It is always interesting to know about certain topics, career choices and especially from women who have changed their careers after becoming mothers.

My intention is to introduce you to an expert in their field such as first aid trainers, breast feeding consultants, maternity nurses and others as often as I can.

If there is something you would like to know more about, please get in touch with your suggestion at and I will do my best to find an expert.


Meet Mary Ashton – Maternity Nurse

I met Mary through one of the other NW8-mums and we started chatting. I thought she would be perfect here and especially since I get many questions from mothers and mothers-to-be about what the difference is between a maternity nurse, a night nurse and a nanny.

What does a Maternity Nurse do?

A Maternity Nurse helps you with every aspect of your baby’s care. They can advise of feeding, sleeping and the general well being of you and your baby. The Maternity Nurse is there for both your baby and you and they will know what to look out for if you have any complications post delivery. They will show you how to change, bath and feed your baby and inform you of all the latest guidelines for safe sleeping and immunizations etc.

What are the benefits of having a Maternity Nurse?

Maternity Nurses are very experienced with newborns and can answer all your questions and worries about your new baby. They will be able to give you much needed reassurance and confidence when dealing with your new baby. They will also allow for you to get the rest and sleep you need to recover from your pregnancy and delivery.

How does it work?

Usually, a Maternity Nurse will live in your house with you and work 24 hours, 5 or 6 days a week. The length of time they stay with you can be from a couple of weeks to months. Although, I have done jobs that have lasted just a few days, so it’s always worth asking. They are entitled to some time off in the day to catch up with sleep and this will need to be discussed with each individual Nurse. You would need to provide meals for them and a suitable place to sleep either in the nursery or a separate room if you have one.

Maternity Nurses are self-employed so they are responsible to pay their own tax and national insurance. They will charge you a daily 24 hour rate between £140 – £200 for a single baby and £200 + for multiple births depending on their experience. The more experienced nurses, and especially those who specialize in multiple births, will get booked up quickly. Should you go through an agency, most of them will be able to provide an emergency service if you suddenly decide that you need some help once your baby has arrived.

How long does a Maternity Nurse usually stay for?

A Maternity Nurse booking would generally be somewhere between 2 and 12 weeks although it could be longer if you felt you needed extra support.

Is there a difference between a Night Nurse and a Maternity Nurse? If so, what is the difference?

Yes – a Night Nurse specialises in caring for a baby at night so if you just need some night support so you can get some sleep this may be right for you. Some Maternity Nurses will work just the nighttime for an hourly fee and will be able to also advise you about daytime routine or any problems you may be having with your baby.

Does a Maternity Nurse do sleep training?

Maternity Nurses generally work from birth so they should help your baby to get into a good sleeping routine before they leave. If you are having problems with an older baby you may need to get a Sleep Consultant or a Night Nanny who has worked with older children to help you.

What is the difference between a Maternity Nurse and a Nanny?

A Maternity Nurse is a newborn specialist who works with babies as soon as they come out of hospital; often when they are premature or sick, and they will work around the clock. A Nanny usually will work between 8-12 hours, and generally when you are at work. A nanny will look after the child, do the laundry, keep the nursery clean etc. Many Nannies do not have newborn experience so if you are looking for one whilst your baby is still little make sure they have experience with the age of your child.

For more information or to make a booking Mary can be contacted on

Or visit her website


Meet Emilie Caro of Emilie Caro Sleep – sleep consultant

I spent some time with Emilie and asked her many questions I often get asked by mums about sleep consultants.

What does a baby and child sleep consultant do and how does it differ from a maternity nurse?

A sleep consultant works with a family to help change a child’s sleeping habits, using a variety of different sleep techniques. A sleep consultant differs from a maternity nurse as they help and support the parents to change their child’s sleeping pattern rather than actually staying with the child.

What made you change careers?

After having children I wanted to use my psychology background for something child related and the area of sleep psychology was one that always interested me. I have been a practicing sleep consultant for nearly 4 years.

What makes you different from other sleep trainers?

My personal preference is to meet families face to face and really get to know their parenting style and what they are looking to achieve with their child’s sleep. I pride myself on personalizing every report I do to the individual. The reason why it is so difficult to follow all of the books out there, is that we are dealing with people and there is no exact formula to apply! I stay in touch with many of my past clients to keep up with their child’s progress, not only in sleep but also in other areas such as potty training and nutrition.

At what point do parents usually ask you for help?

I like to help parents at the point when they are definitely sure they need to make a change. Often putting a new routine in place takes a lot of energy and effort and I feel people really try their best when they are exhausted / fed up and willing to commit to putting something new in place.

What do we as parents need to do in order for your help and guidance to work best?

I find the clients who have the quickest and best results are the ones I speak to the most in the ‘change period’. Regular communication and feedback between my clients and me ensures on both sides that we are helping your child in the best way possible.

How do we keep it up after our sessions have ended?

I usually stay in touch with clients for 6 weeks after the initial consultation as part of my ‘sleep package’ but after that time I can do ‘one off sessions’ to help people get back on track. I also do a jet lag package, which has been very popular for people planning long trips to different time zones.

What tips do you have for promoting good sleep?

Children thrive from consistency so that is key at bedtime and for dealing with any wake ups during the night. It is also important to remember all children have different needs in terms of sleep so there is no exact rule for the amount of sleep they require in a 24 hour period. I encourage parents to limit ‘screen time’ in the hour before bed as that can lead to children finding it difficult to fall asleep; the wind down period at night is a key time to put good habits in place.

Where do parents usually ‘go wrong’?

There is definitely no ‘wrong’ way in my opinion. The only time a parent is doing something I would consider wrong is when it is making them or the child feel unhappy and needs are not being met.

IMG_4158What are the reasons for sleep problems?

There are so many different reasons that sleep problems can develop. It is often just an accumulation of bad habits but the reason for my consultation is to enable me to assess exactly what is going on to prevent the child from sleeping as the client would like or expect. Sleep problems can be a case of just not having the correct routine but there are often more factors to consider such as food / milk consumption, psychological factors, environmental factors (such as bedroom layout and surroundings) and many other things that can contribute as well.

For more information or to make a booking, please refer to Emilie’s website:


Meet Nicole Zubaida who is a paediatric speech and language therapist

We have all heard and read about speech and language therapy, but what does it actually mean, what do they do and how can they be of help to your child? Find out more below.

If you have any other queries about Speech and Language Therapy, Nicole can be contacted at

Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy – Factsheet: Specialist Speech and Language Therapist Nicole Zubaida.

I have worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for the NHS and privately for 15 years. I hope to answer some frequently asked questions below.


What a Speech and Language Therapist does:

A Speech and Language Therapist is trained to assess attention and listening skills, comprehension, expressive language, speech, play skills and social interaction skills. Speech Therapists also specialise in areas such as eating and drinking disorders and voice disorders. Following assessment Speech and Language Therapists will then determine whether there is delayed or disordered development of these areas and recommend treatment.

What can I expect from an initial assessment:

The initial session is usually used to assess the skills described above. A case history is taken from the parents to get a picture of the developmental history of the child.

Some time is also spent directly assessing a child’s comprehension and expressive skills, play and interaction. Sometimes formal assessment is used (these are assessments which have been standardised on a typically developing population) which helps determine if speech and language development is delayed and by how much. Informal assessment is also used, whereby the Speech and Language Therapist uses knowledge about language and communication development to determine if there is a delay.

A Speech and Language Therapist would then analyse this information and feedback to you about their findings.


Speech and Language Therapists are available on the NHS or privately. An NHS referral can be made through a professional such as GP; health visitor, or teacher or you can refer directly by contacting your local NHS Speech Therapy service. Waiting times vary across different boroughs.

Some Speech and Language Therapists work for the NHS and privately. Some parents opt for private Speech and Language Therapy, mainly to avoid waiting times. Some private health insurers cover a number of Speech Therapy sessions.

All Speech and Language Therapists must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) a regulator, which ensures that therapists maintain professional standards.

There is also a professional body called the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.


People often ask about whether language development can be affected by speaking more than one language.

Many families in the UK speak to their child in a mother tongue. There may be different levels of exposure to English in the early years, through one or both parents, other family members, television, toddler play groups. In most cases there is no need for concern and children go on to develop proficiency and fluency in two or more languages.

The research shows that parents are advised to speak in the language they are most proficient and feel most comfortable speaking, whether that is English or another language. The important thing is that the child had a good model of language to learn from.

Simultaneous development of language occurs when a home language and English are acquired together from birth, or before the age of three. For instance when one parent speaks in a language other than English and the other parent speaks in English to the child, from birth.

Sequential development occurs when the child has only had exposure to a home language and is then exposed to English later on in life. Research indicates that some children who are exposed to a new language later on may go through a ‘silent period’ for a few months, where they say nothing or very little.

A Speech and Language Therapist will be able to assess whether the child is just having a difficulty acquiring a new/additional language or whether the child has a language delay/difficulty that is present across all languages.

If you have any other queries about Speech and Language Therapy I can be contacted at