The increase in the number of older new mothers and the breakdown of family units are two reasons why maternity nurses are more in demand than ever, according to Jean Birtles, owner of international nanny agency Top Notch Nannies.
“We get calls every day from expectant mothers who really need the services of an experienced maternity nurse to help care for their newborn, set a routine for the baby and, most importantly, show them how to care for their baby,” she says.
More women than ever are delaying motherhood. The average age for new mothers is now 29 as opposed to 26 thirty years ago and the number of new mothers over 35 is increasing gradually year on year. New fertility treatments have also led to an increase in multiple births which adds an extra strain on inexperienced new mothers. ”Many mothers have no idea at all how to care for a baby,” explains Jean Birtles, ”even though they have had very responsible jobs. They haven’t grown up with babies and often don’t have close relatives who can help for long periods of time. Maternity nurses are on duty 24 hours a day, six days a week and they often have years of experience in the care of newborns so they are a total support.”
This increase in demand has prompted Top Notch Nannies to design a three-day intensive training course for would-be maternity nurses to be held from 8th-10th September 2001 in London.
The course will be taught by registered midwives, practicing maternity nurses and health visitors and will include practical work as well as the theory behind baby care and support of the mother. The course will be open to nannies who already have some experience of caring for newborns and wish to become maternity nurses.
Maternity nurses are usually nannies who are very experienced in baby care although some on Top Notch Nannies’ books are former nurses or midwives. They are responsible for all the baby’s needs including washing, clothing and comforting the baby and supporting the mother with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, depending on which she chooses. ”Increasingly we’re finding that clients want informal, flexible maternity nurses who will muck in with the family and be more of a support than the traditional ‘tyrant’” says Jean Birtles. ”It is our company policy only to have maternity nurses who are loving, supportive and flexible and that is the kind of person we aim to train in September.”
- Maternity nurses cost between £500-800 per week depending on their experience and the number of babies to be cared for.
- Maternity nurses can be hired through Top Notch Nannies by contacting Jean Birtles on 020 7244 6053.