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Maternity nurse - what do they do, and are they worth it?

18 replies

Holly29 · 23/04/2007 14:24


My DH went to see some friends over the weekend who have just had a maternity nurse for 4 weeks and they raved about it and now he thinks we should have one when our first is born in September. What's the deal? I know nothing about them or what they are meant to do? Can someone help to tell me if they think it is worth it and what they are actually meant to do? Is it for days and nights or just nights?

Thanks so much.

OP posts:
Holly29 · 23/04/2007 16:34


OP posts:
Genidef · 23/04/2007 16:39

Hi. A few friends who have had them used them to help get some sleep at night and lighten the load (one girl was a new mother of twins) and establish a routine. From what I understand the ability to get them on a routine is one of the most important aspects for some people, and Mat nurses supposedly have the reputation of being really into them, but I guess you can find someone who is flexible. Expensive - I think maybe even £500 per week for some of them.

shonaspurtle · 23/04/2007 16:40

I didn't have one but personally I think you'd be better off hiring a cleaner for those surreal early weeks.

Genidef · 23/04/2007 16:41

There is a story I would love to tell but can't. Shame!

lulumama · 23/04/2007 16:43

you could look at hiring a post natal doula.....that is an alternative...

will do things like housework, cooking if you request that, to leave you free to enjoy your baby, and can also support you emotionally in the weeks after the birth doula UK site

might be worth considering, as can possibly be more flexible and not as pricey as a maternity nurse

shonaspurtle · 23/04/2007 16:43

What I mean is having someone to do all the bits about the house so that you can concentrate on you and the baby.

If I'd had any help (apart from my excellent mother for a blissful week - oh and dh obv ) then I'd rather have delegated that sort of stuff than my baby. Just my personal feeling. Also I was bf so had to get up in the night anyway.

lulumama · 23/04/2007 16:44

i know two families who have had maternity nurses.....from what i saw, i would not have wanted one, but they suit some families, for sure ! depends what support you want

Mumpbump · 23/04/2007 16:44

Or get a mother's help.

liath · 23/04/2007 16:48

I've got a post-natal doula, she is lovely and will do anything from house work to taking my toddler off to the park or soft play. Less expensive than a maternity nurse and leaves me more time to bond with my baby, get feeding established etc. Wish I'd done it first time around.

Chocolateface · 23/04/2007 16:48

A Maternity Nurse will work 24 hours a day for 6 days week. They will bring the baby to you in the night if you wish to breast feed. They will do everything to care for the baby, which can save you from the triedness of having a newborn. You can have a Maternity Nurse for just a few weeks, or for 6 months or so. Good ones are very in demand, so you'll have to book her early.They dan be a godsend if you don't know which way up to hold a baby and have no baby experience yourself. But as already said, they don't come cheap. Personally, I've never wanted a maternity nurse, as I'm very possesive of my babies.

frogs · 23/04/2007 16:54

A couple of friends have had one. You are paying a lot of money for very intensive support with a newborn, getting you and the baby into a routine, and being able to sleep nights while someone else does the night feeds. The maternity nurse will not do housework, cooking, or looking after your other child/ren.

The kind of person it suits is someone who is organised, quite high-powered and keen to get their life and work back as soon as possible, maybe intent on getting the baby into a routine as quickly as possible.

Personally, if I had that much money to blow on simplifying life with a newborn, I'd spend it on getting someone in to do all the skivvying stuff that needs doing after the birth -- shopping, laundry, cleaning, making tea and cooking, so that I could lie around in a nice clean tidy house communing with the baby.

Mumpbump · 23/04/2007 17:03

I have to say that, although exhausting, I do rather think that getting up with the baby in the middle of the night is all part of the bonding experience. Personally, there is no way I would have delegated this to a stranger... But depends on what you're like.

Holly29 · 23/04/2007 17:18

That is so helpful, ladies. I think I agree that it sounds pretty full on - 24 hours a day? I think the doula idea sounds better or even a cleaning lady! I do have no experience at all and I am really nervous about learning to bathe/feed etc but a doula sounds like she would be better at that sort of thing (not too worried about nights and agree it is part of the bonding process).

Thank you!

OP posts:
crumpet · 23/04/2007 17:33

I have friends who have loved having a maternity nurse, but for me it wouldn't have been right - fierce tigress instinct if my newborn was crying meant that there was not a chance that I'd have let someone else step in...

But I did love it if someone could watch the baby for a while/take the baby for walk or two during the day so that I could really switch off and sleep - otherwise I always slept really lightly, waiting to hear the cry!

shonaspurtle · 23/04/2007 17:36

Doula sounds great actually. Sort of like what my mum did for me really.

I agree that I only really got a good sleep during the day when she or dh took ds out for a walk.

It was reassuring to have someone about who knew something about babies as well.

hertsnessex · 23/04/2007 20:18

remember aswell a doula is there for the mother, baby, dad etc and a mat nurse is for the baby only.

chk out doula uk for a doula in your area, call a few and chat it over with them. some do overnight care aswell if you need it.


Holly29 · 24/04/2007 09:13

Thought I'd update you - I had a look on the doula website and rang one lady up, who seemed great! Meeting her soon. Thanks for all your comments and advice. xx

OP posts:
hertsnessex · 24/04/2007 10:08

thats great holly! hope your meeting goes well.


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