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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Helping Hands with Twins & Triplets - Role of Maternity Nurse. Doula & Nanny
Helping Hands with Twins & Triplets - Role of Maternity Nurse. Doula & Nanny
When you are expecting twins. triplets or any multiple birth. having an extra helping hand is always a good idea and even better if the person has experience and can help you adjust to your new life with lots of babies !

What is the difference between a Maternity Nurse. a Doula and a Nanny ? We give a brief outline of each of these roles and what you can expect when you employ these helping hands.

Having paid help is often seen as a luxury although in the case of multiples. this could be viewed as a necessity ! It's very important to get the right start for your babies in the first 3 weeks and families with premature babies. twins. triplets. and quadruplets may need help for a longer period of time.

Maternity Nurse
A Maternity Nurse is an experienced newborn and infant specialist who will come into your home. providing the physical and emotional support in those first few weeks home. For twin pregnancy and multiple births. it would be advisable to get a Maternity Nurse that has experience with twins or triplets. Their role is to assist the entire family with the everyday care of their new twin babies (or triplets). She will work with you to establish the twins sleeping and feeding routines to fit your families" needs. Your Maternity Nurse is there to make sure everyone is getting the much needed rest they deserve and her goal is to leave the family with everyone transitioned into their new role as parents.

Some of the responsibilities include:
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Initiating a schedule for sleeping. meals. nap and play-time
  • Keeping a daily journal of babies' schedules. medications and development
  • Feeding babies (may include shopping for food and other baby related items)
  • Sterilizing. cleaning and preparing bottles
  • Bathing babies and keeping the bathroom tidy
  • Maintaining all supplies / restocking baby care items
  • Laundering babies' clothing and bedding. changing bed linen
  • Keeping the nursery and playroom tidy
  • Keeping age appropriate toys safe and in good working order
  • Running baby related errands as directed
  • Transporting babies to activities and appointments

What is a typical schedule for a Maternity Nurse?
A Maternity Nurse usually works full time. usually in 12 hour shifts. day or night or work 4-24 hour shifts. either 5 or 7 days a week. to help the family get the much needed rest that they deserve. Most families request they work overnight shifts so that the family can receive the rest that they deserve. The Maternity Nurse will work with you to set a schedule for the babies that will best fit your needs.

How long should I have a Maternity Nurse?
Having a Maternity Nurse is often seen as a luxury although in the case of twins or triplets. this could be viewed as a necessity ! To have the full effect of a Maternity Nurse. I recommend that you reserve them for a minimum of two weeks and up to 3 months and longer. depending on your needs. Families with premature babies. twins. triplets. and quadruplets tend to have Maternity Nurses for a longer period of time. You should talk with your Maternity Nurse about your needs and find out what you both feel will be the best situation. For multiple births there is a high chance that the babies may be born prematurely and you should take this into account when booking. You may want to book her in at week 39 as the babies will definitely have arrived but then if they come earlier than expected. you may not be able to have your Maternity Nurse as she may well be engaged on another job.

What do I need to provide for a Maternity Nurse?
To make for a happy and comfortable experience for your Maternity Nurse. you should accommodate the following: preferably a private bedroom. radio. TV. internet access and preferably a private bathroom. for 24 hour care. If that is not possible at least a bed. chair. table. lamp and space for her things either in the babies room or another space provided. You will also be expected to provide the food. and beverages. a car for any driving or running baby errands.

What is my Goal as your Maternity Nurse?
The focus of a Maternity Nurse is to reassure you as new parents and make your transition to parenthood relaxed and enjoyable. Nobody will ever parent your children as well as you will but they will make sure you get off to a good start.

Doula Services
A doula is a woman who has had at least one baby herself. who supports other women before. during birth or in the weeks immediately after the birth. She can be any age but she must be physically fit. kind. caring. supportive. wise and motherly. Doulas divide into birth doulas and post-birth doulas. Some doulas do both births and post-birth work and others only do one or the other.

Labour & Birth Doula (Antenatal)
Doulas will help you during your twins pregnancy and before you bring your new little ones home. They may help with shopping. baby product recommendations. organising and preparing the nursery. along with the rest of the house being organised. They will help you get that rest you need before birth and especially if you are on bed rest. they will help keep the children happy and the household running smoothly. A labour and birth doula is primarily a supportive labour companion giving encouragement and reassurance. as well as attending to practical needs.

What are some advantages of having a Labour & Birth Doula?
She can provide massage to back and legs. provide counter pressure to back pain. make suggestions which may assist you during labour. help maintain an environment which welcomes birth. remind you of your birth plan.
She will not replace your partner. unless you wish it. but will be a support to you both as a couple. She is not medically trained and will not replace or interfere with the midwife or doctor.
After the birth she will remain until you are comfortable with your newborn babies. She will usually help begin your breastfeeding partnership with your babies if that is your chosen feeding method. She will leave as soon as you are ready for some privacy.
She will visit you before the birth to discuss your birth plan and any other requirements you may have and will usually visit once after the birth.

Postnatal Doula ? (Post-Birth)
Postpartum Doulas change from day to day as the needs of the family changes. Postnatal Doulas do whatever a mother needs to best enjoy and care for her new baby. They share information about baby care with the mother as well as teach siblings and parents to mother the mother and they help with breastfeeding education. Postpartum Doulas make sure the mother is fed. well hydrated and comfortable.

What are some advantages of having a Postnatal Doula?
The new mother may feel anxious and overwhelmed. The skills you've learned in parenting classes. such as bathing and feeding may be forgotten. Caring for a new life is a tremendous responsibility and caring for twins. triplets or more can be daunting as well as incredibly challenging.
  • Providing gentle education and reassurance to help you gain confidence. Provide you with the opportunity to de-brief and talk about the birth itself and your emotions. and most especially some mothering for yourself.
  • Reducing your chance of maternal postpartum depression and/or a shorter duration for the mother to cope with Postpartum if and when it does occur.
  • Reducing maternal exhaustion. frustration. and apprehension during early weeks. Helping you to get rest so you can heal. providing you with nourishing food and drink and allowing you to relinquish the practical chores to someone else
  • Dad back to work sooner with less anxiety.
  • Greater understanding of a newborn's emotional. physical. and behavioural needs.
  • Easier bonding due to more confidence.
  • Some of the responsibilities include but not limited to:
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Bottle preparation
  • Nappy changing
  • Bathing and Dressing
  • Meal Preparation
  • Household help or occasional errands
  • Help with older siblings
  • Educate the family

What is a Normal Postnatal Doula schedule?
Depending on what your looking for. postpartum doulas usually work in 4 to 12 hour shifts...whether you want daytime or night-time care...or just a few hours a week to help out. Extended overnight services are most beneficial for families with multiplies. a newborn experiencing reflux. or a premature infant.

Temporary Nanny
What is a Temporary Nanny?
A Temporary Nanny will provide you with excellent. high quality childcare for all ages for a period of time ranging from a weekend to a few weeks or more. A Temporary Nanny can also take care of your children when you"re on holiday or may travel with you and your children on holidays.

Some of the responsibilities of a Temporary Nanny may include:
  • Daily or nightly care of children
  • Plan and cook nutritious meals
  • Feeding and cleaning up
  • Bathing. dressing and changing
  • Laundering children's clothing and linens
  • Age appropriate activities
  • Oversee homework and chores
  • Loading and unloading of dishwasher
  • Providing parents with an extra hand
  • Running children to activities
  • and most of all Provide a safe. loving. and structured environment

When do I use a Temporary Nanny?
Are you looking to have some "alone" time for a long weekend trip?
Do you want to take the children along on holiday but need some time to yourself?
Is your husband going away and you need some extra help with the children or do you need to go away for a short trip or an extended business trip without your children?
Are some upcoming weekends crazy at your house and need some weekend help?

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