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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.


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

PN offering, not on offering.

theDudesmummy Sun 03-Mar-13 20:16:34

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.

PureQuintessence Sun 03-Mar-13 21:48:03

"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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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 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.

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