Last updated: July 15, 2015

A day in the life of… a Maternity Nurse

Diane Pawsey
Written by: Diane Pawsey


Diane Hemming is a Maternity Nurse. It's a full on job - literally 24 hours a day. But what is it she actually does? Diane takes us through a typical day supporting a family with their newborn baby.

Over to Diane…

Some parents feel a little anxious about bringing their newborn home, especially if it’s their first. One of the services I offer is a Welcome Home Package, supporting and guiding parents through the first few days after their baby arrives. My current role is with a family In Grange Park, Northampton. I am staying with Mandy & Iain for 3 days then going back to do 3 nights a week for 6 weeks. Yesterday I received a call to tell me Mandy had given birth to a healthy baby girl at 8.35am weighing 7lbs 5oz.

Baby in a Moses basket
Photo by Eric Froehling on Unsplash


I go to meet Mandy, Iain and baby Isabel at the maternity ward. Isabel has been feeding well - Mandy is breastfeeding. Isabel is very content and is fast asleep on dad’s chest - such a lovely picture! We spend some time talking about the birth and some concerns they have.


We head home! Iain and I bring the Moses basket downstairs and I settle Isabel down for a nap. After making tea for all I go upstairs and unpack everyone’s bags.


Isabel wakes. I change her nappy and hand her to Mandy. Isabel has been favouring one side to feed on so I teach her a feeding position that will help Isabel feed happily on both sides. Within 10 minutes Isabel is latched on nicely, feeding well. We talk about Isabel’s routine and if mum wants to follow one - this is the parents’ decision. I advise on how to establish sleep associations and explain sleep cycles.


Isabel wakes - she’s very happy. Mum wants to give her a little wash and change her for bed. I show her how to top and tail baby and how to clean near her eyes. At 9pm Mandy starts feeding Isabel is very sleepy so I share some tips how to keep her awake.


I take Isabel and settle her to sleep in her Moses basket in my room. I switch on some white noise to help. Lights out at 10.10pm.


Isabel wakes and is wriggling around a bit. I gently rub her tummy and she soon settles back down.


Isabel is awake and ready for her feed. I take her to Mandy. After 45 minutes Mandy settles back down to sleep and I take Isabel into my room and wind her. She falls asleep very quickly.


Isabel starts crying. She is showing signs of wind, drawing up her legs. I pick her up and wind her in different positions until she gives me a couple of big burps. I place her back into her basket and she falls asleep.


Isabel is showing signs of hunger by putting her fist in her mouth and licking her lips. I take her straight to Mum to feed. Mum is hungry too so I make her some toast and make sure she has plenty of water to hand. Mandy hands Isabel to me 50 minutes later and we’re back to sleep by 5am.


I wake up and Isabel is fast asleep. I take the time to re-write my notes that I jotted down during the night. Mandy comes in and we talk about the night. Mandy can't resist and picks up Isabel for a snuggle, and who can blame her? She’s absolutely adorable.

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