What is maternity care?

What does the maternity nurse do?

  • assisting the midwife during a home birth
  • providing instruction, information and advice on care and safety of mother and child
  • medical screening of the mother – taking the pulse, taking temperature and measuringcervical dilation, checking lochia and perineum, breasts and legs
  • medical screening of the baby – measuring temperature and weight, checking breathing, skin colour, faeces, urine and navel
  • assisting the mother when breastfeeding and/or advising her on bottle feeding
  • assisting the mother when showering/washing
  • instructing the mother on the preparation for and practice of washing the child
  • providing instruction on clothing the child
  • cleaning and making up the cradle bedding
  • regular cleaning and making up the mother’s bed, provided it’s placed on risers
  • monitoring, signaling and reporting problems should they occur
  • keeping the care plan up to date
  • transferring care and reporting to midwife and JGZ (Youth Healthcare Services)
  • daily cleaning of the toilet and shower used by mother
  • daily evaluation together with mother

Depending on the number of hours the maternity nurse is with you, she can also carry out the following tasks:

Doing simple domestic work, such as:

  • vacuum cleaning
  • filling and emptying the washing machine
  • filling and emptying the dryer
  • hanging clothes on the line
  • ironing
  • preparing breakfast, lunch or a fruit cup
  • preparing for evening dinner
  • caring for other family members
  • doing simple errands

The maternity nurse will carry out basic domestic tasks, but providing care for the mother and her newborn child is always her main concern. This means there may less time available for domestic work. She is entitled to a 30 minute coffee or lunch break when engaged in domestic tasks. When there is doubt about the wellbeing of the mother or the child, the maternity nurse will contact the obstetrician or general practitioner immediately.

There are limits to what the maternity nurse can do for you, or is allowed to. She may not be expected, for example, to do maintenance in arrears, stay in your house alone, do your shopping using your bank card or drop other children off at school by car. She will not make the bed unless it is at regulation height, i.e. between 70 and 90 centimeters off the ground.

Maternity Care Record

During the intake meeting, one of the things we will give you is the maternity care record. The maternity nurse will use it to write down the progress of both mother and child. It also contains useful information on subjects you will be faced with before, during and after delivery. It will prove to be a convenient and satisfying record of a very special time in your life.