There are a number of things you should think about before you start the interviewing process. This will make hiring the right candidate simpler and easier as well as allow you to be clear in your mind about what will work and wont work for you.
In this first blog I will give you some ideas of what to consider, which questions to ask and identify what you are looking for a good fit between you and your maternity nurse.
It is a good idea to sit down with your partner and have a good think about such things as:
Are you going to breastfeed? Our team of maternity nurses are trained by Geraldine Miskin and they can offer invaluable support to get you on the right track from the offset with regards to breastfeeding. We also ensure our team are trained to support you should you want to bottle feed too and again can teach such things as paced bottle feeding.
Are you wanting routine established? Do you have older children who already have an established routine which means that your baby’s schedule will need a slight element of predictability? Are you going back to work fairly quickly? Most babies will fall into their own pattern over the first several weeks but our team of maternity nurses will be able to guide and advise which sort of routine would work best for you and your baby.
How long do you need someone for? You may not have family near to you (mine live in NZ) so I for one found continual support for several weeks invaluable. Or you may just want a week or two to catch up on sleep and allow yourself time the best chance to recover fully. This is often a grey spot and I am always on hand to discuss all your options and come up with a suitable plan tailored to your requirements.
Do you need someone for nights, 24 hour cover or days only. Or you may want a combination of all three. This is something we also accommodate and can look at putting together packages to suit your needs. When thinking about what type of support you need, it’s helpful to firstly consider your living arrangements and what accommodation you can offer. You will need a bed and room for your maternity nurse should you require 24 hour or night cover. Secondly think about what other support you already have during the day or night. You may have your mother, MIL, nanny or friend on hand to help and may only need additional support to fill in the blank spaces.
When do you require someone to start? This is probably one of the most confusing questions for our clients as babies are well known for being unsuitably unpredictable in their timings. I always advise clients to book roughly one week after your due date and if the maternity nurse can come in sooner, should your wee one grace you with their presence earlier than expected, then they most certainly will ensure they do.
If for whatever reason your baby arrives later than the date you have your maternity nurse booked for you, will have to pay a retainer equaling 50% of their weekly salary – hence why most people prefer to book later rather than earlier. However that is not to say you cannot book from week 37 and have that comfort knowing that you have support on call, right from when you reach full term.
What type of person do you feel would fit into your family well? Again when I ask clients this question I get them to think about help they may have had in the past or what people they naturally are drawn to. We do pride ourselves in having a team which will work to consistent standards but all naturally differ in personality and approach to a degree, so any information such as this really helps in matching you with a maternity nurse.
If you have had a maternity nurse before, think about what worked and what did not in that particular case. As your brood expands your needs and what you may require from a maternity will differ, so it does help to draw on previous experiences.
First time round, most mothers ask me for someone who can teach, guide and coach them, as their knowledge of newborns is understandably limited.
Second time around it can be more of a refresher course or even someone who can help with both siblings, provide extra support, a spare pair of hands and some good old fashioned reassurance.
I also suggest to clients to speak with friends who have had maternity nurses and draw on their experiences too.
Tune in next time when we will start to look at interview questions to think about. In the meantime should you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.