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Perinatal Nurse

Perinatal nurses provide care to women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. They give women support and counseling during the stressful transition of having a baby. Perinatal nurses assist women in the beginning stages of pregnancy by educating them about childbirth techniques and prenatal health and answering their personal questions. During delivery, they help the mother control her breathing and assist obstetricians when needed. Once the baby is born, perinatal nurses teach mothers about feeding, general infant care and what to expect during the postpartum period. Perinatal nurses play an important role in educating women about prenatal health and ensuring the safety of their baby.

Perinatal nurses must first complete a registered nursing (RN) degree or diploma program, as well as pass the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. Currently, the American Nurses Credentialing Center has retired the perinatal nursing certification exam, but there are various opportunities to receive hands-on experience in perinatal nursing and enter the field by applying to a local clinic, hospital or physicians’ office. Some perinatal nurses advance their education with a master’s degree in nursing to become perinatal nurse practitioners and perinatal clinical nurse specialists.

The salary and job outlook for perinatal nurses should be favorable as the number of births increase and families expand. Serving mothers-to-be and assisting in a safe and healthy delivery makes perinatal nursing a unique and rewarding career. Nurses get to build meaningful, lasting relationships with women while educating them on infant care and building mother-child relationships. Since perinatal nurses spend a great deal of time with patients, they often serve as a confidant and counselor for women during this stressful time. In return, women turn to perinatal nurses for guidance and advice on motherhood and caring for their child.