Your Lifestyle and Expectations
We appreciate that it can be difficult to anticipate how long will suit you, especially if you are a first time parent, but if you are planning to establish a firm routine, we would recommend booking 6-12 weeks. Our minimum booking fee is 2 weeks and this will support you through the most intense period upon discharge from hospital.
During your telephone consultation, we will discuss the best options available to you. Most clients book solely live-in or live-out, however, others have booked a combination of the two. For example, the initial two weeks may be live-in six days a week whilst the remaining 6 weeks could be nights-only.
The guide <here> will outline some of the duties your Maternity Nurse will carry out and the information provided below will give you a general guide to how the needs of you and your baby may change as the weeks progress.
Weeks 1 – 2
Many parents find the first two weeks a massive adjustment and so this period is all about helping new parents to find their own feet.
At this early stage, your baby will mostly sleep, feed and poop and so you will be taught how to feed, wind, change, swaddle, bathe baby and care for the umbilical cord; lessons that are crucial for the everyday care of the newborn baby.
Many mothers can often forget about their own well being, so as well as caring for the new baby, Maternity Nurses also ensure that new mothers get plenty of rest and that they are eating nourishing meals to promote a speedy recovery from childbirth.
For breastfeeding mothers, your Maternity Nurse will make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to produce a good supply of milk and help you to establish the right feeding position for baby to ‘latch on’. They will then settle baby allowing you to get as much rest as possible.
For those who prefer to bottle-feed or express, your Maternity Nurse will teach you all you need to know about trouble-free feeding, how to ensure that baby is comfortable, how to use, sterilise and care for equipment, as well as advise on the correct teat size to ensure baby doesn’t gulp air at the beginning or end of feeds. This method will also allow her to exclusively take care of nights if you wish her to so that you can get a good uninterrupted night’s sleep.
The first two weeks tend to pass in a blur, and many who book a Maternity Nurse for the minimum 2 weeks often wish they’d booked theirs for 4-6 weeks instead. Whilst an extension is sometimes possible, this is subject to the Maternity Nurse’s diary, so do keep this in mind.
Weeks 2 – 4
If breastfeeding, your milk supply should now be established and, depending on baby’s weight, you will be encouraged to feed your baby every three hours. Your baby will be going through growth spurts and will be hungrier than before, so the feeding routine will need to be adjusted accordingly.
This can be a challenging time for both mother and baby, and having a professional Maternity Nurse to care for you night and day makes this stage far easier to manage.
Thankfully these growth spurts tend to last no longer than 48 hours, after which your baby will be happy and settled once again.
At four weeks some babies can develop milk spots (also known as baby acne), and this is also the time when reflux, either acid or silent, can develop.
Weeks 4 – 6
At this stage, your baby is likely to be feeding every three hours and will still be waking in this pattern through the night. You may wish to introduce a ‘dream feed’ at 11pm or your baby can be left to wake up according to its own rhythm during the night.
Whatever your preference, your Maternity Nurse will be on hand to feed and settle baby after each feed – usually eight times a day at this stage – allowing you to rest as much as possible and avoid the exhaustion that can often set in at this stage if professional help were not on hand.
Your baby may start to smile at this stage, and should be happy to spend time alone on a playmat. The introduction of tummy time (laying baby on their tummy) will encourage the strengthening of neck and back muscles. Some babies will be tracking with their eyes, smiling at parents and interested in brightly coloured objects.
Weeks 6 – 8
Your Maternity Nurse is likely to recommend the gradual introduction of a four hourly feeding pattern. Winding will be easier, and your baby will be learning to wind himself as he is gently brought upright during feeding time. The night feeds will likely drop down to one as your baby will have fed well throughout the day. Whilst having a Maternity Nurse on hand, you will have the freedom to resume existing routines like getting back to work, looking after older children and running errands, as you will feel well rested from the ample opportunity to rest that having a Maternity Nurse provides you with.
Your baby is likely to start smiling at you at this stage, and will be happy to lie in the pram/moses basket for longer periods of time looking at toys or an overhead mobile. Tummy time will be increased gradually.
Some mothers describe this as the period where they begin to feel more like themselves again.
Weeks 8 – 10
Baby is likely to be settling into a four-hourly feeding routine. Each feed taking anywhere between 40 minutes and an hour and a half, six times a day meaning that another pair of hands will be a huge relief. Your Maternity Nurse is likely to have structured the day so that your baby has a 90-minute sleep in the morning after the first feed, a two or three-hour sleep at lunchtime and a short nap in the afternoon before bath and bedtime. A small feed will be offered when your baby wakes up during the night. Your Maternity Nurse will continue to assist you according to your method of feeding, and will settle your baby when night waking occurs, caring for your baby and freeing up your time.
During waking times your baby will get plenty of stimulation through spending time on their baby play gym, gazing at mobiles, games with their Maternity Nurse, as well as through all the attention they receive from family and friends. Your Maternity Nurse will continue to assist with all the duties outlined <here>.
First immunisations are given at eight weeks and can lead to baby feeling a little unsettled however your Maternity Nurse will guide you through this period, making it as stress-free as possible.
Weeks 10 – 12
Your baby will be on what is now a firmly established four hourly feeding pattern, comprising six feeds per 24-hour period, with each one lasting up to an hour, or thereabouts. The morning sleep will be reduced to one hour, a longer sleep will be taken after lunch and a short nap before his bath/bedtime. Some, but not all babies will be sleeping through the night from 10/11pm until 7/8am by this stage.
To ensure they keep to their schedule, babies will need to be engaged and played with during their waking times to ensure they don’t drift off. Your baby will enjoy being read to, spending time under the baby play gym with toys suspended above, as well as listening to songs and music for stimulation.
If you wish to employ a nanny after your Maternity Nurse completes her booking, our sister agency, Imperial Nannies and Governesses can assist you.
Please click here or call 0207 795 6220 and ask to speak to one of our expert Consultants.
We would recommend your baby is at least 12 weeks old before employing a nanny in order to ensure that your baby receives the appropriate care and attention. Before 12 weeks, we recommend engaging a Maternity Nurse.
Our Maternity Nurses are also experienced in caring for pre-term babies (those born at less than 38 weeks’ gestation) and will work with baby’s ‘adjusted’ age. She will calculate this based on the due date and his gestational age in order to accurately set up the most suitable routine for baby to thrive. The ‘adjusted’ age also helps accurately assess expected developmental abilities to give them time to catch up.
Please click here to request a call back during office hours, fill in this form, or call us on 0207 795 6299.
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