How Was Your Delivery Nurse?

Updated on October 30, 2013
M.C. asks from Roanoke, VA
29 answers

I am a nurse in labor and delivery, and I am always curious to hear other moms' thoughts on their experiences with their nurse(s) when they gave birth. So I figured this website is a great place to ask: What stands out to you regarding your nursing care when you delivered your children?

While you were in labor, what did your nurses do that was helpful? Did they say anything that encouraged you? What did your nurses say/do that wasn't helpful? What would have made your experience better?

I am excited to read your responses!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for all of your replies! I really enjoyed reading about your experiences and thoughts. I will certainly take into consideration your recommendations when caring for patients!

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answers from Los Angeles on

They were angels.
I still remember heir names nearly 11 years later.
Caring, supportive....
From delivery to helping me get dressed, etc.
Just wonderful.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I was older than all of them...I was in a teaching hospital, and one of the doctors (not the delivery doctor - probably just an intern doing a rotation) was young enough to be my kid! I was in my mid 40's when I had my dd. Everything went well, thankfully

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answers from Las Vegas on

I had the most incredible nurses in the entire hospital! Not only did she comfort me, but I think she told my husband not to say that when he told me not to punch the side of the bed. Suddenly he just shut up and it must of been because of her because he normally doesn't shut up that easy.

The doctor caught the baby because the catcher nurse was busy massaging the leg cramps out of my legs.

I loved them!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on


I actually had a home birth with very experienced midwives who were more or less present when necessary. What I appreciated was having time to labor on my own as well as the aftercare--- having someone to monitor me while I cleaned up in the shower afterward. They made sure that baby was healthy, latching/suckling okay while they were here, returned the next day to my home, and then continued care for both of us through the next 6 weeks. I know that experience is unusual, but I really appreciated the continuity of care. Honestly, I moved from 'mild labor' to transition in about 2 hours and from that point on, it was just one big wonderful blur-- I was so deep in focus with the birthing that I can't tell you details. My husband, who was present, could.

helpful: they were just very matter-of-fact about the whole thing. They told me to push when I needed to. I delivered on my side, no episiotomy, just a few stitches.

I felt like my ability to birth was honored. That may sounds odd, but that's my take-away from the whole experience. I haven't had a hospital birth to compare it to, so that should be noted, too.

One thing I experienced that I think every woman should be prepared for the possibility of: I got the shakes, big time, about a few minutes after my son was 'out'. I realize that this is due to a huge hormonal shift, but I wish someone had told me to expect this. The birth itself was medically uneventful, no hemorrhaging, no major uterine massage needed to quell the bleeding. Robust baby with a good apgar.

(I should say that I live one block away from the hospital and the midwifery practice I used was well-qualified-- both women are licensed CNPs, RNs, CNMs and NDs. Before selecting this practice, I researched their reasons for transfer (which seemed very conservative-- that is, they were not against transferring) and that they had very good connections in the OB/GYN medical community, so if I'd had to transfer, they would have stayed on in a doula role. Their attitude was 'get the baby out safely for everyone', not 'hospital birth is bad'. I took my maternal care and my baby's care very seriously.)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My nurse was the BEST!

Young Mom + First Baby + Strange Hospital and Doctor (The hospital I had planned on delivering at was full when I went into labor, so I was transferred to a different hospital which meant that my doctor wasn't able to be there either) = A Very Scared Mom-To-Be

1) I hated the doctor that ended up delivering my son, and it was REALLY good to know that my nurse was on "my side". When the doctor checked how far dilated I was about an hour after I got there he was going to break my water without asking me (Or even warning me) first. The nurse stopped him and asked me if it was okay (Which of course caused the doctor to roll his eyes at her). Immediately after breaking my water, the doctor started trying to push pitocin on me (I had been in labor for less than 3 hours, at the hospital for 1... But he had a flight to catch...). I refused and after the doctor left the room, my nurse assured me that she saw no reason for pitocin so soon and encouraged me to get up and walk around to keep labor progressing. Even when I was tired of walking up and down the same hallway, she pushed me to keep going.

2) She tried really hard to stick to my "birth plan", even encouraging me to do things that I didn't really want to do "in the moment" (In my birth plan, I wanted to have a mirror available so I could watch my son being born and I wanted to touch his head as he was crowing. In the moment, I just wanted to keep my eyes shut and my hands gripped tightly to the side rails of the bed.). She also encouraged me to keep going for the natural birth that I really wanted when I was ready to give up.

3) But the thing that made her the BEST... She was my nurse during the entire labor/delivery. She was there through it all. I learned afterwards that her shift had ended right as I was about to start pushing, but she didn't want to abandon me with a new nurse so she stayed past when she had to so that she could be there through the birth. I'm so grateful that she did that when she obviously didn't have to.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I don't remember much about the nurse with my first child. I was so out of it and violently ill afterward, it's all just a blur.
With my second child, labor and delivery went much better, mostly due to my wonderful nurse. She was down to earth, funny, and easy to relate to- a good ol' southern gal just like myself and around my age. My daughter was literally ready to be pushed out, and my ob was in another room delivering another baby! It seemed like an eternity waiting on him to get there, but she was great with her sense of humor and calm demeanor. When I told her I couldn't wait any longer, and I remember her saying-"Honey, go ahead and push that baby on out then. I'll stand here and catch her. It won't be my first time!" That would probably terrify someone else, but I remember laughing out loud right in the middle of all that commotion. Luckily, she didn't have to catch the baby. The dr made it just in time. :) She was great. Even my mom was going on and on about her. I look back on that and laugh even now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Great question - thank you for the work that you do! I really remember the nurse from my 3rd delivery because I got to the hospital 9.5 cm dilated and she winked and said that if I didn't need to push right then and there, I could still get my epidural (which I gladly took). She then commented during my 3 minutes of pushing that she loved starting off the day with an experienced pro and that I must come from "good, Irish peasant stock" (her name was Bridget so I took it as a compliment).

With my last delivery, I was a gestational carrier having a scheduled induction of twins. You can imagine the stir that caused on the floor - the hospital at which we delivered is a twin and triplet factory that also does the most surrogate births in my area but even with that, they only get 4 of 5 a year so for everyone involved, this was their first surrogate delivery. All of the nurses were teary when they heard our story. We got in a little before the change of shift so we had a couple of nurses for an hour before getting a great nurse named Noreen who stayed with us through the delivery. She was teared up with joy in the delivery room (along with everyone else). I was moved to a separate floor for recovery (to prevent the parents and babies from boarding with me after delivery) so I wasn't on her floor but she came up and visited me that afternoon and stopped in the next morning as well and said that this was a birth she would never forget.

I think what stood out about these two is that they were first and foremost incredibly competent and set us at ease with their expertise. Then beyond that, they were human and compassionate and funny and just, well, real. This wasn't "all business" for them and that's what I remember most.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I had a really good and a really bad experience during the same delivery.
Before I went in for delivery (warning sign I should not have ignored)- Head Nurse on Tour- I asked about their policies with VBACs, did they have a wireless fetal monitor, that kind of thing. She gets this horrified look on her face and says "VBAC? Why would you want to do that? Hasn't your doctor told you that a c-section is much better?"
Beginning of delivery-
Nurse A- kept trying to talk me into interventions that I did not want, had put in writing that I did not want, and kept refusing. She actually brought the anesthesiologist into my room, who then offered to set an epidural for free if I would take it, and they would "only dose it if I wanted to." I'm not stupid, no way were they going to let me move all around with a tube stick in my back!
End of delivery-
Beautiful amazing angel directly from a benevolent deity-Nurse B- This nurse heard that I was going for a drug-free VBAC and asked to switch with another nurse so she could help me. She had a VBAC herself, so she really understood. She came in and told me that she supported me 100% and would do whatever she could to help. She had some great suggestions, including sitting up with no back rest during transition which really, really helped. She helped me focus on relaxing into the contractions as much as I could. My doula had helped me through the first 8 hours, Nurse B (who shall be known as Bobbi the Wonderful) brought in new energy and helped me re-focus. It took me two hours of pushing, and towards the end the "C" word started bouncing around. I remember Bobbi holding my hand, looking at me intently and saying "it's time to do this. They want you to stop, but you know you can do it. You just have to do it NOW." I found out later that she was very vocal in advocating for me with the doctor, who kept wanting to railroad me into a c-section. I honestly feel like she was vital to my successful VBAC, and I will be eternally grateful for her being there at the right place and the right time!

Ultimately, I could get over the nurses who honestly thought they were doing the best thing by steering me to a section. The thing that I will NOT forget, forgive, or get over- one of my good friends is an ICU nurse, and she was talking to the nurses at the desk on the labor floor. Apparently they were all quite literally betting that I would fail and go for the c-section. I found this out a couple of days after delivery, and I am still pretty pissed off three years later. The last thing a woman needs in that situation is a group of catty, bitchy, sanctimonious women routing for her to fail. So don't do that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I had such great nurses, I was sad to leave the hospital! I just remember everyone being so caring during the labor / c-sec and post partum. The best points were that they answered questions ASAP and made it clear that I would not be bugging them if I called them on the button or the phone. They carried a phone on their person and gave out the number so it was very easy to reach them wherever they were. They were also really good about noticing if I wanted the room cleared or people were getting on my nerves, then they would do the dirty work and make an excuse to get everyone out for awhile. Also when things were stalling and I wanted to talk to my DR, even though he was in his practice, they were not shy about calling him and getting him to come down for a minute. They also were energetic and happy; when you are scared and not sure what is coming next, it is nice to be with people who are positive and can make you laugh a little.

The only thing I wish someone would have told me is that when they give you the spinal, it blocks temperature and pain but you can still feel touch and pressure. I thought I would be completely numb, so when they touched me and I could feel it, I think I woke the whole hospital up.

Also I think the best nurses give info / advice but make it clear they don't judge. I had issues breastfeeding and the nurses gave me several good options, yet when I asked for a pump they rolled it in without a lecture. Several nurses gave me their own "mom" tricks and tips on top of the medical info. That was very helpful as well.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I can't say I remember anything the nurses did during the labour and delivery (both of my babies came really fast), but I can think of lots of things they could have done post delivery during my hospital stay that would have been helpful. The nurse who kept waking me up when I fell asleep nursing my baby in bed was not very helpful, but it was hospital policy-no sleeping with baby. The nurse who insisted that I put socks on my baby when we were leaving the hospital, despite the fact that it was 90 degrees outside was not helpful. What would have been very helpful is if the nurses could have watched my baby for me long enough to have a shower or maybe a nap.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I had one hospital delivery, and then two home-births.

My delivery nurse was terrible. She was abrasive, bossy, grabbed me without asking, wouldn't let me sit on the toilet...wouldn't let me do anything I wanted to do. My comfort didn't matter to her..she supposedly knew best.

My midwife treated me like a grown adult capable of making choices about my treatment. She left me alone unless I wanted her. That's what I needed.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I was induced, and sent my husband home for the night to rest since I thought nothing would really happen before the pitocin in the morning. Active labor came on quickly without needing pitocin and I couldn't wait for the epidural (at 3am), so I didn't have my hubby there. I was so nervous, but my delivery nurse was so kind to hold my hands (aka, the death grips), calm me down and talk me through it.

I then had a new nurse for the next shift, and she was amazing. My daughter's heart rate was high, and for a time we thought we might need a c-section. We trusted our doctor completely, but our nurse was so knowledgeable too, explained what she's seen before, gave us her advice, and walked us through everything, answering all of our questions. I completely trusted her input and advice on what decisions to make. I'm a girl who asks LOTS of questions, and sometimes feel not-listened-to by some doctors. I so appreciated all of the advice, calm explanations, caring and understanding manner, and full attentiveness that both nurses gave me.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Mine were all awesome! When I was sitting over the edge of my bed getting my epidural my water bag bulged and burst (sorry if TMI) all over my hubby's feet. When I felt the bulge though I was SURE it was the baby's head. She was right there and told me after (ever so calmly) that she was ready to kneel by the bed to catch the baby!

My doctor is a great cheerleader, but the nurses were all just kind. I remember one wrapping me in the warm heated blanket after and tucking it around my feet. Just the pampering I needed!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My Nurses were great/professional/personable etc. except one of them just could NOT get the I.V. needle in me correctly, tried awhile and I got pain and bruising!
But overall they were great and with everything from start to finish.
And I had c-sections, one being an emergency.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

It takes a special person. After having my first I remember thinking how the nurses do the majority of the work and the doctor is there for the catch (if he makes it on time, lol). So, with my first the nurses basically taught me how to do the breathings since I didn't take lamaze. They had to frantically call the doctor in because he came so fast.

The nurse with my second stands out most. I had been there since about midnight but in the morning things just started happening really quickly. The nurse just came onto shift, good thing too, my daughter came so fast that she ended up delivering her. The doctor showed up right after.

With my third, I spent too much time in triage, they had to rush me to the delivery room, barely made it. Again, they're calling for the doctor while telling me not to push. I remember one nurse saying "don't push yet honey, wait for the doctor. We can deliver babies but we don't get paid to". Uggh, that was aggravating, how can you not push when that feeling is so intense. So that wasn't helpful. Anyway, doctor made it at the last minute.

When a woman tells you she has fast labors, take her word for it. With my first and last I gave birth within an hour and a half of being admitted.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on


My births were 20 yrs ago and I have to say that my nurses here and up north, were all business. They took care of me and my babies but not much stands out. My first was a big baby and my labor didn't progress. Pitocin, ulttra sound, walking, then 15 hours later a baby. Everything was a blur after contractions every 10 mins for 15 hours. It's the nurses after the delivery that stand out as flustered, avoided doing somethings like ice packs (4th degree) and had very little mercy.

2nd child stalled a few hours. My blood sugar dropped. They let me drink sprite. That was awesome! Finally one had me shift position and turn over. Everything went extremely fast after that. I was really greatful for her care in realizing what I needed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

What really stood out to me was when my main nurse came in the next day to say goodbye and pose for a photo with baby. I would imagine checking back in is protocol, but to me it just felt friendly and kind and like I mattered.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My nurse -- Melissa -- was great. My midwife was there almost the whole time, so she didn't have as active a role as many l&d nurses do, but she clearly was very sensitive about stepping in when needed and stepping back when NOT needed.

Really, the thing that stands out for me most in terms of birth and nurses was the amazing lactation support I got from every nurse there. They were incredibly knowledgeable and more than willing to help -- and at that time I needed all the help I could get!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

I had a fantastic labor and delivery nurse, quite a few years ago. Her name was Sue and she had been a nurse for quite a while. Her voice was soft, soothing, helped coach, gave suggestions on positions with back labor. I remember her telling me what a great job I was doing with the breathing. She would ask about my pain tolerance. She never left my side. Little did I know that was because I had a fast labor and delivery. When my son was born, she seemed so excited for me-"congratulations, baby looks you". I wrote her a thank you note and sent it to the hospital-that floor. I'm not sure if she every received it......

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

When I had my first I showed up at the hospital 33wks, 8cm dialated and had no idea I was in labor. Once I was told that the baby was coming out now (emergency c/s, husband in another country and a preemie) I think I must have freaked out a bit. The OR nurse came in to help with my epidural and basically told me everything was going to be ok. She really, really helped me relax (somewhat LOL) and really helped to make me feel a bit better. I am very thankful for her help.
With my second I was in and out of the hospital around 33wks. When I went back in at 34wks I told my nurse about a million times that I was positive the baby was coming. She told me no that there wasn't anything showing up on the monitor and that my body wasn't in labor. The machine just wasn't picking up the contractions and I had a strong cerclage that wasn't allowing my body to dilate. She was really snippy about it. She also disappeared for hours at a time and I had to call the nurses station excessively. She also didn't call my doctor when I asked her to. Doctor and I together agreed to get the baby out (same doctor for my first). I dilated to 4 when the cerclage was removed BTW. She was a horrible nurse and I asked that she not allowed to be in the OR and my doctor agreed. I complained when I did the survey for the hospital.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I only remember the one with my last two and only because she remembered me. "I remember you! You are the woman that didn't cuss me out when I told you you couldn't have an epidural" Like cussing would have made the pain go away.

I don't think you should consider that a bad thing. I think it would be bad if you had memories of your L&D nurse. It would kind of mean they messed something up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

LOVED the night nurse who came back to see DD after she was born (not on her shift) and liked the nurse who was actually there. She was quiet, but professional. At one point, she went out in the hallway and flagged down my OB who wasn't quite there yet. I don't expect everyone to be jolly and effusive, but I do prefer when a doctor or nurse is friendly as well as knowledgeable, and professional. When I ring the bell, please don't ignore me so long that my husband goes looking for help.

It was the maternity nurses I had problems with. The first one knew enough about nursing babies to be dangerous and was so frustrating. I felt like once I got into the maternity ward I lost all the warm, friendly nurses. :(

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I had a nurse with my first whom lied to me about what was in my IV. I was told that it was saline and in actuality it was pitocin. What would have made it better is honesty.

The nurses with my second were fine other than trying to convince me I had to be given an IV in order to be given drugs. I had to convince them that I had BTDT with having a drug-free birth and I would be doing that again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My nurse Michelle was fantastic. She even carried my chap stick into the delivery room for me.(it's the little things) She even took it like a champ when my merconium covered baby kicked her in the face immediately after her birth.



answers from Norfolk on

with my first child the only thing i remember now that bothers me is a nurse going into the bathroom with me after delivering and being wheeled to the recovery room. i understand her concern for me possibly fainting so i was ok with her there but while i was wiping she bent over and looked and then tells me there is still some there. at the time i was like ok. but afterwards im thinking it's just going to get bloody again once i pull my underwear back it really necessary to "check" to see that i got it all?

with my second child i felt a different sort of pain while pushing. i said so and that it hurt. the nurse decided to make this comment, "well you are having a baby." not funny. i dont know if she was trying to be funny or not but i was trying to warn them that something wasnt right. come to find out the baby was tearing my inside while coming down. darn right it hurt and i think i had a right to state such. she on the other hand wanted me to suck it up and shut up i think.



answers from Cleveland on

Believed me when I told tthem i was having pressure and not telling me to move. I found a very comfy position and the baby was being picked up and she told me to move because it looked uncomfortable. we were pretty much on our own expect when I started pushing



answers from Washington DC on

I will never forget the nurse who was present when I delivered my first daughter. She went on and on about how wonderful it was that I had shaved my legs. Still makes me giggle remembering how grateful she was as she and another nurse held my legs (which were numb from the epidural) and encouraged me to push. I now tell all the mothers to be that I know to shave their legs before going to the hospital. :-)



answers from Cumberland on

They were all angels-it's not what you say or do-it's that you're there-God bless you-all of you!



answers from Washington DC on

For my first and third the nurses kept switching. I don't know why- I was only there 6 hours each time. I remember one of the nurses for my third said, "oh my dear, please try not to push. I told you earlier that I have never delivered a baby myself before and I don't want your baby to be my first!" As she rushed out for the doctor. With my second, she was so nice but so slow. Took her forever to get the doctor when I needed to push too.

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