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Maternity nurse to come a bit later...?(18 Posts)
Seriously considering hiring a maternity nurse to help me with number 2. I found the first couple of months with DS very very hard, especially as we have no family close by to lend a hand.
My DH will be taking two weeks off at first and then my mum will be with us for a week. We'll also have our son's nanny here for a month after the birth to help with him and give him some consistency. After that time, however, DH will be back to work, DM back to living 400 miles away and the nanny gone!
Has anyone had a maternity nurse later in the day, to start when the baby is around a month old? At that point, I'd see real benefit in help establishing more of a routine (at first they just feed and feed and feed anyway!), getting me a bit more sleep etc etc.
Any thoughts? And yes, I know how lucky I am...
For DD1 I hady maternity nurse after day 3 and for DD2 my materninty nurse met me in the recovery suite and I wished I'd done it that way the first time! I would say that the first few weeks are the hardest - how much help do you honestly think your DH and DM would be as I think that's your answer. Any decent mat nurse will be able to sort out any feeding issues etc but do you want to wait that long if there are any?
Yes, we had a maternity nurse for DC2 from about 4-5 weeks.
It worked well in the sense that the first few weeks were quite easy (DC2 was born 3 weeks early and slept a lot for the first month of her life) and so the help was much more valuable from 4/5 weeks onwards.
However, the maternity nurse was not able to get DC2 into a fab sleeping pattern (I mean it wasn't terrible but not amazing either) or get her to take a bottle. So I didn't get the longer term benefits of having a mat nurse that I'd been hoping for. Now, those things may be down to DC's nature and would have happened anyway even if the mat nurse had started on day 1 - I will never know! Just saying.
I guess it's just the sheer volume of people in the house. Will have a lactation consultant to call if any issues feeding. I think having me, DH, nanny and two other adult visitors will feel like too much all at once!
Or DH took his pat leave once my maternity nurse left - far more enjoyable as we had a happy baby in a decent routine and we knew what we were doing (to a certain extent)! But you obviously need to be happy and comfortable in your house. Have you spoke to to an agency about employing the mat nurse? I was really given good advice from them re what to do and for how long to have her for etc.
Yes I agree a lactation consultant is better than a mat nurse for BF issues.
We did have a lot of people in the house at one point - similar to what you describe (DH was unexpectedly on garden leave and our nanny was around sometimes too) - and it was a bit much, especially for my toddler who got rather confused by all the people.
I found that with DC2 I kind of knew what I was doing in the first few weeks when they are still sleepy and the key bit is getting BF sorted (I also got a LC round). It was the next bit that terrified me - routine establishment, less easily settled baby, plus you are really tired by then - so that's when we got the help for.
Overall I would do it the same way again.
In your position I would do what you suggest, OP, and start later with the nurse. People seem to lose interest in the baby and offers of help dry up around the four-to-six week mark in my experience. Just when your energy starts to tail off and the baby is more alert. If you have no other help, I would organise some for four weeks onwards.
Disclaimer: I didn't have a nurse (or indeed any other help), but would have hired one in a heartbeat if this had been an option for us.
Thanks all! Yes, it is that part when all the well meaning help dries up, the nanny finishes and then I'm left all alone with two children to wrangle on no sleep. So maybe getting someone to help just establish the routine would be a godsend, at around 4-6 weeks old.
Does it work ok when breastfeeding? Concerned that part of the benefit is removed if in fact I have to be up doing all the feeds anyway! Although guess I can express at least one feed per night...
I have no experience of this. I would have loved a maternity nurse. Would it not be more helpful to keep the nanny for longer and she can alternate between your son and baby so for example she could take the baby for a walk so you could spend time with your son.
Yes, it still works when BF - obviously you still have to wake in the night, but you just do the feed and they do all the tedious winding and settling. And yes you can express (though as I say, DD didn't take well to the bottle so some nights I ended up feeding her anyway).
I would agree with Heirhelp though, if you plan to BF the little one then you may find it more useful to keep on your nanny longer so she can look after your older one (not sure how old your DC1 will be?) If you are BF then you are inevitably tied to the baby for feeds and most maternity nurses won't want to look after older DC (and your older DC may not be keen on a stranger anyway). Whereas your nanny could take the baby in between feeds sometimes if you want time with DC1, so is more flexible.
Hmmm. Have considered keeping the nanny longer but it is mainly the evening / overnight help I'm after and she doesn't have baby experience, only toddler up. My son is at nursery 5 mornings so I feel more able to cope with that angle. Maternity nurse should allow me to pop out to the park with DS for some quality time but then still be on hand later, right?
Where does the nanny come in then? Sounds like a lot of help for one little baby!
How about a night nurse then? I really would suggest speaking to the mat nurse agency and talking through your various options and thoughts. Fully appreciate there's a lot to consider.
Oh yes, I aaaalways have a maternity nurse and few nannys around to do my job as a mother.
Yes, I was just saying this to my gardener and cook the other day shweetie
OP I knew it wouldn't be long until people started implying that you weren't a proper mother if you have help. If you can afford it, why not? Surely better to spend your money employing others and putting money in their pockets rather than hoarding it under your bed. Or is it just that you are only a proper mother if the first few months of your babies life are spent in an unhappy mire of sleep deprivation?
That is probably not much help in answering your specific question, I don't have any experience of maternity nurses or nannies so can't really advise. Good luck with number 2, for what it's worth I found things much easier second time round.
Mat nurse: "Hello, I'm here to help you. Would you like that?"
You: "yes please".
End of conversation and end of debate.
OP I completely understand your dilemma.
I have a DS now 2.5 and am expecting my second son in May.
With DS1 I felt I really overdid it with people in my house when I was recovering from a Section, and frankly I felt undermined by it all. It isn't rocket science, all I needed was practice - but instead I had endless women trying to take the baby off me all the time.
My mother who lives abroad was there some of the time, our housekeeper was around plus I had a full time maternity nurse (at my husband's suggestion as he already has children and felt I would benefit). Frankly having lived alone for 18 years until I moved in with my DP when pregnant I nearly went crazy with all the 'input' and ended up with PND anyway.
This time I will do it very differently. Our nanny will be here to care for our DS1 as usual. I do not expect much help from her with the baby as she is so busy with him anyway. She is very excited though and I'm sure will want to be involved.
I will have no other help during the day (my husband doesn't take any paternity leave), but I will have a night nanny most nights for about 8 weeks from 7pm - 7am so I can get sleep (and see my DH, DS1 and stepchildren).
It is a very lucky position to be in, but more help does not always mean better for you.
If I were you I would do exactly as you describe. Personally I don't find the BF support from a mat nurse that critical, and quite like the idea of someone arriving once I have established most of my own routine and 'rules' and then she can support you rather than tell you what you should be doing.
Just my view having been there!
Best of luck OP!!
Yes, maternity nurse will absolutely look after the baby while you go to the park with DS. It's more the other way round they might not do - do the nursery run or feed DS his lunch - though I'm sure a MN wouldn't mind keeping an eye on DS for 20 min while you BF the baby.
Yes I completely get the desire for nighttime help! And yes if you have DS1 at nursery in the mornings then that means you get one on one time with the baby then, so less need for nanny. My DD1 hadn't started nursery when we had DD2 so slightly different equation.
Ignore the snarky comments.
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