Secrets of Labor Nurses: Insider Tips for an Easier Birth

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Jennifer L. W. Fink on Feb 4, 2011 at 2:44PM

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a Jennifer L. W. Fink on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:42PM

Nurses understand busy. (Have you ever cared for two laboring women at once?) But every single nurse we talked to emphasized the importance of learning all you can about labor, delivery and your doctor before you come to the hospital. So be sure to pump your doc for information: Is he the type who will call for a C-section if you haven’t delivered within 24 hours of your water breaking, or will he let you labor a little longer if all is well? Does he do most of his deliveries with mom flat in the bed, or is he comfortable delivering while mom is on all fours? “Get a feel for what your doctor will do so there are no surprises,” says Mary Ellen Donahue, RN, a nurse at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Taking a childbirth class at your hospital will give you a good idea of what standard protocol at your hospital. For example, most hospitals no longer give enemas before labor, so asking your nurse to skip the enema is a red flag that you’re a less-than-informed patient. Nurses are only human; they find it a lot easier to work with people who understand and respect what they’re doing.

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