Offered a Mother Baby job- Help! What really happens in Mother Baby???

  1. So I was offered a part time nights position in Mother Baby. I really wanted L&D but is impossible to get into without experience around here. I have a Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator certification and I have been a Peds office nurse for over a year. I LOVE our new mom's and babies in the office and I LOVE teaching my classes. My question is will I love this job if I loved my office patients and classes? Is night on Mother Baby boring? Is there a lot of one on one patient time? I have never worked in a hospital let alone nights so how hard is it really? I'm concerned about it only part time. How messed up will I be only working a few nights (11-7) a week?
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    About blonde0140

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 8; Likes: 2
    Student Nurse (SN); from US


  3. by   passionflower
    To be honest with you, I found working nights on mother/baby a little boring. I enjoyed teaching (also like childbirth education etc.) and did like the feel of watching the new family bond. However, after a couple of years of that I didn't feel like I was being challenged and felt that my nursing career was stagnating. Even the teaching part I am at a place where I go through the motion - same teaching, different patient. I know this is not how I should feel and it bothers me. I also have a friend who is still looking for a job and she feels that mother/baby has limited her opportunities for other nursing positions. In her case she has been in mother/baby so long she doesn't feel confident in certain skills such as iv starts. My co-workers think I am overreacting but many of them are "retiring out" of these positions but I still have a ways to go. I stopped enjoying going to work. I'm sad because I always thought mother/baby would be my "it' job but I don't feel challenged or excited. You should try it out and make up your own mind because some people love mother/baby and you may as well.
    Last edit by passionflower on Aug 14, '12
  4. by   BellasMommyOBRN
    Honestly, it does get a little redundant after awhile, or at least it feels that way. I have only been doing m/b for a little while and already had the itch to try something new.

    What I CAN say is that I love women's health. I don't think I could do anything else. That's why I pursued something else in the specialty (which was easy since I had gyn/ob experience!)

    So if L/D is on the brain, you should go for this opportunity and take away all you can from the experience. It will no doubt help to get you into labor and delivery down the road.

    Good luck

  5. by   fiveoffive
    Dear Blonde,
    I have worked in mother/baby for 4 years, 2 of those years at night. While I agree with the two previous posts on some points, especially that this job can be repetitive, bear in mind, just like any job, it is what you make of it. I loved working at night because that is when the babies were usually awake,there were very few visitors, and that makes for a good time to teach.
    Frankly the population of childbearing women is much less healthy, so their babies need lots of monitoring. Diabetes, hypertension, and obesity have complicated pregnancy at an alarming rate. Honestly day shift or night shift, I can say I can count on one hand the shifts I have been "bored". As a matter of fact I would be more concerned about being overwhelmed at having too much work. We have a very big and busy unit and when the L & D nurses float to our floor they cannot get over how busy we are.
    Since you are a lactation consultant, your skills would be a great benefit to your patients, especially at night. You would be a great resource to your co-workers and I can guarantee that you will stay busy.
    I have only worked in the hospital setting, but I know the teaching aspect of my job, is the part I like the most.
    Working at night should not intimidate you. You can work the nights together and the rest of the week, you can go back to normal sleeping at night.
    I love my patients and being part of a very special time in a family's life. Good luck to you in whatever you decide
  6. by   ChelleLynn1079
    I'm a mother baby night shift charge nurse and I can assure you that at my hospital it is never boring. I work in a large university hospital and we are constantly getting admits, teaching, and helping new mom's from early teens to mid 40's
  7. by   rn/writer
    I've been a postpartum nurse for seven years, and I still enjoy what I do. As others have said, some of the stuff gets repetitive, but you're going to find that no matter where you work. When you teach about the same conditions over and over again, that just happens.

    What changes is the babies and the set of challenges each couplet and family faces.

    As fiveoffive mentioned, many moms have health problems that affect their wee ones. In a large urban hospital, you can expect to see a fair number of kiddos withdrawing from all kinds of substances, those who have blood sugar issues (r/t maternal obesity), and some who have problems like cleft lip/palate or other difficulties that require extra care but not necessarily a stay in the NICU. The abstinence babies usually end up in the NICU, but they most often start out in a regular nursery because it can take 24-72 hours for them to become symptomatic enough to require meds and closer monitoring.

    Breastfeeding assistance is really important, especially on noc shift when the L'Cs are all snug in their beds. Your lactation training should prove a valuable asset to your patients and to your co-workers.

    Very young moms, moms who don't speak English, crunchy moms who view anything medical with great suspicion, moms with numerous social problems and complicated family situations keep the job from becoming boring. There's always something going on.

    As for working nights, I greatly prefer it. We don't have all the extra support staff (HUCs, PCAs, social workers, L/Cs, etc.), but we also don't have all the traffic of days and PMs. We're a closer knit group, because all we have is each other. We bring in food and help each other out far more than the other shifts do.

    On the personal side, working nights isn't for everyone. DH is also on third shift, so we're on the same schedule, and that has been great. I'm a night owl by nature, and we've trained friends and family not to call us during certain hours. On our off days, we sleep from 0400 to 1200, so it's only half a shift difference. We can still plan appointments and other engagements for afternoon hours. The biggest thing is that you have to develop an attitude that you'll do what it takes to make noc shift function for you. If you resent it or fear it, the negativity will sabotage your efforts.

    You sound like a good candidate for this kind of job. I hope it all comes together for you.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Aug 17, '12
  8. by   Nurse2b7337
    These posts were very encouraging!! Im not sure what part of Mother/baby or L&D I will work in but, I know I want to work in this part of the hospital. These posts were very insightful. I am not in a nursing program yet just finishing up prereq's. Thx again!!