baths, massage etc. I think I would probably need some down time to recover myself and keep my sanity! I do have a cleaning lady who visits when required, and I think my mum will manage the cooking - so those are not concerns. Just want to get the best out of a maternity nurse's expertise.

Andcake Sat 02-Mar-13 20:54:31

Speaking as someone who had zero experience and no mum visiting I think I'd have gone for a night nurse. Newborns tend to feed every three hours day and night (if not more) but the only thing I found tricky was settling the baby to sleep after each feed as you don't realise how much they hate being put down - fair enough when you realise they were recently inside you. But having someone to hold them for a short while whilst you get an hour or twos sleep or to try and persuade them into the moses basket could be useful.

it is v important when establishing bf to feed at night and i would expect any night nurse to bring the baby to you. Check the person has great bf credentials it is the only difficult part really. Although ds hates baths I wouldn't have missed the first experiences of bathing and caring for him. And why on earth would you want someone else to massage them? Surely the cleaner will do the nursery? I think you will underestimate how much your baby and you will want to be close to each other. I actually hated visitors intruding too much or too long I just wanted to huddle with my new little family.

RubyrooUK Sat 02-Mar-13 21:01:53

Hm, sorry Pyra, I don't think I can be much help to you as I never had a maternity nurse. Hopefully someone who has used one will come along with some good advice!

Like Claire, I would have found someone being around all the time a bit much for me. I actually found the first few weeks an incredibly important time for DH and I to learn how to do all the things like bathing a baby (they do show you how to do this in hospital so there isn't too much to pick up there) together as a couple. We also enjoyed doing all those little things, so they didn't feel like duties really.

I also thought I would need down time to recover myself before the birth. I am a very independent person with a really busy career and no previous baby experience before having DS. But actually I found that I missed him if we were apart for a second (damn hormones again!) so the last thing I wanted was someone to take him away from me. So just bear in mind that you might not be so keen on down time, as nuts as that sounds, when the baby arrives.

As for the nursery duties, we had the baby in our room for the first six months (well, longer actually as he wasn't keen to move out) as per the current cot death guidelines. So although we nominally had a room for him, he was never really in there as he was sleeping in our room. So I'm not sure what someone would have done in his nursery as the baby was never really there.

Not meaning to try and put you off the idea of a maternity nurse at all, by the way. I can totally relate to being an inexperienced first-time mum and calling in the experts. I just found that I didn't know which were the areas where I required help until after the baby came.

The most important areas for me after I had DS, where I am really glad I spent the money were:

- Having done NCT classes so that I met other women like me, who were all in their 30s, shit scared of being mothers, lonely and rubbish at it. The people I met were a valuable support in the early days. We met up several times a week and it gave my time structure. It also gave you someone to share moments like "is green poo normal?" with....:-)

- Getting out to a variety of classes with DS - baby massage, local breastfeeding group when I was having trouble feeding, post-natal pilates when I was a bit healed to help rebuild muscles...all these things got me out of the house, made me friends and helped me recover well.

Anyway, now hopefully someone genuinely useful will come along and tell you how they best used a maternity nanny. Good luck!!!

ZuleikaD Sun 03-Mar-13 07:31:59

I think it's possible to get an exaggerated idea of what 'nursery duties' might encompass. All your newborn will want and need to do is breastfeed and sleep (probably on you) and have its nappy changed for the first few weeks. Your OH can do laundry and cooking. That's really all there is to it. A maternity nurse is unlikely to be a breastfeeding expert and if you need your latch checked (which may not be necessary) a breastfeeding counsellor would serve you much better. For getting breastfeeding established the MN Breast and Bottle Feeding board will have all the helpful advice you need, though it basically comes down to - if mouth is open, stick nipple in. Don't forget you will have support from the community midwives as well, who will visit you at home to check everything's going ok for the first couple of weeks. I really think you'd be better off saving your money.

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 14:59:27

wow. i find this really self indulgent and ott !! women all over the world are having babies every day. it's part of life and imo something you should experience as a family and too a large extent on your own. the early days and particularly the night feeds are about bonding - you already have your Dh and your mother,why would you want/need someone else around ??fwiw i have have had 2 babies on my own (useless dp absent both times and i managed fine,the only person i would have wanted to see or help me was my mum, the fact her child is grown up as you say is irrelevent - babycare is common sense not rocket science!!

BranchingOut Sun 03-Mar-13 15:10:32

I think that what you actually might need is a postnatal doula. They are there to mother the mother, as well as the baby.

But, if you want to bf, really focus on the bf credentials of whoever you have coming to support you. Feeding at night is very important, so having a night maternity nurse giving bottles will be counterproductive.

I had a CS and found the best thing was learning how to feed lying down, as I was finding it hard to sit myself up with my incision. The other thing I would go for is a co-sleeper cot.

My only experience with a maternity nurse is my friends maternity nurse. She said it was the biggest mistake she has done, as she ended up feeling like she was not coping, and felt belittled rather than reassured. In fact, the maternity nurse made her feel so inadequate that she signed a six months contract out of fear for being "alone" with her baby. She did not bond with her baby at all, as he was with the nurse so much.

Eskino Sun 03-Mar-13 15:28:28

If you really need to be on top form post csection the thing that is really wearing me out right now is the bit after dd has done feeding during the night, the winding bit and then keeping her upright for at least 30 mins so she doesn't start gargling her milk and snorting it back out her nose.

If I could employ someone I could just hand my dd to when she'd finished feeding who would change and wind her and hold her so i could get back to sleep for an hour and a half til next feed, I would!

bemybebe Sun 03-Mar-13 15:35:46

I would go for postnatal doula. Best money I've spent personally. Much more support were it is truly needed (cooking, cleaning) and less judgement about doing things the "right" way.

bemybebe Sun 03-Mar-13 15:36:17

Also C-section here.

bemybebe Sun 03-Mar-13 15:38:09

"wow. i find this really self indulgent and ott !!"

Wow. Quite a lot of judgement here on a thread asking for advice.

Meringue33 Sun 03-Mar-13 15:45:22

Our LO is 7 weeks and I would love to have someone sleeping near us to bring him to me at night, wind him and put him back to bed, plus change all the nappies and regularly empty the nappy bin :-)
I'd have to get on really well with that person tho - even my DP and parents I have found annoying to be around - think its hormones and the way the mother-baby bond pushes everyone else into second place.

Not judging but I would have absolutely hated having someone there interfering with the lovely snuggly nights I spent with DS whan he was tiny (we did co-sleep so that made it easier). That was still, so far, the best thing about motherhood.

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 16:07:25

bemybebe, the op asked for advice, that's what I have given and imo it is self indulgent and ott to 'hire help' for looking after a newborn when you already have family support around you. That is my advice smile

LadyMetroland Sun 03-Mar-13 16:10:51

If you are establishing bf bear in mind that newborns often need to feed every two hours. You may find it useful to have someone there at night who you can hand the baby to after feeding, so you can get a couple of hours sleep between feeds, but couldn't your mum or dh do that?

If you do want to employ someone I would be looking at a potential nurse's bf qualifications first and foremost. If you start giving bottles of formula at night that is a near-certain way of ensuring that you fail at breastfeeding, as establishing your milk supply by doing regular feeds (maybe every 2hrs or less at first) is vital. You need someone who can support you in establishing bf properly.

Personally, if your mum and your dh are both around, plus you have a cleaner, I can't see the need for additional help. You may find there are a lot of people milling around your 2-bed flat twiddling their thumbs as newborns sleep a lot! And when they're awake they just want to be attached to a boob! That's about it for newborns really.

LadyMetroland Sun 03-Mar-13 16:18:07

I also see you mention that you want a nurse to help you establish a routine in the first month. Not even Gina Ford suggests establishing a routine that early! You just have to go with the flow for the first few weeks, especially if you're establishing bf. I would honestly save your money and just enjoy the first few weeks of snuggling with your baby. They are truly magical and can't be got back!

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 16:42:00

lol lol lol grin

i'm sorry, i've now read the whole thread. i now see you have a 'cleaning lady' and your mum will be around for 3 months at which point you will hand over from the maternity nurse to a nanny! hmm

when will you as a mother actual get to know your baby in the midst of all this?
and what exactly do you think you will be doing while you have your dh, your mum,the 'cleaning lady' plus this maternity nurse who you think is also going to do the baby's laundry and wash it's bottles!?

jesus, it's a wonder you haven't lined up a wet nurse hmm

minderjinx Sun 03-Mar-13 16:45:36

I think I'd have to agree with others above that what you will probably want most in those early weeks is a bit of peace and quiet with your DH to enjoy your first baby. I have to admit that I found even having other family members around quickly got wearing. I'd have hated to have near strangers under my feet - having to make polite conversation when I'd rather have been slobbing about or dozing on the sofa in my pyjamas, being woken by other people using the bathroom or having to wait to get in there myself, no privacy for breastfeeding. I'd save the money and spend it on treats - for example takeaways to save cooking. If you are going to employ someone think what you will do if the baby comes early - they may not be able to bring forward their start date. My first was delivered by emergency C section five and a half weeks early.

Stoney666 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:04:04

Reet I wish there was a like button grin

VivaLeBeaver Sun 03-Mar-13 18:07:21

I was coming on to say you can't give Night Nurse or Day Nurse (medication) to a newborn! grin

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 18:09:36

lol @Stoney grin glad someone is on my wavelength wink

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 03-Mar-13 18:17:40

if you can afford help then get some - but i would say that as i am a night nanny grin

i have babies from a little as 2/3weeks old into a routine if i am there, so def possible, these have been just bf, mixed and just bottle feeding, so all methods covered smile

also starting early means by the time baby is 12 ish weeks old they will be sleeping 7-7

employing a mn/nn etc is a huge cost but one that all my parents say is well worth it,as then they can sleep at night and can tackle the day

if mixed/bottle then i do feeds and then sort out baby - if bf then i take baby into mum, talk to her if she wants/get her a drink etc, then once baby is fed, i do the winding/changing/settling etc - basically mum feeds and then goes back to sleep

will your mum be staying/living with you - if not then assume you will put mn/nn and baby in one bedroom - or she could have the living room/sofa, i have done that in small houses although not my fav preference

AmandaPayne Sun 03-Mar-13 18:19:24

I thought the same Viva!

Andcake Sun 03-Mar-13 18:21:45

Lol I second a 'like' for reets post spot on! Maybe op has to be back at work quickly though. Newborns are tiring but not rocket science. The worst bit is lack of sleep so being able to hand over after night time feeds for a few days is good but dm & DP are there so should be able to work in shifts! Having a 4th voice early on expressing an opinion on what should could be done would have sent me mad and probably made me feel like an awful mum.

AmandaPayne Sun 03-Mar-13 18:23:17

The one thing I would say is that maternity night nurses often talk about their great success rate, but I'm not sure how much they actually see. Two friends who had them had their babies 'in a routine' when the nurse left and gave glowing feedback, but it didn't really suit them or their babies and within a few weeks they were not following the routine at all and said that they felt unconfident as a result. That's not a representative sample, but I'm just saying that the picture a night nanny gets might not be the one the mother has - I would definitely follow up references in person and at length.

ZuleikaD Sun 03-Mar-13 18:28:48

Lol at the idea that getting them into a routine early on means that at 12 weeks they're sleeping 7-7. Or that that has any bearing at all on how they'll sleep as they get older (particularly with the 16-week sleep regression).

Pyra Sun 03-Mar-13 18:31:43

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to write, and some valuable tips.

at the same time, i am really disappointed with some very judgmental comments here. The question was simple and I didn't expect you to answer if you don't have a relevant one. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. It really is upsetting since I genuinely asked for advice, and am being dealt out all sorts of uncalled for opinions. And thanks so much ReetPetit for looking up my previous posts and judging them too. Hugely helpful. Is this what MN is for?

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 03-Mar-13 18:38:52

though i think reet was a bit harsh with her reply but i dont think she has 'stalked' you op on mn and looked at your recent posts

her reply are things you mentioned, ie you have a cleaner, you will be employing a nanny and you have your mum for 3mths

ZolaBuddleia Sun 03-Mar-13 18:44:30

OP, where is your DH in all of this? Won't he be able to help? I think a 2 bed flat with all of you in it is a recipe for disaster!

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 18:45:42

have not stalked you in any way op hmm have no interest in reading through your past posts!!
I read your op and commented and then read your second post which said you had a 'cleaning lady' etc etc....

if you don't want opinions, don't ask a question on a site used by many. people are entitled to post wherever they want.

fwiw, i am a childminder and a mother of 2, so i feel my opinion is valid - and I stand by what I said - concentrate on bonding with your baby and stopped being so reliant on others (even if you are paying for it) it will not do you or your baby any good in the long run.

ZuleikaD Sun 03-Mar-13 18:50:27

Pyra don't be too sensitive about this - several people with lots of time with newborns have posted on your thread to give you the benefits of their experiences. Most will not have meant to come across as judgey, it's just that the scenario you describe seems over-the-top to many, and the line between 'advice' and 'opinion' is basically semantic. To me, as to many others, the idea of four adults plus a cleaner being needed to take care of one newborn is really, really unnecessary - what you could take from this is reassurance that even after a c-section you, your partner and your mother will cope fine. Throwing a fourth person into the mix is overkill.

FWIW I also doubt Reet has looked up your other posts.

Pyra Sun 03-Mar-13 18:51:00

I will request the moderator to remove this thread in its entirety. Call me hormonal or whatever, but reading some if the responses has been very upsetting. This was clearly not what I expected from MN in response to a genuine question. This probably sounds defensive, but yes - like one of you mentioned - I do need to get back to work 3months after the birth.

Yes - I misread one of the comments, and mistook a reference to mean that RP had also read a previous question I had posted about maternity nurses. I apologise for that.

ZuleikaD Sun 03-Mar-13 18:51:46

There's nothing on this thread that would cause a moderator to remove it.

Pendipidy Sun 03-Mar-13 18:55:13

I agree with reet. What on earth do you think all there people are going to do while the baby is sleeping?! Feed you grapes?! One person like your dh, like most people have. A mother would be nice for a week or two, but three months! And then night nurse and then nanny...the list goes on.

What exactly are you planning on doing yourself? And Will you ship the poor kid off to boarding school when its 7? Why don't you want to do these things yourself.?

Pyra Sun 03-Mar-13 18:57:45

Gosh. My cleaner comes in once a week. DH has a stressful job and is often travelling / spends long hrs at work. So that leaves my mother (in her late 60s) who will visit from abroad, and me.
And the maternity nurse is an option for 3-4 weeks. I need a nanny eventually since I'm going back to work. So much for context -I didn't realise previously that it was necessary to go into this level of detail. Like I mentioned, I do appreciate some of the advice given here. Thanks.

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 18:59:14

well said Pendipidy smile exactly what i was thinking about boarding school!
what exactly is the point?? aren't babies/children to be enjoyed??

MrsDeVere Sun 03-Mar-13 19:01:16

I don't understand the OP at all and am not judging.
I just don't get it.

Its like another world to me.

Its hard to give advice/opinion without sounding critical unless the poster is totally agreeing with you.

You live in a two bedroom flat
You have a helpful mother, a partner and a cleaner.
You will be employing a nanny.
This is one baby.

It really does, and I am honestly not trying to be horrible, over the top to have a night nanny as well.

Where on earth are you all going to sleep?

You could end up very stressed with all that going on.

What are your reasons for feeling you need a night nanny (genuine question). It may be that you are being over anxious about your first baby.

Babies can be very hard work and you are having a CS but the help you have already sounds adequate. You could save yourself a lot of unnecessary expense.

OliviaAllOverTheSpamMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 03-Mar-13 19:09:56

Hello there
Does anyone here need reminding of the talk guidelines?
Worth remembering that if there's one thing we [parents/to-be] could all do with it's some moral support.
Peace and love
Best of luck with the impending arrival OP

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 19:12:42

so is this not a discussion forum then Olivia? strange if all you can do is nod and smile at someone and agree with their point of view hmm what's the point in that? the op asked for opinions - she got them!!

Pyra Sun 03-Mar-13 19:17:35

Opinions were requested on whether extra help is more valuable at night or during the day. Not on what sort of a parent I am likely to be, and how ridiculous my question may sound to others. But of course, that hasn't limited the responses in any way!

RubyrooUK Sun 03-Mar-13 19:24:19

Hi OP,

I posted yesterday. I hope you didn't think I was being judgemental because I was really trying very hard to be helpful. Don't be put off Mumsnet because a few people question your need for a maternity nurse - I have found Mumsnet invaluable when struggling with breastfeeding, sleep deprivation and issues concerning returning to work. It is in the main extremely supportive.

I think the reason you've had a few harsher responses to this thread is that you have a better set-up for having a baby (your mum is staying three months and you have a cleaner) than the majority of people. And the people posting have already had babies themselves and so they understand the importance of establishing breastfeeding at night/bonding by having that time with your newborn so simply can't see the need for a maternity nurse. And I think everyone but the maternity nurse on this thread has explained that a routine is just not possible with a baby so young. (Please please don't feel depressed if your baby doesn't sleep 7-7 after 12 weeks - I don't know any babies that have done this in real life.)

But of course it is fine to feel anxious about your first baby and ask for advice. I'm shortly about to have DS2 and I am worried myself about how he will sleep and how I will work with a very busy job through months/years of sleep deprivation and night-time breastfeeding myself!

My advice is still to save your money and put it towards classes/NCT/building a support network of friends while you're on maternity leave. And having nice regular holidays when you are back at work after three months and missing your baby. I think that would offer more value to you. But good luck whatever you choose to do.

MrsDeVere Sun 03-Mar-13 19:27:58

You cannot control the internet pyra.
And you have had a lot of helpful responses as well.

If you are trying to establish BF, a night nurse is not a great idea, as feeding at night (and regulary throughout the day too) is what helps get and keep your supply going.

I would employ a cleaner instead, so you only have the baby to concentrate on.

ubik Sun 03-Mar-13 19:36:45

I think I would find having a stranger looking after my newborn a bit stressful. Have you thought about this aspect? Your baby will be looking for you all the time, you need to bond and that means lots of lovely cuddly time together, the baby will want to gaze at your face, smell you and listen to your heart beat. In a two bed flat, with your mother and a maternity nurse too you might feel a bit crowded.

Personally I would invest in someone to clean, cook and do the washing rather than look after the baby.

Also you might be surprised how quickly you recover from your CS.

But everyone's different. Good luck.

Ah, I see you already have a cleaner.

Honestly. How do you think other people manage? I could only stand my own mum for 5 days before I asked her to go back home, and I love her dearly.

christinarossetti Sun 03-Mar-13 19:46:47

Rising above the bile of some of the replies and seeing that you're trying to gauge ideas re post major surgery recovery and managing a newborn when you have no experience of babies, I think I'd probably go for a day nurse in your position.

Some newborns sleep loads for the first few weeks - my ds did but not dd - so a night nurse with him would have been completely unnecessary at the beginning (but by 8 months, I would have bitten anyone's hand off who offered to help) and you don't know what type of baby you'll have until he or she is here. At night, your dh and dm will be around and can help pass you the baby etc and you can catch up on sleep during the day if necessary. Lots of newborns do nurse loads at night (richer milk produced in the dark, perhaps?) so you might just need to get on with feeding in the night and have help during the day.

Hope it goes well.

BeehavingBaby Sun 03-Mar-13 19:47:40

Tbh, I agree that it will be too many cooks, opinions and people. I would spend the money on a postnatal package from an independent midwife, cleaner daily (beds changed and all laundry done ASAP) and posh/ ace ready made or delivered food. you, not baby need extra hands on deck really, they tend to hate massage, baths, any kind of messing at this stage, but reassurance that you are healing well and support in this is invaluable and sparse on the NHS. Appreciate you may be having a private cs but no idea what the standard on offering from midwives is?

BeehavingBaby Sun 03-Mar-13 19:48:52

PN offering, not on offering.

Once again, not trying to judge, but my advice really would be don't get the extra person. I was in a pretty similar situation: had an elective c-section, breast fed, went back to work (full-time and more) after a little less than three months (and in fact continued to do some work at home all the way through my maternity leave). I am so glad I had that time at the beginning with my baby, just the two of us.

GirlOutNumbered Sun 03-Mar-13 20:56:41

Hi pyra,
You know it's not that long ago when you had to stay in hospital for a while and you were shown what to do with your new baby. I think having someone in is only the same as that and if you can afford it then it could be a great option, particicularly if you feel it will boost your confidence.

I would seriously give consideration to where everyone will sleep though? I guess the nurse would be in the babies room, what about your mum? You are going to be tired and hormonal and may feel overwhelmed having this many people in the house.

Also give some consideration to how you will feel having someone showing you what to do... I don't take advice very well and even my mother got on my nerves after a while when she was only trying to help. Have you thought about how you want to do things, I would imagine that you will need to find a nurse that shares your opinions.

How will your mum feel with someone else there soending time with the baby?

I have had two sections and they are not that bad to recover from, although for the first week or so you may just want to lie in bed feeding!

Good luck with it all, I think you may find it easier than you expect.

lechatnoir Sun 03-Mar-13 21:12:52

I would forget a night/day nurse whilst your mum is staying & up the cleaner to twice a week so they can take over all household chores inc ironing, baby laundry, weekly bed change, any leftover washing up etc and maybe after the first month once you're more confident in your parenting & established feeding then consider a mothers help or doula.

I found overnight visitors very intruding in my post-hormonal state & am normal very happy to have guests staying as long as they want!

NumericalMum Sun 03-Mar-13 21:15:42

I think OP is gone but for me I would have had nobody around until about 6 weeks which is when I was about to die from sleep deprivation (well it still continues 5 years on so the idea a maternity nurse could have fixed that is hilarious. I paid a sleep clinic twice to help me so I genuinely tried everything!) for a month of so so I had the jnitial need to be near my newborn stage and could then usefully take help.

I had my DM staying for 8 weeks And she drove me batty as I wasn't allowed to do anything my way so the idea of two people "helping" is my worst nightmare but then I am a control freak

fraktion Sun 03-Mar-13 21:41:56

I would also up the cleaner and get a PN doula.

I had DS, abroad, with a DH who worked looong hours and travelled, no family support and went back at 4 months. Granted I didn't have a CS to contend with and I had fairly substantial experience of babies but you know what? That experience didn't help one teeny bit with my own baby. You just have to go with the flow and find what works for you, especially with BF.

"Opinions were requested on whether extra help is more valuable at night or during the day. "

My reply would be "Neither". But the restrictions you are placing on the discussion will prevent me from elaborating and giving my reasons.

Speaking as a mother of two.

Good luck.

Karoleann Sun 03-Mar-13 21:48:38

Hi, please do ignore all the slightly nasty comments, unfortunately mumsnet does seem to attract some catty, low IQ individuals with nothing better to do than post unhelpful comments.

Unless your mum's quite elderly, I don't think you need her and a maternity nurse. I presume you'll also have your husband for a week or so.
I was completely clueless with number one, I was also quite hormonal too and I'm not sure I'd want someone else around.
New babies don't do very much, basically for the first couple of weeks, you feed them and then they go back to sleep again!
Even if you do have a grumpy one, it takes a few weeks to materialise.

My mum basically brought the baby to me for feeding and changed nappies.

I would second the independent postnatal midwife, we had one for my first two children, she came round most days for the fist week or so and helped me with breastfeeding.

Best of luck with the new baby

Lostonthemoors Sun 03-Mar-13 22:00:38

In your position I would do the following:

Have a lovely brew and some biscuitbiscuit

Put your feet up

Book a postnatal doula who REALLY knows her stuff on bf for daytime

Increase your cleaner to fortnightly

Ask your mum and dp to help at night

Not get a mat nurse - I'm just not convinced they would know enough about bf

Buy a good bf book

And keep an open mind - when you see your lovely newborn what you think you want may change.

Good luck!

ceeveebee Sun 03-Mar-13 22:11:47

How other people manage without help is not really of concern or relevance to the OP. She asked a simple question and doesn't really deserve all this vitriol

I had a night nanny for 8 weeks, 3 times a week. I had twins though - I really don't think it would have been money worth spending if I only had one baby. Also she didn't start until 3 weeks old as DH had paternity leave.

It was great to know that I would get a full nights sleep the next day as we went for alternate nights. I do feel that it did affect my ability to bf though as she was very encouraging of expressing and using formula in the night, I did persevere though and mix fed for 11 months.

I wouldn't have wanted daytime help. Its nice to have some time alone, I would have felt crowded.

So if I was you I'd probably save my money. Have at least the first couple of weeks on your own with DH. Then if you are struggling, if you are in the London area, you can arrange help pretty easily for the odd night, you don't need to block book someone for weeks at a time.

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 22:16:00

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

ceeveebee Sun 03-Mar-13 22:19:43

And yet another well thought out and insightful post from Reet...

ReetPetit Sun 03-Mar-13 22:34:03

it wasn't meant to be well thought out and insightful ceeveebee - i was simply amused by karoleann declaring posters to be 'catty, low IQ individuals with nothing better to do than post unhelpful comments'. due to their disagreeing with the op...

AladdinOnRepeat Sun 03-Mar-13 22:44:20

Congratulations on your impending arrival smile

I think its natural and scary to think about how things are going to change after your baby is born but honestly with just the one baby hopefully you will manage just fine. All they really do as newborns is sleep, feed, poo and if you're lucky, burp. He or she might be up alot in the night but you'll be as to sleep during the day when your baby does.

My youngest is 4 weeks old, what I'd really like st the moment is a cleaner, or someone to bring me snacks when I'm endlessly breastfeeding.

(As a lone parent to a newborn, a toddler and two other children, even I wouldn't fancy 3 other adults staying with me however much help they might be.)

Good luck!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 04-Mar-13 01:08:25

Hi there, just concentrate on the good in this thread and don't get too upset about the other please!

I totally agree with other posters who've said what you'll really need is someone to look after you! I know this sounds odd, as everything you are thinking probably revolves around the little arrival... But try and think about planning for your help to revolve around you!

I had a c section and it does leave you feeling pretty rotten for a few weeks, so whoever you employ, make sure they are 'you focused' not just about the baby. My ideal would have been someone to wait on me hand & foot, whilst I cuddled my baby. I had no idea how addictive it is!

The urge to be with your baby may be so strong that other plans go out of the window - so make sure you build in the circumstance of wanting alot of you & baby time, rather than feeling like you have to compete with everyone else to hold her/him!

I also think sleep is the most precious healing element that you'll be lacking, unless you get a perfect sleeping baby, (which you probably shouldn't gamble on!), so someone to bring the baby to you for feeds and snuggles, then to seamlessly take over as you drift back to sleep and your baby gets winded/ rocked/ paced. I bonded alot with mine on night feeds, but didn't need the sleep deprivation torture of being desperate to sleep but my baby crying if I put him down, even next to me cosleeping.

ClairesTravellingCircus Italy Mon 04-Mar-13 06:51:36


It is perfectly possible to disagree with the OP without being nice, which is what most people on this thread have done.

Even if we can't relate to the OP's situation, A little rmpathy goes a long way.


I was going to suggest ask the same question on the multiples board as I know some have used night nurses.

I understand your anxiousness, considering that you have to go back to work at 3 months, but believe me, you will cope, we all do! smile
If it's any help, I had my mum, then my mother in law for a total of 5 weeks when dd1 was born. DH worked 14-16 hrs a day and sometimes weekends too, so very little help from him. She was one of those velcro babies who would not be parted from a warm body. Still I wish I didn't have anyone there, as it delayed bonding and caused mild PND. I really did not feel she was 'mine' until we were on our own.

Sorry if we all keep banging on about this, but reading your posts I have visions of all these people in your apartment passing baby around and you pushed to one side.

Wishing you best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy and the cssmile

ZuleikaD Mon 04-Mar-13 07:17:08

To be honest I think most of the responses on this thread were pretty straightforward, not bitchy. You ask a frank question, you'll get frank answers. The rudest person so far has been karoleann.

nooka Mon 04-Mar-13 07:18:37

I went back to work at three months after my second (ds was 16mths and they were both c-sections). It really wasn't too bad. I had our nanny part time during that time, but that was really to take ds out and about, not for help with dd. dd did scream a lot in the evening, which took a lot of pacing etc, but that wasn't in the first six weeks.

If your mum wasn't there then I'd say get help during the day, because that's when I felt overwhelmed (in fact just someone to come in for the afternoon would have been nice because that's when I felt desperate - that last couple of hours waiting for dh to come home and take over). But your mum is staying and hopefully will be able to share the burden somewhat (even just company is good).

When my two were tiny I got up to feed them, and then usually put them straight back to bed unless there had been some nappy explosion. Generally I believe there is no need to wind with breastfeeding, and they were usually pretty asleep by the time they were done. I don't think it would have been at all helpful to have someone hovering around and might have woken me up much more.

Help is always good if you need it, but really I would have thought you would be fine with the support you already have lined up, and until the baby is born you are not likely to know what sort of help you might really need.

ZolaBuddleia Mon 04-Mar-13 08:08:15

Flaming heck!

Nothing wrong with someone getting as much help as they can afford to pay for. Most people have raised the potential issue of the flat being overcrowded, some people from personal experience have raised the potential issue of the OP feeling a bit sidelined and unintentionally undermined.

Eskino Mon 04-Mar-13 09:23:02

Reetpetit you are a Childminder.

So you are employed to look after other people's babies/children. For money.

Why then, are you against the OP giving paid employment to a nurse to help her with her baby?

ZuleikaD Mon 04-Mar-13 09:31:12

Just because a person is a CM doesn't mean they automatically agree with paid childcare for every circumstance. I'm also a CM and I don't think Pyra needs a maternity nurse.

CheungFun Mon 04-Mar-13 09:44:27

In my honest opinion, if you're going to be breastfeeding there isn't much help others will be able to give you in regards to looking after the baby. Newborns don't do much, just sleep, drink milk, poo and wee, cry and want holding. Your mum or husband could do the baths and nappy changing, and picking the baby up to give to you.

If you have the money, I'd spend it on people to clean the house, wash the clothes, cook meals etc.

I found I was trying to get back to normal too soon, so if others had have just let me look after DS and they had cooked and cleaned I would have felt less stressed!

Good luck and enjoy your LO when they arrive

givemeaclue Mon 04-Mar-13 09:54:41

Goodness where is everyone going to sleep? You have had good advice that a doula may be better, however when your mum goes home you may want some extra help then. You do sound lacking in confidence op ,is this something you could talk to your midwife about? Between you, your mum, dh accommodations will already be cramped do you really need another person as well? He so, I suggest someone during day as you haven't really the room for another house guest.

As others havoc said "nursery duties" are pretty non existence for new babies! Be confident, you what'd lots of help already and it will be fine.

fraktion Mon 04-Mar-13 10:01:07

Actually having reconsidered I think night help would be useful at around 4-6 months when you've just gone back to work, sleep regression has hit with a vengeance and your mother has gone home. That's when I wish I'd had more support.

DeafLeopard Mon 04-Mar-13 10:32:21

My friend has used a night nanny a couple of nights a week once her DH finished his paternity leave.

The baby would sleep in the spare room with the night nanny, and when the baby woke, the nanny would bring the baby through to my friend to feed in bed, and when friend finished she would text nanny to come through and collect. Friend didn't have to leave her bed and was able to sleep while the nanny winded, changed and re-settled the baby. This really helped my friend not to feel so tired and she said it was worth every penny.

ReetPetit Mon 04-Mar-13 12:12:28

Reetpetit you are a Childminder.

So you are employed to look after other people's babies/children. For money.

Why then, are you against the OP giving paid employment to a nurse to help her with her baby?

Eskino, in answer to this - yes, I am a self employed registered childminder and I provide childcare for parents although I don't see really how that is relevant to be honest!

It is my opinion, in answer to the ops question, do I need a day or night nurse that the answer is neither.

Nothing to do with my work smile HTH.

moogy1a Mon 04-Mar-13 14:00:32

Why would a baby need changing in the night ( unless there's been a poo explosion?).
My newborns have always slept in a moses basket next to me so hardly need someone to get them and hand them to me. Then it's a feed and back in the basket. I can't see what an extra person would be able to do.
I also fail to see why you would need a nanny for weeks on end to help with bf. What's she going to do? stick your nipple in the baby's mouth for you? Once you and the baby know what you're doing with bf'ing ( by about day 3 )there's very little that someone can help you with on that task ( something you may have to do all by yourself rather than employ yet another person to help)

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 14:07:36

I have five babies.
They do need changing in the night.
Although modern <gimmer> nappies make this less frequent. grin

I have been one of the posters being a bit hmm about the need for all this help.
But its genuinely not done out of nastiness or jealousy or anything like that.

It is opinion offered out of experience. Quite a lot of experince

My friend is a night nanny. She is a lovely, non judgmental woman but even she can be a bit puzzled as to why some families think they need her.

I think it is anxiety that makes women think they will no way cope with a newborn. Why? Family pressure? Horror stories from 'friends'? Media?

Its a shame that a woman with decent family support thinks she will not cope without outside help.

moogy1a Mon 04-Mar-13 14:10:49

really? you change non pooey nappies in the night? God, I'm obviously a slattern of a mother!
Does everyone do this?In fact don't answer that in case it guilt trips me into doing the same.I shall be in blissful ignorance

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Mar-13 14:14:40

Ha ha! Only if they are obvious.
Leaky or baby is having a right old grumble.
I don't go looking for them.

In the old days it happened at least once or twice a night. Thank gawd for decent cheap nappies.

ZuleikaD Mon 04-Mar-13 14:31:54

Nope - DD got changed twice in the night for a poo, DS never pooed overnight so never got changed overnight. It's madness to change non-pooey nappies in the night!

ReetPetit Mon 04-Mar-13 14:37:08

i never change night nappies! night feeds done in the dark with minimal fuss.
don't get all this 'bring the baby to me' bit, isn't the baby next to your bed/in your bed when it's tiny?
i would think even if you live in a country manison you wouldnt be putting a newborn in another room.
Oh well, takes all sorts... hmm

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 04-Mar-13 14:46:14

as a night nanny i only change nappies if pooey in the night as otherwise babies tend to wake up once they have weed, as used to being clean/dry new nappy iyswim

DeafLeopard thats what i do if mb is bf - they get all the close contact/bonding/cuddles at night, then i wind/change if need be and settle,while they sleep

mrsd again im the same as your friend, some families i do feel dont really need me, but even if i spend 2/4weeks with them helping gain confidence, give advice on bf, get into routine esp if 1st baby, then i have been of help

as i said, if you can afford it op, then get whatever help you need smile

pombal Mon 04-Mar-13 14:55:22

Don't waste money on a maternity nurse. Worse mistake I ever made, they do naff all and you have to provide meals etc for them while they're there.
I had mum and DH around and they were useless, so I don't think you're wrong to want help but my advice would be get a cleaner, you do baby and DH goes shopping.
As for not knowing what to do with your newborn, you'll know, honestly you will feel it in your bonessmile
Most maternity nurses are not nurses or midwives but have a nanny or childcare qualification plus newborn experience and won't be able to help with breastfeeding difficulties beyond a bit of positioning and encouragement.

Karoleann Mon 04-Mar-13 19:35:18

Reet - I'm sick and tired of people on a supposed support forum making nasty vindictive comments and the majority of yours seem to be in that vein.

You either are not very bright or you are just a thoughtless, insensitive person.
Hopefully it's the former.

moogy1a Tue 05-Mar-13 07:30:45

I think Reet was quite polite, actually.

ZuleikaD Tue 05-Mar-13 07:37:54

I didn't think there was anything vindictive about Reet's comments either. Karoleann was far ruder.

christinarossetti Tue 05-Mar-13 07:54:19

Ops gone but I've changed my mind - I would up the cleaner to at least weekly and then think about help for after dh was back at work and dm had gone home if i needed it. Unless dm and dh couldn't be relied on to cook meals, put washing on etc in which case I would hire a home help to do just that.

ReetPetit Tue 05-Mar-13 14:34:55

Karoleann - I actually haven't been rude (imo) I was being honest and giving the op my opinion. I really do think that the op can manage just fine with the support she already has and needs to be less scared of a natural event such as having a baby - it's not something to be feared but something to be enjoyed - it certainly doesn't last long.

You on the other hand Karoleann have actually be quite insulting to me - how you can say I am not very bright is a strange one hmm I won't go into details of my educational background however for someone like you, it wouldn't be worth my time.

mrsshackleton Tue 05-Mar-13 17:51:41

Welcome to MN, pyra grin You want someone to help establish bf. Go for a kind doula, why would you want a maternity nurse hovering over you all night when you're feeding, it would be ridiculous.
Do lots of your friends have maternity nurses. They seem to be used in certain circles and people outside them think they're ridiculous.
I had a very hard time with my first baby because it was a tough birth and I was in shock. But my mother and mil's help was still more than adequate with the odd visit to the bfing counsellor. If it's a financial push save the money for something else.

lesmisfan Tue 05-Mar-13 20:03:44

Go for a night nurse 2-3 times a week for about a month once the baby is about 2 weeks old. I did this with all of mine and it was well worth the money. I got a good nights sleep and still bonded perfectly. I BF and gave EBF for feeds between 12-6. As it wasn't every night supply was fine and I BF all for a year. If you have your mum and a cleaner you should be fine during the day.

Curtsey Wed 06-Mar-13 11:40:36


I do hope that you haven't abandoned this thread. It might be worth coming back to take a look at it. The reason I think that people have been very forthright with their opinions is that the scenario you have outlined - 4 people, two bedroomed flat - does not sound, to those who have experience in those post-birth weeks, like an ideal one at all. I felt a bit dismayed when I read it myself. Not becuase I think you or any woman should be a martyr, or shun paid help - but just because the ratio of adults to first-born baby sounds mad. I say first-born because I can totally see the appeal of extra professional help at night when you've got a few kids already, or if you have multiples. Part of all of this bonding stuff is you and your DP bumbling through it all together, getting shat on, figuring out the exact way the baby likes to be jiggled at 2am.

You will probably be craving peace and quiet in the days after you give birth. But if there are four people walking around the flat and talking over each other - it won't happen sad Honestly, many newborns do let you have that peace and quiet in the early days. You might need to let them sleep on you or your DP while you're drinking a cup of tea, but you will get to drink that cup of tea. Let your mum cook and pop to the shop and get your groceries, let your DP do nappies, and get your cleaner to call several times a week (with your mum and DP doing spot cleans in between). It'll be fine. Honestly, it will. Congratulations and the very best of luck.

NutellaNutter Wed 06-Mar-13 20:03:48

I had a night nanny for three months, and it worked very well. I mix fed. She would start at 8pm, and take my colicky baby off my hands, allowing me a bit of an evening after having him all day. I would express at 9-10pm for his evening feed, then go to bed. She would then bring him to me at 2-3am, whenever he woke up, for a breast feed. She would then settle him and I would go straight back to sleep. If he then woke up again before 6am she would feed him formula, and I would then breastfeed him the first feed of the day. I think it really saved my sanity. He was very colicky and unsettled, and I would have gone mad otherwise with sleep deprivation and most likely had PND, as I have had depression on and off during my life. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks, it doesn't matter a jot. Only you know what's best for your own, very individual circumstances. It was the best investment I ever made.

Pyra Fri 08-Mar-13 23:16:26

Thanks everyone for all your perspectives.

jimmychooshoes Sat 09-Mar-13 19:26:21

Hi there, I work as a maternity nurse/night nanny. Please PM me if you have any questions on how we work. Not sure what area you are in or what dates you are looking for but if you think this is the route you want to go down I may be able to help you.......................

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