Before being admitted to the hospital to deliver their little bundle of joy, some moms might erroneously believe that a labor and delivery nurse’s entire job revolves around shadowing the doctor, handing them the necessary equipment and performing basic tasks like monitoring the mom’s BP.
Sure, nurses in the labor and delivery wing do all that, but they also do so much more. For example, We Have Kids writes that a good nurse will do everything in his or her power to keep mom from screeching her head off from the pain so that it won’t give them a sore throat.
Curious to learn more about what these real-life superheroes do? Read on to see what labor and delivery nurses have to do for their patient once they’re in labor.
20 Inviting More Than Three People At A Time Into The Delivery Room
Most moms-to-be prefer to have their delivery to be a quiet thing, with either their significant other or a trusted family member or a friend by their side because childbirth is messy and difficult, so of course they don’t want an audience.
Women’s Health writes that there are some mothers out there that actually want a huge audience when they deliver their child and it is up to the nurses to wrangle the party into something a bit more manageable since most hospitals have a limit on the number of people.
19 Catching The Baby Herself
Very Well Family notes that with home births, pretty much anything goes. Some moms want their significant other to be the ones to “catch” the baby during delivery while others want to be the ones to do it themselves.
When it comes to mothers that have opted to giving birth in the hospitals, the rules are usually a bit more strict and they have no choice but to settle for the attending doctor to be the one to catch the newborn as they make their debut.
18 Accidentally Hurting Herself By Pushing In An Incorrect Manner
Thanks to all of the depictions of childbirth in both film and television shows, even the most well-read mother thinks that it is a fairly simple process and they won’t need that much help when it comes time to push.
Daily Nurse notes that every so often, a nurse will have to give a mom-to-be a few pointers because she’s not pushing correctly and is holding up the process.
17 Trying To Give Birth In Her Own Clothes
Let’s face it, there are always going to be the fashionistas out there that are in labor and still insist on wearing their own clothes once they have been admitted into the hospital and are in the delivery room.
What To Expect notes that it is pretty standard for moms-to-be to be given a hospital gown to wear during labor by the nurses and only be allowed to change back into the regular clothes they packed after they have safely delivered their baby.
16 Having A Freak-Out After Finding Out She Needs An Emergency C-Section
According to Parents, 20 percent of pregnant moms wind up needing a C-section when it comes time to delivery their baby and even the mother that has read up on the process might feel a twinge of worry when they find out that they need an emergency C-section for one reason or another.
A good labor and delivery nurse will be able to reassure the mom-to-be that the procedure is perfectly safe and none of the things they are fretting about will come to pass.
15 Being Convinced The Epidural Will Hurt Too Much To Bear
Moms-to-be often hear plenty of hair-raising birth stories from their friends, family members and co-workers. The downside of listening to such tales is that it can make an expectant mother fret too much about whether or not the epidural is going to hurt, should they choose that as their pain relief method.
The Bump writes that nurses often have to reassure their patients that an epidural isn’t going to hurt like the dickens. It might be uncomfortable as heck, but it’s certainly not as painful as contractions!
14 Sticking To A Birth Plan That Clearly Won't Work
Creating a birth plan in order to clearly express their wishes is all the rage amongst expecting mothers, but mother nature loves nothing more than throwing a curve at women in the midst of labor and sometimes things don’t always go as planned.
S.Mommy writes when that curveball arrives, it is up to the nurse (plus the midwife or doula if the mom hired one) to convince their patient to abandon their stubbornly-held birth plan and just go with the flow.
13 Being Admitted Before She Hits A Certain Point In Labor
According to Very Well Family, when mom-to-be thinks she’s in labor and arrives at the hospital, she is not admitted on her word alone.
A nurse will go through the process of monitoring the infant’s heart rate, the amount of contractions the woman is experiencing, and how their cervix is reacting to the contractions. If they determine the mom is experiencing false labor or isn’t dilated past six centimeters, they’ll usually send her right back home again.
12 Breathing In The Wrong Way, Which Might Cause Hyperventilation
Calm Clinic points out that moms-to-be can easily cause themselves to hyperventilate if they are not practicing proper breathing techniques during labor or if their anxiety spikes too much.
Labor and delivery nurses are trained to help moms learn how to breathe properly when they are giving birth and to help soothe their patient’s fretting so they don’t wind up flipping out in the hospital.
11 Taking The Catheter Out Themselves
According to Very Well Family, most expecting mothers receive a catheter if they have to have a C-section or if they decide to go with an epidural for their pain relief of choice as a way to help them go to the bathroom, since the meds will dull the signals that normally tell them that their bladder is full.
Catheters are quite aggravating to deal with and every so often a mom might try to take it out herself, but the nurse will stop her because that’s an excellent way to extend their hospital stay.
10 Trying To Thwack The Significant Other Because They Said The Wrong Thing During Labor
We Have Kids points out that it is totally normal for mom-to-be to have a short temper while giving birth and direct some of that anger towards her significant other, especially if they accidentally say something to trigger her wrath.
Unfortunately for mom, the labor and delivery nurse has no problem with her cussing up a storm at their significant other, but will draw the line at her trying to thwack him upside the head.
9 Feeling Scared If Baby Happens To Be In A Breech Position
According to Am. Pregnancy, a breech birth refers to when a baby positions him or herself in the womb feet or rear end first instead of the regular way of exiting head first.
Since many moms have heard some hair raising stories online about women that have had breech births before, they may flip out when they hear the news and it’s up to the nurse to reassure them that all will be well.
8 Using The Wrong Breastfeeding Techniques
Most expectant mothers erroneously believe that breastfeeding will come naturally to both them and their little one, but Stanford Medicine adds that it’s a learning process and it is quite common for moms to make mistakes. For example, not realizing that they’re not holding their fingers parallel during feeding time and that winds up making nursing difficult.
A labor and delivery nurse can help a breastfeeding mom that is still in the hospital use proper techniques and set her up for success before she’s discharged.
7 Holding Baby Incorrectly
Stanford Children’s Health adds that right after delivery, babies are given to their moms to hold because the skin contact can keep an infant calm and help moms breastfeed successfully.
Since many first time mothers might be a bit overzealous and hold their infants the wrong way, a good labor and delivery nurse will be able to make rapid-fire adjustments to keep both mom and her little one feeling comfortable.
6 Keep Mom From Standing Up On Her Own After Giving Birth
Most women are so exhausted after giving birth that they want nothing more than to cuddle their newborn and then sleep for about a week, but there’s always some that think they are tough-as-nails that try to get out of bed right after delivery.
The Huffington Post points out that nurses will try to put a stop to that because their BP might be low after giving birth and their legs might still be numb from the epidural.
5 Refusing To Eat Or Drink Anything During The Labor Process
We Have Kids writes that a labor and delivery nurse will do everything in her power to make sure that a mom-to-be eats snacks such as a granola bar or some oatmeal because that is the best way to keep her energy up during such a long process.
The nurse will also encourage mom to have sports drinks like Gatorade in the active phase because it can help her replace all of the electrolytes she lost.
4 Overexerting Herself By Moving Too Much
According to We Have Kids, some mothers attempt to speed up the labor process by constantly walking around but once they’re admitted into the delivery room, the nurses will put a stop to that ASAP.
The reason why nurses don’t want their patients to overexert themselves in the beginning of labor is due to the fact that they know this is a long process and that mom needs to rest for long periods of time to keep her energy up.
3 Showering Right After Giving Birth
Let’s face it, giving birth is a messy process and many moms often emerge holding their little bundle of joy while covered in all kinds of bodily fluids. It’s no wonder that the first thing many women ask is if they can take a shower ASAP.
PopSugar notes that depending on the hospital, most nurses will tell their patients that they have to wait an hour before they can hop into the shower and freshen up a bit.
2 Having Tense Muscles During The Process
We Have Kids writes that it is pretty normal for moms-to-be to tense up during labor because those contractions hurt like the dickens and that is how the body normally responds to pain signals.
Nurses are trained to help moms relax those tense muscles and go with the flow of the contractions instead of battling them tooth and nail.
1 Screaming Too Much During Childbirth
We Have Kids points out that labor and delivery nurses often discourage moms in labor from screaming too much due to the fact that it’s a good way to irritate their vocal cords. No one wants a hoarse voice after childbirth!
Plus, screaming puts pressure on the wrong side of the diaphragm and that can make the mom’s pushes weak and ineffective, which is a good way to drag labor out even longer.
Sources: Women's Health, Huffington Post, Very Well Family, What To Expect, Daily Nurse, Parents, The Bump, S. Mommy, Stanford Medicine, Stanford Children's Health, We Have Kids, Pop Sugar.