Wet Nurse Job Description
A wet nurse is a woman hired by other people to breastfeed their baby or infant when the mother is sick and unable to provide breast milk for her own baby. These nurses are also hired by single fathers who adopted the baby, moms who are unable to produce milk, or mothers who gave birth to multiple babies and require help with breastfeeding. This job used to be popular in many countries, but the demand died down after milk formula entered the market and human milk banks provided another alternative. In some cases, the wet nurse job description also includes tasks like doing household chores, or taking care of other kids in the household.
Wet nurses make sure to provide breast milk whenever the baby needs it. They may also perform other related tasks such as cradling the baby, changing diapers, giving baby baths, and putting them back to sleep. The wet nurse job description also includes tasks focused on proper breastfeeding, such as helping the baby burp after feeding, identifying feeding hours of the baby and ensuring milk production remains healthy.
The wet nurse must make the necessary lifestyle changes to keep her body healthy for frequent breastfeeding. These practices include drinking liquids after feeding, eating small meals throughout the day, taking quick showers, and taking as many sleeping hours as possible. Although the wet nurse job description may include plenty of duties in the first few months of the baby’s life, these tasks are reduced and become easier to handle as the baby gets older. Once the baby reaches the age of 1 year, wet nurses may also be responsible for weaning the baby.
Training and Education Requirements
To become a wet nurse, one must be physically fit and be able to produce breast milk. In most cases, employers may require you to take a physical examination to determine if no diseases like tuberculosis or HIV can be passed on to the baby. A criminal background check may also be needed, especially if the nurse will be left alone with the baby when his/her parents are at work. Some states may require wet nurses to obtain licensure as a human milk bank.
Wet nurses usually live in their employer’s house until an agreed timeframe, from 1 to 18 months. Depending on the arrangement, they may sleep in the nursery or in a room near the baby. This is because babies wake up irregular hours and require feeding every two or three hours during their first months. Technically, this position is a 24/7 job, with work hours starting any time of the day. As such, the job can be stressful and lead to lack of sleep. These nurses receive one or two days off from work.
There is no certification required to become a wet nurse. However, some employers may provide a car, which the nurse may use to run errands. If this is the case, a valid driver’s license may be required.
Another job you may be interested in if you are thinking of being a Wet Nurse is a X Ray Technician. It takes a lot of skill and talent to be a great X Ray Tech, however those who are in the field absolutely love it. Many nurses find them selves shifting themselves more into that roll. You can find out what it takes to become on at http://www.outstandingcolleges.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-an-x-ray-technician/.
Salary and Wages
The salary of wet nurses ranges between $1,000 and $2,000 per week. Since most of them are freelancers, check more info at http://www.womensissues.about.com/od/parentingcaregiving/f/What-Is-A-Wet-Nurse-Definition-Of-Wet-Nurse.htm as they do not receive standard benefits such as medical or dental insurance, paid leaves and other incentives.