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DUBAI: There is a huge demand for maternity nurses in the UAE as over 50 per cent of those using their services are families with both parents working, say home nursing agencies.

Lily Kandalaft, founder of Malaak Mama & Baby Care, a maternity nursing agency, said all her 60 maternity nurses are on call at any given time because working parents, who lack a sustained support system, prefer to have trained nurses look after their newborns.

“There are many reasons for the high demand for maternity nurses in the UAE. Like they say, it takes a village to raise a child. But most expats do not have the kind of support they have in their home countries. Secondly, most mums who take maternity leave (90-120 days) have to return to work in three-four months after delivery. Hiring a maternity nurse is reassuring because of their level of education and expertise, which help the baby develop good habits,” said Kandalaft.

She said Malaak’s nurses hold a BSc in Nursing and have undergone training in professional newborn and childcare Norland Nannies from the UK, paediatric first aid and basic life support certification. “They have extensive experience in maternity wards and/or NICUs.”

Although the demand for maternity nurses is high in the UAE, Atallah M. Habib of Al Hilal Private Nursing and Medical Services said, “Finding qualified candidates is a huge challenge.”

He said, “Those who really need their specialised expertise are families with premature babies. Many enquiries are about getting someone who can feed and handle the babies.”