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From the Mouths of Nurses: CHILDBIRTH 101

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Childbirth is this big black hole of unknown to an expecting Mom. You can read books, seek advice from women who have experienced it, and prepare in every way possible. Yet, no one can actually tell you what is going to happen in there. It's a crap shoot.

For me personally, this created some anxiety for me 1st pregnancy. I understand the science of reproduction. I'm a smart woman. I read 32,745 books while I was pregnant. I packed bags. I pinned massive boards of pregnancy shizz. Yet, knowing that I was going to have to human jump out of my lady business. Well, it took some real processing.

So I assume there must be some preggos out there who could feel the same way RIGHT now! Wasting time worrying about whether they are going to poop when they have the baby!

Here is the good news sweetie.. it doesn't matter. Half your body fluids seem to have made a mass exit out the bottom end, so I really wouldn't waste any time worrying about it. I couldn't tell you if I did or not. When I pulled that giant baby out of myself, he took a huge crap on me. The sticky tar stuff that comes out first. And it was beautiful. More beautiful then I ever could have imagined.

Poop isn't going to ruin your day. It won't even be something you remember.

Now even though the previous statements are true, pregnant ladies are still going worry!! Mama bear mode is deep and it's real. Hormone roller coaster got you worrying about dumb crap that you will make fun of yourself for later? Ya, it happens.

Then it dawned on me, I'll enlisted some smart individuals who sit in the front row every day to share and give us a little look behind the curtain. I went to a MA state school, so of course a large portion of my friends are nurses and teachers. Impressive people they are. They bring lives into this world like it's going out of style.

MEET MY LABOR & DELIVERY NURSING HOMIES:

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COURTNEY, RN, WHNP

5 years as an RN, 3 years as a nurse practitioner. 

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TRISTA, RN, WHNP, CNM

RN 2007-2011 while attending graduate school then started a career as a certified nurse midwife.

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ASHLEY, RNC-OB, BSN

6.5 Years on the labor and delivery floor

I believe you have to be a special type of person to work in labor and delivery, so I asked:
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE FIELD OF LABOR AND DELIVERY?

COURTNEY:

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"Mom's and babies! I've always know that women's health was what I was interested in. I like all aspects of nursing, but it was the chapter of my nursing text book that I would read ahead, or read in my spare time, because I was so interested. Then I went back to graduate school and got a master's degree in Women's Health."

TRISTA:

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"It was the first birth that I attended in nursing school that convinced me L&D was the field I wanted to concentrate on. Once I saw that first baby born and the joy and love on the new parents faces I was hooked. The dad started bawling at which point I lost it and started crying with them. Being able to be a part of that experience and helping new babies into this world is such a privilege. I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing to make a living."

ASHLEY:

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"Labor and delivery has always been my dream nursing job. I was fortunate enough to get my internship in labor and delivery and hired after graduation. Labor and delivery is considered a specialty and it is very different from med-surg nursing or any other type of nursing. I enjoy caring for women and also being able to relate my personal life to do what I do. When I first started labor and delivery I did not have any children but dreamt of having my own one day. So learning and caring for pregnant women I feel like somewhat helped me prepare for my own personal experiences. Now that I have my own and expecting a second in a couple weeks, I feel like I've gained so much more knowledge that is beneficial for my patients. I can't imagine doing any type of nursing. This is one of the most memorable, exciting and sometimes difficult time in a families life and to be apart of that time is so rewarding.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL DURING LABOR AND DELIVERY?

COURTNEY: 

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"Healthy Mom and healthy baby. Period."

TRISTA:

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" My ultimate goal is to leave a birth feeling like I did everything in my power to give my patient and her SO what the wanted from their birthing experience. So many people come in with such detailed birth plans, and to be honest, you're just setting yourself up for failure- especially first time moms. You've never experienced labor contractions until you are in labor! How can you know how you will handle them and how you will cope until you are in labor?! My advice is to be educated about your options, have a "plan" in mind, and then go with the flow and be open minded. Try your best to deal with the pain and know that we are here to support you, but if you change your mind and give in to that epidural...it's OKAY! You will not be judged and you are just as strong of a woman as that other woman down the hall screaming in pain. So I guess my goal is to make sure that no patient of mine ever feels defeated by their labor and to know that I did everything possible to keep both mom and baby happy but healthy."

ASHLEY:

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"My ultimate goal during labor and delivery is to build a rapport with the family I am caring for and make their experience the best I can. A lot of women come in and expect their labor to go a certain way. As it is my goal to make everything go how they wish, no two labors are exactly the same. Sometimes things come up and the plans may have to change. I try to always comfort the patient through each step and explain why certain things need to be done."

I tried to save you the 5 hours you will spend on Pinterest pinning articles about "What to pack in your hospital bag!" by asking them...
WHAT ITEMS WOULD YOU SUGGEST NEW MOM'S 
BRING IN THEIR HOSPITAL BAG?

TRISTA:

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" I personally love when my patients are jamming out to music, a little dancing and swaying always does a laboring mama good. Camera is a must as well as comfy clothes and socks. We supply some pretty fancy grippy socks and our Victoria secret mesh panties are always a hit, but once the baby is out you're going to want your own undies, socks, pj's, etc. I also suggest brining your own pillow...the plastic hospital ones much to noisy! We supply toothpaste, toothbrush and soap but it's worse than what you get at a hotel so plan accordingly! Other than that, just a car seat and an outfit for your new baby to go home in."

ASHLEY:

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" Every hospital is different on what they have available for patients at different times of the day so I recommend bringing your own big cup for water and snacks as during the night after you deliver you may be starving but the kitchen isn't open! You will be given the "sexy mesh underwear" which are great. I recently had a patient who brought her own depends to use which I thought was a great idea! Bring a good comfortable nursing bra and just comfy lounge clothes. You don't need a million outfits for your baby. I would just bring your outfit for going home and a blanket. Diapers, wipes and formula, is bottle feeding, will be supplied to you while your in the hospital but make sure you have those items for when you get home. Other necessities would be a camera, video camera (if that's something you're interested in having), cell charger, toiletries, slippers, and your own pillow! The hospital pillows aren't the best."

Give it to us straight:
WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD SAY TO A FIRST TIME MOM WHO IS PREPARING FOR CHILDBIRTH?

COURTNEY:

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"Try not to over prepare. The best plans always have to be altered. That being said, learn as much as you can from credible sources. Most doctor's offices and hospital have childbirth classes."

ASHLEY:

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"Talk to your nurse. We are here for you. Tell us what you'd like to have happen, what you're scared of and what should you expect. We will do our best to meet all your requests but please keep an open mind as sometimes things may need to be done that are in the best interest of you and your baby."

It may sound crazy, gross, TMI to some people. But I've heard friends talk about being worried about pooping during childbirth. I think it a waste of time to worry about something like that, but let's see what the ladies who will be in the front row wearing a poncho have to say:
DO YOU JUDGE WOMEN THAT POOP ON THE FLOOR WHEN THEY GIVE BIRTH? 
COURTNEY:

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"The poop falls into a bucket at the end of the bed. Nobody sees it, nobody cares."

TRISTA:

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" Um, pretty much every one poops. If there is poop in the rectum at the time of birth, I'm sorry Mama's, but it has nowhere to go but out when the babies head comes down. And it is whipped up just as quick as it comes out."

ASHLEY:

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"Absolutely not! And I try very hard to keep it discreet so no one in the room, even you as a patient, knows it happened. We aren't going to just leave it there for everyone to see! But if there is anything "in there" that baby's head is going to push it out. Don't worry. You're not the only one."

All new Mom's should know this ahead of time:
DO YOU THINK BREAST FEEDING IS EASY TO DO?

COURTNEY:

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"No. It's really hard. Thankfully there are plenty of people with so much experience and expertise available to help. Use all the resources you can."

TRISTA:

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"Breast feeding may LOOK easy to do but it can be extremely difficult so don't get discouraged and stick with it! It's so much easier in the long run to pop the babe on the boob in the middle of the night than get up and try to warm a bottle half asleep while holding a screaming baby. It's better for baby and it's better for you! But it's not for everyone so don't kill yourself trying to make it work if it's not. Some moms and some babies just don't have the best anatomy for breastfeeding and this can be a struggle. (Flat/inverted nipples, tongue or lip tie etc). I've seen some serious postpartum depression from moms who planned on breastfeeding their whole pregnancy and then it didn't work out. So of course I advocate for it, because after all...breast is best, but there is no judgement for women who choose not to breastfeed or it just doesn't work out."

ASHLEY:

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"There's a lot that goes into breastfeeding. Some babies just get right on and "make it look easy." The mothers nipples, size of breasts and desire to breastfeed have a lot to do with breastfeeding as well as the baby's gestational age and ability to latch. This is new for the mom and new for the baby. It's a learning process for both, even if it's your second or tenth child. It takes teamwork between you and your baby. You have to learn what works for both of you. And the nurses and lactation consultants are there to help you along the way. Stay positive! You can do it."

 
"Time to shut off the TV darling life partner who I am due to have a baby with, I need to read Britt's blog outloud to you." -What my pregnant friends will say. That's right, I'm talking to you HARLAN. Take a knee, we have to talk about this birth team plan:
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO A BIRTH COACH?

COURTNEY:

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"Support the Mom. That the number one thing. And remember to eat and stay hydrated because if you feel crappy you're no help to anyone and adrenalin will only take you so far. Have a look at what's going on down there during the birth, it's not as scary as you imagined. That being said, if you start to feel lightheaded, or see stars, or feel that ringing in your ears, sit down cross legged on the floor. Nobody has time to catch you if you pass out."

TRISTA:

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"Birth coach should be somebody who you are the most comfortable with and somebody who can calm you down, not piss you off. Of course our hubbies can do the later but I think it's very important for them to be a part of this magical experience. Maybe a sister. But no way would I want my dad or any other family member in the room. My husband was the only one there for both my births and that's what I wanted. I actually got mad at him for just TELLING his family that I was in labor. I didn't want people calling and texting every hour or hanging around at the hospital waiting for the baby to pop out...that just adds more pressure and stress to any already difficult/painful situation."

ASHLEY

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"Be there for the mother. This is about her. Not about what you want. She is in that bed feeling the pain and exhaustion. Be courteous- if she needs to try and sleep, be quiet. If she can't eat, don't eat in front of her. She may yell at you one minute and then want you to hold her hand the next. These are normal emotions of labor. Don't take it personally. You are there for her for a reason. Keep that in mind."

So there you have it. You don't have to listen to me. I'm just somebody's mother! But I would put some thought into what these ladies have say. They are there to support you and they welcome people to the world every damn day. Nice work ladies. Proud of all of you.

ABOUT SOMEBODY'S MOTHER WHO WROTE THIS BLOG:


Britt is a Beach bum, Mom, Wife, Sister, Friend, Wanna be Photographer, Special needs advocate, Library enthusiast, Yogi, and a Mom blogger. Britt lives in a barn on Cape Cod with her husband, two toddlers, and stinky black lab. You can read more of her adventures at You're Somebody's Mother THE BLOG

Or if you have a short attention span,
​follow her on Instagram @Somebodys_Mother

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