A maternity nurse is someone who comes into your home and helps care for you and your newborn baby in the first few months after birth. They usually work twenty four hours a day covering the nightshift, and can help guide you in caring for your baby, or they can take sole charge in the care of your newborn, depending on your preference.
Marloe London talk to Louenna, a Norland Nanny and Maternity Nurse who has fourteen years of practical experience caring for children and babies all over the UK and Worldwide.
"As a qualified Maternity Nurse I take bookings of just a couple of days or up to six months for a longer post. I hope to make bringing your baby home a nice and relaxed experience where you can enjoy your baby and get to know him or her, whilst gaining confidence yourself in looking after them and taking away any angst you might have. I give tips on how to stimulate your baby and promote their development by using age and stage appropriate aids and activities, and I offer a Newborn Baby List to all my clients with the products that I recommend to make your life easier with a newborn."
There are many benefits to hiring a maternity nurse, but every family has different needs. For example, first time parents will often want to learn about physically caring for their baby from bathing, to top and tailing, getting them dressed and swaddling them at sleep times. Whereas parents who have older children and who are confident in caring for their baby will often want to spend time with the older siblings and have help in settling the new baby into the family without causing too much disruption or any jealousy issues.
It can be very daunting bringing home a newborn, they have lots of funny little traits - from grunting noises to bright yellow poos! A Maternity Nurse can tell you what is normal and offer you reassurance and a calming approach.
In the first few weeks when everyone is adjusting to a new addition it’s nice to have an extra pair of hands.
You can ask any questions, or discuss different childcare methods to best suit your family’s needs. Having a maternity nurse allows you peace of mind to rest and recover after birth and build up strength so that you feel able to cope when they leave - even just being able to have a bath in peace knowing that your baby is being looked after is a luxury!
A maternity nurse is someone you can talk to if you’re feeling overwhelmed by motherhood - it’s always good to talk. Just having someone to talk to during the night feeds can make the time go quicker and the mood a little brighter.
Not only does a maternity nurse bring a wealth of knowledge and experience on caring for your baby, and the best and most useful products available to buy, but they can often spot if something isn’t quite right as they know how a happy baby should be reacting. They might be able to spot the early signs of reflux or a lactose intolerance and can offer the best advice on how to deal with these problems and make your baby as comfortable and happy as possible.
If you are hiring a maternity nurse, Louenna's advice is that you make sure you discuss your expectations are so that you’re both on the same page and the maternity nurse is as helpful to your needs as possible. Do you want your baby to follow a routine, do you hope to breast or bottle feed, would you like the maternity nurse to help with older siblings? These are all important things that should be discussed before you make a booking as every maternity nurse works in different ways - some love to cook and help with general housework, others only want to focus on the baby for example. Being a maternity nurse and living in someone else’s house is a very personal job and so it’s important that you like being in each others company, so have a chat and make sure you feel at ease talking to each other.
"At Ladybird and Puffin we publish books for every kind of story-time. Here are a few of my top picks from our recent publishing, along with a few of my favourite classics to help with those back-to-school blues and inspire you to fire-up your imaginations and enjoy the magic of reading with children."
Alice Moss, Director of PR at Penguin Random House Children's.
Dinosaurs meet diggers in a debut picture book with rollicking rhyme and bold, beautiful illustrations
What's bigger than a digger? Bigger than a dinosaur? DIGGERSAURS are
bigger - see them build and hear them ROAR!
The DIGGERSAURS are busy building something - what could it be?
Children will fall in love with these huge, colourful, lovable beasts as this wonderfully read-aloud rhyming story unfolds. And there are lots of funny details to spot along the way...
A celebration of childhood ‘helpfulness’ by acclaimed author and illustrator Sophy Henn
Hello! My name is Edie. I am EVER so helpful.
In fact I think helping is one of the things I am best at.
Edie certainly is a very good helper, whether it's helping Mummy wake up bright and early, helping Daddy to get everything at the shops or helping her little brother with sharing and knowing what's what.
Sophy Henn's Edie is a stunning and stylish picture book that will be instantly familiar to parents and small children.
Inspired by ESA astronaut Tim Peake and his sons, and featuring an introduction from Tim, this is the perfect bedtime book!
Two space-mad little boys get ready for bed and say goodnight to their toy rockets, launch pads and planet mobiles, before being whisked away into space on an adventure beyond their wildest dreams . . .
A brand new hilarious picture-book from the incredibly mind of author and illustrator Ed Vere.
Grumpy Frog is not grumpy. He loves green, and he loves to hop, and he loves winning. But what happens when Grumpy Frog doesn't win, or encounters - horror of horrors - a Pink Rabbit?
Join Grumpy Frog as he learns about compromise and tolerance, friendship and the power of saying sorry.
A hilarious book with a twist in the tail about getting - and getting rid of – the grumps from New York Times best-selling author, Ed Vere.
PEPPA GOES TO LONDON
Perfect for Peppa fans visiting London, Peppa and George are going on a very special day out to London!
Miss Rabbit's friend, the Queen, borrows a double decker bus and takes Peppa and all her friends on a fun tour of the city's sights in this picture book story based on the exciting new episode.
THE GIANT JUMPEREE
A new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.
Rabbit was hopping home one day when he heard a loud voice coming from inside his burrow.
When Rabbit's friends Cat, Bear and Elephant come to help they are each scared away in turn by the mysterious voice.
He can squash you like a flea
He will sting you like a bee
And he's taller than a tree!
But who is the Giant Jumperee?
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR
The classic edition of the bestselling story written for the very young, where a newly hatched caterpillar eats his way through all kinds of food. A family favourite with parents and children alike.
In Spot's first adventure children can join in the search for the mischievous puppy by lifting the flaps on every page to see where he is hiding. Spot is the world’s most loveable puppy, and a No.1 bestseller since it was first published in 1980. This interactive favourite has stayed in the charts ever since.
For your chance to win all of these books and a Marloe scarf blanket, follow us on instagram @marloe_london, like the giveaway image and tag a friend.
Night Nannies was founded by former TV journalist, Anastasia Baker in 1999. She has two children and carried on working at the BBC when her first child was born but found she struggled to hold down a demanding job alongside motherhood when her second child arrived. Anastasia saw a gap in the market for mums with newborns, who craved two or three nights a week of uninterrupted sleep. Here she shares with Marloe Musings her top tips to try and get your baby to sleep through the night.
Many people assume if your baby is up all day, he will sleep all night – this is not always the case. The baby is usually so over tired and over stimulated, that they have difficulty settling at night. A baby with structured and regular sleeps in the day tends to be more content and therefore usually sleeps better at night too.
- Try not let a baby sleep beyond 4pm otherwise they will not go down well at bedtime (7pm)
- Ideally try to get the baby into a routine at night as soon as possible. For instance, from about 6pm you could massage your baby then give him/her a bath and then breastfeed or bottle of milk in a darkened room and then bed. This acts as an unwinding process and the baby will know that it is time for bed.
- The last feed before bed is vital if your baby is going to sleep longer at night. Often after taking part of the feed they fall asleep. Try not just give up and put them to bed, because in an hour or so they will probably wake up again for more. Encourage them to finish the feed by waking them. You could change their nappy, tickle them wind them or cool them down. But keep going!
- The minute your baby cries it is tempting to rush over to the cot and pick them up. Try not to, wait a few moments and see if they will settle themselves back to sleep. If they don’t then try patting them in their cot and if you cannot settle then pick up and comfort them but then put them back in the cot and leave the room and see if they will settle. If your baby doesn’t then try leaving them to cry a little longer ie 5 or 6 minutes and then go back in and repeat the process.
- Try and put your baby down in his cot AWAKE, so they get used to going to sleep on his own. Don’t get into the habit of rocking your baby to sleep – you may be there for hours!
- If you are still feeding in the night, do not go into the room and turn on the lights and TV. It is night time and your baby needs to understand this – so keep things quiet. Especially important if you have a maternity nurse, don’t get chatting to them while feeding!
- Invest in some black out blinds, useful for keeping early morning rays out.
- Do not expect your baby to sleep through the nights until they are on solids at around 6 months.
Whatever action you take do stick to it for at least 2-3 weeks. It is no good for a couple of days as this is not long enough to get rid of bad habits.
Vanessa, a talented artist and experienced portrait painter, lives and works in London. She studied painting and sculpture at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence. She makes work from life on many subjects in different mediums from figurative portraits, nudes, landscapes to bronze sculptures and works on paper.
Vanessa in her studio in West London
Can you tell us a bit about your art...
I'm interested in painting how I see life - portraits mostly as I find them the most challenging. The variety in people is pretty endlessly fascinating.
Which artists have most inspired you? And, who do you consider to be the greatest portrait painters?
I can be inspired by many things ranging from the colours in a chocolate wrapper to a Velazquez! He is the tops in my hierarchy of portrait painting.
Velazquez, Infanta Margarita Teresa in Silver Dress, c. 1656
How is painting children different to painting adults?
I treat them all the same they watch peppa pig, get bribed with sweets and hung upside down by their ankles when they don't sit still.
What has been your favourite portrait you’ve painted and why?
"Molly Whuppie" which I like as it has a dark and strange folk tale behind it and because I nailed it with the brushstrokes.
What is the secret to a great portrait?
It's a bit of a mystery and some magic! I wish there was more of a formula.
Is a portrait dependent on the model being in front of you? How do you get a little wriggling child to hold the same position?
For children it's difficult, I do insist on having some life sitting time with them (even if its just in 3 minute bursts for a quick colour study whilst they watch cartoons on my laptop that I position at eye level!) as it's important for me to get to know them a little and get something of their character.
To discuss a commission and for further information on Vanessa's work, please visit vanessagarwood.com