This week, we were lucky enough to catch up with Maternity Nurse Margarita Atieh, who has worked for several celebrity clients including members of the Royal Family and Tamara Beckwith. Margarita explained a little more about her role and helped answer some of the common questions new parents ask.
What made you become a Maternity Nurse, and what are the most rewarding parts of the job?
After working in varying childcare settings and progressing to being a Midwifery Assistant in a Birthing Unit in London, I wanted to expand my skills further and help nurture families and gain more valuable experiences with newborns and families on an individual basis.
Ultimately the most rewarding part of my job is leaving a family knowing that I have helped them in the early weeks following birth and beyond. Also, allowing the 'new parents' to feel confident in the handling of their new infant is very rewarding.
A lot of our readers are first-time mums. What would you say is the most important piece of advice for them?
Try and find a routine that works well for your own needs and that of your baby's needs. Try not to follow what your friend is doing as this method may not work for your baby and you, and will only add further unnecessary pressure to the early days of being a new parent.
Treat your new baby as an individual and remember your baby is not a 'textbook'. Try not to read too many books: follow your own intuition and remember that as a parent you are the one in control.
What are the most common questions that a new mother or father tends to ask you?
The most common questions tend to be about which is the best bottle-feeding system and whether a new mother should bottle feed.
Other common questions include:
- What foods can I eat when I breastfeed?
- How soon after delivery can my newborn baby go on a plane?
- As a new mother - how long will I bleed post partum for?
- My baby has hiccups - does she have 'reflux'?
As a first-time mother or father it is very normal to have anxieties about many differing things and every new parent will have their own inner fear with regards to some element of pregnancy, whether it is before or after the birth.
This is all of course heightened by conflicting media advice and a huge array of pregnancy and baby care books.
In terms of paying more attention a new parent should try and adhere to:
- A good varied diet during pregnancy is highly essential. It remains so following birth in preparation for breast feeding.
- Stock up on Fennel Tea as this is just one little tip to help aid milk production for your baby.
- Learn to rest and pamper yourself and continue to do so once baby has arrived – but this doesn't have to be extravagant on any level.
- Embrace your pregnant body and don't feel pressurised to remain in your skinny jeans!
- Involve your husband/partner as much as possible throughout the pregnancy and following. Sometimes new fathers get left out – remember that they are becoming a new parent as well.
- Find one good pregnancy/birth and baby care book and stick to it. There are many, many books available and reading far too many will only make you more curious and set worries.
- Get organised and prepared as much as you can before the arrival of your baby, and ask people to help you, if necessary, after the birth. Simple things, like asking someone to do your food shopping or preparing a meal can make life so much easier.
Next Thursday Margarita will tell us how to deal with reflux in babies!