Maternal Support

Frequently asked Questions & Answers

What qualifications might the maternity nurse have?

The most common and most widely recognised qualifications are the following:

Midwives, registered nurses & health visitors are also recognised.

If an agency introduces your Maternity Nurse then the agency will inform you about the Maternity Nurse's qualifications, experience and First Aid Certificates. All agencies should also provide you with references for the maternity nurse. 

When was the maternity nurse's last Enhanced Disclosure CRB Police check completed? (These became DBS Checks - Disclosure Barring Service Checks from December 2012)

These must be dated within the last 3 years to remain valid.

Does the maternity nurse have a Paediatric First Aid Certificate?

These are valid for 3 years.

How many years experience with newborn babies does a maternity nurse have?

A minimum of a year is recommended.

Does the maternity nurse have her own contract? 

You should request a copy of any contract.

What is the Maternity Nurse's cancellation policy?

Most contracts state that if you cancel within a certain timeframe you forego the deposit. There are many reasons for this given the restriction placed on the maternity nurse to find alternative employment. If your maternity nurse cancels before she starts she should be expected to refund the deposit. These matters should be discussed with the maternity nurse at the interview.

How do I pay the maternity nurse and will I have any additional expenses?

Most maternity nurses require to be paid weekly by cheque or BACS. In addition some maternity nurses expect all their travel costs to be covered. This should to be discussed at the interview and fully agreed prior to the booking commencing.

What hours will your maternity nurse work and how much time will she take off?

You should establish the number of days and hours she will work. Most maternity nurses have a preferable time for resting in a 24 hour period. This is, of course, negotiable. It is important to discuss this together at the interview.

Does the maternity nurse have any allergies or medical conditions?

It is best to check in case the maternity nurse has any food allergies, dietary requirements or medical conditions that you need to be aware of or any preferences with regards to pets in the home.

Does the maternity nurse sleep in the same room as the baby or in a separate room?

You may have a preference with this but always check this with the maternity nurse.

Food Preparation and requirements for the maternity nurse

It is normal to provide food for your maternity nurse. We strongly suggest that the maternity nurse is allowed to cook her own meals and eat separately from the family. This allows both parties some privacy.

Is the maternity nurse happy to carry out the baby's laundry, sterilise equipment and provide light meals for the mother?

This is standard practice, however it is helpful to discuss duties during the interview.

Where relevant you may wish to ask if the maternity nurse has experience of :

Cleft Palates                                                     Circumcision
Nasal Tubes                                                      Caesareans
Reflux                                                               Jaundice
Colic                                                                 Premature Babies
Multiple Birth Babies - twins/triplets

Has the maternity nurse ever had to deal with an emergency? What happened and how did she deal with it?

This will give you further information about the maternity nurse's experiences and her ability to deal with varied and unexpected situations.

Is the maternity nurse happy to assist with breast feeding during the day and night?

You should discuss your requirements with the maternity nurse.

What are the maternity nurses views on mixed feeding & swaddling? (Swaddling provides a calming effect and the feeling of security for the baby.)

It is important to establish this at the interview.

What are the maternity nurse's views on routines & how quickly would she expect to introduce the baby into a routine and sleeping through the night?

Some maternity nurses like to establish a routine early on whilst others believe in feeding on demand. We strongly advise to stablish a feeding and sleep routine from the beginning.

Do you mind the maternity nurse taking the baby out for walks?

It is important that your baby has fresh air whenever the weather allows. Allowing your maternity nurse to take your baby for a walk is a good idea for you, your baby and the maternity nurse. If, however, you feel strongly against this, then you need to make this clear at the interview.

If there are other siblings in the house you may wish to discuss with the maternity nurse whether she is willing to assist with these children.

Will the maternity nurse look after the other child/children whilst, for example, you are breastfeeding.

Does the maternity nurse smoke?

It is advisable to refer to the SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) guidelines with regards to smoking. We strongly advise that maternity nurses should not smoke or drink alcohol whilst working.

What happens if the baby arrives earlier or later than the booked start date?

If your baby is early, and the maternity nurse has been contracted through an agency, the agency will contact the maternity nurse and check she can start the booking early. If she is unavailable until the agreed start date, then the agency will endeavour to find a temporary nurse to act as a replacement. If your baby arrives later than the agreed start date, you may need to pay a retainer for every 24 hours until the baby arrives and the nurse commences her duties.

We suggest that you ask the maternity nurse "What makes you a good maternity nurse?"

This is a good opportunity to let your maternity nurse chat about herself and for you to understand a how she likes to work. You may wish to ask about her interests and to establish if you have a mutual rapport.