Set out below are a selection of the most frequently asked questions. We think we’ve covered everything, however, if there’s a question you feel we haven’t answered here, we would be delighted to consider adding it to our already long list below.
Many clients contact us at 6–8 weeks’ gestation, while others wait until 12 weeks, when the pregnancy has progressed further and they know whether they are expecting a single baby, twins or triplets.
We would always encourage you to register early to ensure a good selection of Maternity Nurses. Do also consider that if your baby is due in November or December and your anticipated booking covers any part of the Christmas period, it is best to book early to avoid disappointment as there are always fewer maternity nurses working at this time.
At the early stages of your pregnancy you may be unsure how long you wish to book for, however, during the course of your conversations with your Maternally Yours consultant and prospective Maternity Nurses, this will become clear based on your lifestyle and expectations.
Your Maternity Nurse will guide you on this but if this is for your first baby, we would suggest 5–7 days from your due date.
You can of course book a date that you feel comfortable with and our suggestion is only a guideline. Most Maternity Nurses are flexible and happy to bring the booking forward by a few days or a week subject to availability.
This depends entirely on your lifestyle and expectations. We appreciate that it is difficult to anticipate how long will suit you, especially if you are a first time mother, but we recommend 6-12 weeks if you can. The absolute minimum is two weeks as this will get you through the most intense period upon discharge from hospital.
Some clients choose to book a Maternity Nurse for 16 weeks then employ a nanny to take over. If this is your plan and it is your first baby, it is important that the nanny has young baby experience. Our sister agency, Imperial Nannies, can assist you with the nanny hiring process.
You may also consider booking a Maternity Nurse who lives in 24/6 for the first 4 weeks, then changes to a ‘nights only’ booking thus enabling you to care for your baby during the day.
Set out below is a general guide to a full-term baby’s development. For ease, we refer to baby in the masculine context below.
If your booked Maternity Nurse isn’t working in another booking, she will be happy to join you earlier than booked. If however, she is working, we will find you a suitable ‘at short notice’ Maternity Nurse to cover this short period until she can start. When faced with an urgent request, we pull out all stops to find a suitable Maternity Nurse and wish to assure all mothers that we always find a workable solution.
We would recommend you discuss your due date with your Maternity Nurse and the start date options. Some clients are happy to book from their due date and pay 50% of the Maternity Nurses fees while she is ‘in waiting’. If you have planned an elective C-Section, you will have a pretty good idea of your arriving home date.
Maternity Nurses will respect and support every mother’s feeding plans. She will encourage you by showing you the correct feeding positions for your baby and how to get your baby to ‘latch on’. Some mothers take to breastfeeding very easily while others find the first few days challenging and uncomfortable. Your Maternity Nurse will support you, ensure you are eating, resting and drinking sufficient fluids to produce milk and recover from the birth.
Please note if you are planning to breastfeed you should discuss with your Maternity Nurse the possibility of giving your baby expressed milk during the night for one or two feeds. However, if you wish to feed your baby throughout the night, she can bring baby to you at the appointed hour to be fed and will settle him which will allow you to go straight back to sleep.
Those mothers who plan to breastfeed, but for one reason or another change to mixed or formula feeding, will also be supported by their maternity nurse who can also recommend their preferred formula. This is the mother’s personal choice and will always be respected.
There are two fees to pay:
- The weekly booking fee that we charge upon confirmation of the booking
- The maternity nurse’s fee, paid to her on a weekly basis
You will be pleased to learn we do not charge a registration fee to start the selection process and only charge our agency fee once the booking has been confirmed by both you and your maternity nurse (please see our Terms and Conditions of Business. Once paid, we will advise the maternity nurse of your commitment and the relevant dates in her diary will allocated to your family. Your maternity nurse will charge her weekly fee and may request a deposit, which will be offset against her final booked week. In general, maternity nurses are paid one week in arrears, either by bank transfer or by cheque.
No. Your maternity nurse will be self-employed and responsible for her own tax and National Insurance contributions. You will pay her a gross rate and reimburse any expenses that you have agreed.
For a short booking a live-in maternity nurse will be happy to sleep in the baby’s nursery on a put-up bed or sofa bed. For longer bookings, howeverm, a separate bedroom and bath/shower room is preferable. Maternity Nurses are never expected to sleep on a mattress. The client will be required to provide full board whether she prepares her own meals or not.
If she works days only, lunch and beverages are required. If she works nights only, a bed will be required as she will sleep when she can. Please discuss this at interview.
We ask clients to reimburse reasonable travel expenses to interview at the beginning and at the end of the booking. Where possible, tickets for travel should be booked in advance to reduce cost.
All maternity nurses are self-employed and therefore contract their services to the client as opposed to being employed and the client issuing their own contract of employment. It is sensible that they provide a contract so that both parties are committed to the booking.
The Selection Process
I’m planning a natural birth but what how does it work if I have a C-section and can’t drive for 6 weeks?
Whether your C-Section is elective and planned in advance or is an emergency, you will take longer to recover than mothers who give birth naturally. You will probably be discharged from hospital on the fifth day post-partum and you will need to take it easy with lots of rest. You will be advised not to lift anything heavier than your baby and not legally allowed to drive for 6 weeks. Short walks are advised only while your abdominal area is healing and you won’t be very active initially. If you overdo things, your abdomen will feel very uncomfortable as though you have had a very strenuous core workout.
Some of our maternity nurses are happy to drive either their own car or the family’s car while others will not drive at all. If you would prefer a driver do discuss this with your consultant. In the event the maternity nurse drives the family car, please allow time to add her to your insurance policy.
If I want to go away with my husband for a short break, can I leave my baby with the maternity nurse?
This is family time not only for you but also the maternity nurse. Most of our ladies use this time to take a break, however, we do have some who will work during this time. They are in short supply though and best to book early to avoid disappointment. The rate of pay over the bank Holidays and indeed, other Bank Holidays throughout the year is 1½ times their normal 24 hour daily rate.
We are a high profile family and don’t want to reveal our identity when we register for fear of attracting candidates because of who we are.
Firstly, we would like to assure you that in the event you don’t wish us to disclose your name when discussing your position with potential candidates, we will withhold that information. Some clients are very open about their identity and others wish not to be. As the placing agency, it is important that we are informed, as the high profile client’s lifestyle will dictate the type of candidates we will select for your consideration.
The Maternity Nurse’s Approach
Our Maternity Nurses are baby specialists and will not:
- Cook for the entire family
- Hoover and clean the house
- Launder the family’s clothes or bedding
- Walk the dog unless she is walking your baby and is happy to include your dog!
- Take older siblings to school or be responsible for them
- And while not a duty, we would like to state she will not sleep on a mattress on the floor
We must stress that many duties will depend on the individual maternity nurse and also on how settled the baby is at night.
Remember Maternity Nurses are new born baby specialists and not housekeeper/cook/nannies. You cannot expect her to feed your baby through the night, take care of your baby’s needs and then do your housework. If you seek such a person we would suggest you research the doula option who can be described as all-rounders, although not the same calibre as a maternity nurse.
During The Booking
Your family and friends will be eager to see you at home if they don’t manage to visit you in hospital and, aside from your family, it is important you don’t feel under pressure to receive more visits than you are up to. In all the excitement you can forget you’ve just given birth and ignore your levels of fatigue. It is sensible to arrange your visits around your baby’s routine and not to overdo things so that milk production is plentiful and you continue to recover.
Your maternity nurse will expect all visitors to wash their hands, be in good health and not to be swathed in scent as your baby is vulnerable and sensitive at this time. Don’t let this worry you, she only has your interests and your baby’s health to heart.
Help! I didn’t book a maternity nurse and my baby is 2 weeks old and I’m soooo very exhausted from sleep deprivation!
Before you go, a quick recap…
We cannot stress how important it is to make early contact with the Maternity Nurses as their availability can change from day to day. The number one gripe from clients is that they can get quickly snapped up which means you have to start the selection process all over again.
Kindly note that you will be expected to pay your Maternity Nurse from the date she is booked. If she is ‘in-waiting’ she will charge 50% of her fee; once she starts the booking, her full fee will be payable. If you are not happy with this arrangement, we would suggest booking slightly later dates.
We charge a fee based on the number of weeks (or part thereof) booked (please see our Terms and Conditions of Business). We would advise you to carefully plan the length of time you wish the maternity nurse to stay with you.
And finally, if you do manage to find your ideal maternity nurse through different avenues, we would be most grateful if you could send us a quick email to cease our selection process.
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