Updated at: 31-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What does a maternity nurse do? New parents frequently inquire about this. A maternity nurse, on the other hand, is defined in this article. Onwards!

Pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care are all handled by maternity nurses. They boost parents’ mental well-being by assisting them with personal care and housework as needed.

In some places, maternity nurses are also referred to as postpartum doulas. In Greek, the term “postnatal doula” means “women’s servant.”

New mothers can rely on them for help with everyday duties like feeding or bathing their baby, as well as emotional support, information on breastfeeding concerns, and the ability to interact with their partner so that it appears that everything is being taken care of in one spot.

Rather of replacing the partner’s duty, this service aims to make their work easier and allow parents to take care of everything together.

What Does a Maternity Nurse Do?

A maternity nurse is a licensed practical or vocational nurse who specializes in the prenatal, labor, and postpartum care of expectant women. Most maternity nurses will focus on supporting women during the labor and delivery process – working alongside the patient to monitor both mother and baby, as well as to encourage, coach, educate, and support the patient and her family members.. Others may give prenatal or postpartum care for women who are facing difficulties during or following childbirth. When it comes to the health and well-being of newborns, maternity nurses play an important role.

11 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Maternity Nurse

Maternity nurses have honed their skills through years of experience in the field. When the mother is in labor, they monitor her blood pressure, the heartbeat of the fetus, her contraction patterns, and other vital signs. On the basis of their findings, they create and carry out personalized treatment plans for their patients, coordinating their efforts with other healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses as well as midwives and anesthesiologists when necessary. When it is legal, nurses can give patients a wide range of drugs, including those intended to help with birth induction or pain management.

Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives are just a few of the nursing specialties that might be involved in the delivery of maternity care (CNMs). Most obstetricians supervise labor and delivery care team members, including midwives and gynecologists. If you have a high level of training (like that of the nurse midwife), you can make choices and prescribe drugs and even deliver babies on your own, as well as be the primary caregiver in home births.

Maternity nursing is a high-energy field that necessitates a lot of one-on-one time with patients. Every day, these nurses are proud to bring new life into the world. Because of their dedication, they are able to assist families overcome their fears and anxieties, allowing them to fully enjoy this unique moment.

Workplace Details

Maternity nurses can be found in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, doctors’ offices, outpatient clinics, and patients’ homes, where they provide reproductive health services. Nurse practitioners and nurse midwives can run their own practices in states where this is authorized by law.

Maternity nurses operate in a variety of settings and perform a variety of tasks, depending on their degree of qualification and training.

  • Assisting with procedures, monitoring vital signs, and performing administrative duties are some of the responsibilities of LPNs in labor and delivery settings
  • In labor and delivery units, operating rooms, and nurseries, RNs play a crucial role in coordinating and providing patient care.
  • There are various outpatient venues where advanced practice nurses (NPs, CNSs, and CNMs) can be found, from community health centers to obstetric medical clinics to private practices. Many of them also hold positions in government, education, or research.

Hospital maternity nurses generally work long shifts that include weekends, holidays, and nights. As a result, they spend some of their time “on call,” which means they can be summoned to work on short notice.

Maternity nurse skills

If you want to be a competent maternity nurse, you should work on or improve on the following abilities:

Critical thinking

If there are issues during labor or delivery, the maternity nurse will often make decisions that have an impact on both the baby and the mother, including whether the mother and child are ready to be discharged from the hospital. It’s crucial that these nurses have the ability to think critically so that they can make judgments that are in the best interests of their patients. These skills can also help them notice and respond to any changes in the mental or physical health of moms and infants.


Maternity nurses must be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families on a regular basis. A skilled listener and the ability to accurately convey information regarding procedures are essential. A maternity nurse’s ability to effectively convey information to an expectant woman or a new mother might be helpful in creating a birth plan or teaching new mothers about topics like breastfeeding and postpartum care.

When it comes to providing high-quality care to expectant mothers, maternity nurses collaborate closely with the rest of the medical team. For example, they could have to exchange facts of their shift with their coworkers or a doctor about a patient’s condition, or they might work with the food service staff to provide a nutritious dinner for new mothers.


A person’s ability to bounce back from adversity and carry on with their work is an indication of their level of resilience. Perseverance and constancy are two characteristics of someone who is resilient. In stressful conditions, it is possible for a maternity nurse to stay positive and helpful. Pregnant women may also benefit from the encouragement of maternity nurses with high levels of resilience.

Interpersonal skills

Compassion, understanding, and patience are just a few of the interpersonal abilities a maternity nurse should have. It’s possible that having these features will make women more relaxed and better able to concentrate on giving birth. Family members are more likely to trust a maternity nurse with interpersonal skills if they know they can openly discuss the birthing experience with them and ask questions.

How to become a maternity nurse

Because maternity nurses are a specific type of nurse, they must meet certain requirements. Learn how to become a maternity nurse by following the steps outlined below:

1. Earn a high school diploma or GED

Getting your GED or obtaining your high school diploma is an important first step in pursuing a career as a maternity nurse. Take classes in anatomy and physiology, biology, ethics, psychology, and sociology if you’re interested in a career in nursing or child care. As your education and profession progress, you’ll be able to draw on the knowledge you gain from these courses.

2. Enroll in a nursing school

It is necessary to complete a nursing program in order to work as a nurse. If you wish to be a maternity nurse, you can choose from a variety of various programs offered by colleges and universities. To become a registered nurse, for example, you can acquire an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, or you can pursue a master’s degree to become an APRN or nurse-midwife. An authorized LPN curriculum will allow you to become a licensed practical nurse and work in maternal care.

Depending on the type of job you want, you may wish to change your career route after high school. It’s not uncommon for a nurse practitioner to be able to give medication and help in deliveries, but it’s rare for a nurse-midwife to be allowed to deliver. LPNs help with medicine administration and basic hygienic activities for new mothers.

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3. Pass your nursing exam and become licensed

All nurses must pass an exam and apply for a license, regardless of their specialty. Each type of nursing has its own exam and license requirements. For example, passing the NCLEX-PN test is required to become an LPN, whereas passing the NCLEX-RN exam is required to become an RN. To become an APRN, a nurse-midwife must take an exam that tests their knowledge of advanced nursing theories, while a nurse must take an exam that tests their knowledge of midwifery and nursing practice.

Your state’s nursing board can issue you a license once you complete the board exam for your nursing career path with a passing score. A background check and fingerprinting are normally required as part of this procedure.

4. Pursue additional specializations

Additional certifications and specialities might help you stand out from the competition when applying for a job, even if they aren’t required by all employers. Consider being certified in areas such as electronic fetal monitoring, neonatal care, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric transport, and nursing the mother and her newborn.

5. Gain experience

Consider doing an internship or a residency in a hospital or other facility that specializes in maternal nursing to gain relevant experience. During your education, you’ll certainly gain some clinical practice, but a residency can provide you additional hands-on work in a hospital’s maternity unit. It is possible to gain theoretical and practical nursing skills during these programs, and many facilities appoint mentors so that you can benefit from the direction of people who have achieved success in their nursing careers.

Additionally, you can volunteer in a hospital or birth center and take a tour of other facilities in order to enhance your knowledge and skills. This can be useful because maternity wards are diverse and may necessitate the employment of certain skills and methods. You may be able to learn more about the employment process from hospital workers and hiring supervisors at various sites.

What does a maternity nurse do?

The following are some of the duties of a maternity nurse:

  • assisting medical professionals in the delivery of infants
  • Blood pressure and pulse readings are taken from moms and newborns.
  • the provision of gynecological care and reproductive healthcare to expectant mothers
  • Making sure that a facility’s nursery is set up in a way that makes it easy for new parents and their children to feel at ease.
  • Preparing and administering postpartum drugs and assisting with everyday tasks for new mothers.
  • Teaching new parents how to properly care for their newborns
  • Educating a mother or father on the right ways to nurse their child
  • Creating routines that both the mother and the infant can benefit from.
  • Consultation with physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, doulas, and other medical professionals to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
  • Keeping track of a pregnant patient’s progress

Career outlook and salary for maternity nurses

Between 2019 and 2029, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 45 percent growth in maternity nurse employment possibilities. Most other professions have a far slower growth rate.

Maternity nurses in the United States get an annual salary of $69,225 on average. Experience, education, and geographic area all play a role in determining your income. Other factors to consider include the facility where you work and the hours you work.

Is a Maternity Nurse qualified?

Some Maternity Nurses have been working in the field for many years, even before the introduction of current certifications. Accredited training providers are now offering credentials up to level three. Postnatal caregivers or maternity practitioners are now more common job titles for those who used to be known as Maternity Nurses. A more experienced Maternity Nurse may be a better fit for the position than someone who is just graduating from the program and earning their license. If you’re on a tight budget, try hiring a trainee maternity nurse, who may be able to provide basic help at a lower rate than the normal charge of £100 to £150 per day.

What do I need to provide for a Maternity Nurse?

A room (typically shared with the baby) and the use of a restroom should be provided in addition to the respite mentioned above. It would be ideal if she had an en-suite bathroom so she could sleep without disturbing her parents. The Maternity Nurse should also have a private area where she can relax while she isn’t working. Additionally, food will be given.

What makes a good Maternity Nurse?

A solid foundation is built on a combination of education and work experience. Word of mouth or a string of outstanding references, on the other hand, can never be replaced. Personality matters a lot when it comes to choose a Maternity Nurse. Remember that many Maternity Nurses are booked months in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute to begin your search. Make a list of the most important characteristics you’re looking for in a candidate. Write down a list of questions to ask the prospective Maternity Nurse and find out what she will and won’t do during the interview. You’ll soon be able to see who is most suited for the job.

When it comes to feeding and diapering, you may prefer a more regimented approach, or you may prefer someone who isn’t going to force you into doing things their way or no way at all. It’s crucial to get along with your Maternity Nurse since you’ll spend a lot of time together during a very special time in the lives of both the mother and the baby.

Even while a Maternity Nurse will perform all of the typical “nursery tasks,” you should not count on her to look after your other children. Taking care of the infant, establishing healthy routines, and ensuring that both mother and baby are taken care of in the first few weeks after birth are her key duties. After the birth of your new baby, the Maternity Nurse will likely come into contact with your older children and can offer guidance on how to handle difficulties like toddler jealousy following the birth.

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How do I find a good Maternity Nurse?

As a result of advances in technology, parents are now able to choose from a greater range of childcare options. Childcare.co.uk provides parents with the ability to advertise for, search for, and pick the appropriate applicant for the position.