Advancing Your Career | Hospitals | Specialties

Mother Baby Nurse: Are You up for the Challenge?

  • Have you heard of mother baby nurses? Are you wondering, “What does this type of nurse do?”   
  • A mother baby nurse is an RN, or LPN that stays with mom and baby immediately after birth. They are involved in the immediate postpartum care of mom, and the newborn. 
  • Let’s break it down and cover everything you need to know about mother baby nurses! 

Sadia Arshad


July 28, 2022
Simmons University

You’re here because you’re wondering what is a mother baby nurse! A mother baby nurse, also known as a postpartum nurse, is a nurse who cares for people and their newborn babies immediately after birth. Mother baby nurses have a desire to educate and care for new parents and their newborns.   

Like all nurses, they are educated and trained in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and assessment. But their focus is specifically on female anatomy and newborn care immediately postpartum.  

When I first started to read about nursing and the different nursing specialties, I wondered about the differences between mother baby nurses and other nursing options. Navigating health care as a patient and navigating health care paths are both complicated.

Whether you are curious about entering the nursing profession or wondering who took care of you at your last visit, this post is for you! 


mother baby nurse role

Education of a Mother Baby Nurse

Mother baby nurses are often registered nurses with an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some places hire licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs) as mother baby nurses.  However, some hospitals only hire registered nurses as mother baby nurses since RNs have more autonomy and wider scope of practice.

Some hospitals also have new graduate residency programs specializing in mother baby nursing. 

Salary of a Mother Baby Nurse

Salary varies by state and place of employment, such as a hospital or private practice. Typically, hospitals pay more than private practices, and mother baby nurses with more experience tend to have a higher salary than recent graduates.  

According to, the average salary for a mother baby nurse is $80,000. Note that this average varies depending on experience, location, and place of work. 

Where Do Mother Baby Nurses Work?

Most mother baby nurses work directly in hospitals’ postpartum units.  

However, other places of employment include: 

  • OB/GYN offices 
  • Clinical research facilities 
  • Public health departments  
  • Non-profit organizations 
  • Telehealth start-ups 
  • Military health services 
  • Pharmaceutical companies 
  • Community health centers, and more 

Mother baby nurses can also work as independent consultants, be part of nursing management, or teach at nursing schools.

mother baby nurse position

What Does a Mother Baby Nurse Do?

Mother baby nurses have many tasks and responsibilities, such as:  

  • New mom and infant monitoring 
  • Assess for postpartum and childbirth complications 
  • Monitor for newborn complications  
  • Provide breastfeeding instruction 
  • Administer immunizations 
  • Dispense medications 
  • Discuss postpartum contraception options 
  • Conduct postpartum and infant assessments 
  • Provide referrals to postpartum resources 
  • Maintain a comfortable, welcoming, and safe environment for mother and infant 
  • Collaborate with other health care professionals on the care for mothers and their new babies 
  • and of course, educate patients as appropriate 

This is just a sample of what mother baby nurses can do! The scope of work for a mother baby nurse truly depends on their training, local boards of nursing, workplace practices, and local legislation. 

Mother Baby Nurse vs Labor and Delivery Nurse

A labor and delivery nurse is actively involved in the laboring and birthing process. A mother baby nurse is actively involved immediately after birth to monitor for any immediate postpartum needs. Labor and delivery nurses are often involved in monitoring and assisting the patient in labor. 

Mother baby nurses often do much more hands-on education for moms, especially first-time moms regarding breastfeeding, bathing, and more regarding mom and infant health. 

Labor and delivery nurses and mother baby nurses often work together when transferring patients in between units, yet their work is different. It is important to note that both work with new parents and newborns.  

However, mother baby nurses educate extensively and observe both mom and baby for any critical changes. Mother baby nurses perform specific newborn tests and monitor for any immediate postpartum complications, such as postpartum hemorrhage.  

If you are considering being a mother baby nurse, I would recommend that you ask yourself if you truly are passionate about new moms, infants, maternal health, and education.

mother baby nurse care

The Bottom Line

If you are thinking about becoming a mother baby nurse or learning more about the profession, I would recommend looking into the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the American Nurse Association.  

You can also learn about the impressive work of clinical nurse specialists by reading the American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing and the Journal of Issues in Nursing. 

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