Since you’ve been pregnant, your friends, your mother, grandmothers and aunties have probably all been saying it: you’ll need a maternity nurse. Why does maternity care matter? And what does a maternity nurse actually do? Don’t worry – this page explains all.
Contrary to what you might think, a maternity nurse isn’t just there for you during the first week. Maternity care actually begins during labour. What does a maternity nurse do during labour? The maternity nurse assists the midwife or GP during labour. She can help you with your position and breathing – whatever you need in the moment. So she will be there from the first few days onwards to guide and advise you on how to look after your baby – or babies, of course – independently and get into a daily routine. And we consider enjoying your baby, relaxing and being pampered a little to be just as important.
We provide labour support at the WZA in Assen, UMCG in Groningen, Martini Hospital in Groningen, Scheper in Emmen, OZG in Scheemda and Nij Snellinghe in Drachten.
If you would like us to support you before, during and after labour, register now.
Every maternity nurse has a medical background and receives continuous training. That way, she stays up to date with the latest developments in the field. Providing medical care is the most important part of her role. Before the postnatal period starts, your maternity nurse will talk to you and your partner about your postnatal period.
Your maternity nurse will closely monitor both the baby’s and your health. She has an important signalling role – she quickly notices when something isn’t quite right. She will spring into action straight away and discuss any problems with you and your midwife and/or GP.
During the postnatal period, the maternity nurse will give you lots of information, tips and advice on baby care, breastfeeding and bottle feeding. She will help you breastfeed and/or bottle feed your baby. If you have any more questions about breastfeeding, Kraamzorg Het Groene Kruis can put you in touch with the Lactation Consultants and Breastfeeding Coaches at our Borstvoeding Expertisecentrum [‘Breastfeeding Expertise Centre’].
The maternity nurse is not only there to support you and your baby – she is also there for the rest of the family. At Kraamzorg Het Groene Kruis, we’re here for you 24/7. The care we provide includes ensuring good hygiene in order to prevent infection. Your maternity nurse will regularly change your bed and your baby’s cot and clean the toilet and bathroom. To allow you time to rest, recover and enjoy your baby, the maternity nurse will – by mutual agreement – also take on a number of jobs around the house such as the laundry, dusting and vacuuming.
Healthy eating is very important for your postpartum recovery. You can expect support from your maternity nurse with this – they can prepare your daily portion of fruit and a healthy lunch, for example.
If you give birth at the Martini Hospital in Groningen, UMCG in Groningen, Ommelander Hospital (OZG) in Scheemda, Wilhelmina Hospital in Assen or Tjongerschans Heerenveen, you qualify for a warm handover. Your maternity nurse will arrive at the hospital around the time of your discharge. The handover between the hospital nurse and your maternity nurse will takes place at your bedside, with you there. The maternity nurse will help with your final preparations and get you ready for a safe journey home. This ensures that your at-home care aligns with the care you have received in hospital. No extra fees are charged for this.
Maternity nurses need to work in a safe, healthy, clean environment. To that end, a number of rules must be complied with under the Dutch Working Conditions Act. These rules relate to a raised maternity bed (80cm), a specific working height (at least 80cm for baby bath, commode and maternity bed) so that the maternity nurse can stand upright, cleaning products and materials and a smoke-free working environment. The person conducting your intake will go through all of these things with you during your intake session somewhere between the 21st and 25th week of your pregnancy.