When a woman gets admitted to a delivery room, she will probably find herself following the recommendations given by her nurse. Not all of these recommendations are pleasant to follow and they don't always turn into the labor this woman has been dreaming of. But she needs to keep in mind that what her nurse is saying will probably benefit her (provided this nurse is a professional, of course).
We have to keep in mind that nurses don't give some of these recommendations just because they hate us and want to hurt us in some way. They do it to make things better in the long run.
So, just to be prepared, let's see what 15 things nurses will force moms to do during labor and delivery to actually help her.
15 Wait Around Until She's Dilated Enough
Only in the movies, a woman goes to the hospital immediately after contractions begin and there she gets admitted immediately. In real life, you have to wait until contractions are a certain amount of time apart and you're dilated enough. If you arrive at the hospital too early, you'll either have to wait in the triage or, if nurses predict that it's going to be a long time, come back home.
14 Lie Down For Pushing
Although there are lots of other sitting and standing positions for labor, nurses always prefer that a woman delivers her baby lying on her back. It's especially important if she received an epidural and can't feel her body from the waist down, or if she needs to wear fetal monitoring at all times. Besides, this position is the best for nurses because it allows getting a clear view and easy access down there.
13 Have Her Cervix Checked Repeatedly
Nurses say that cervical checks are required to understand how dilated a woman is and how far she is from giving birth. However, it's not a procedure to enjoy. Most women say that it was either uncomfortable or even painful to have their cervix checked.
Although it's actually possible to determine a woman's progress by just assessing the way she looks and talks, most hospitals still perform cervical checks. If you absolutely don't want them to do it, speak up and do it in advance.
12 Wear A Gown
Unless you want to throw your own clothes away after labor, wearing a hospital gown is actually a good rule to follow. You won't care if it gets ruined due to all the fluids that will come out of you along with your baby. Although it probably won't look flattering on you, it's a functional piece of clothing.
If you want to wear something else on this special day, ensure that it's comfortable and easy to put on and off.
11 Have Fetal Monitoring On At All Times
It's important to wear fetal monitoring during labor to continuously check on your baby's heart rate, if you get an epidural or if there are any concerns about your little one's condition. Most of the time, this option is advised anyway, even when your baby seems to be completely fine and you go for an unmedicated birth. Delivery is a stressful process for both mom and child, so it's better to always follow the vitals to take measures as early as possible if something goes wrong.
10 Agree To A C-Section If She Had One Previously
There is a rule that goes "Once a C-section, always a C-section" and it's still a standard recommendation for most hospitals. Considering the risks of VBAC, it's quite understandable why nurses don't want to give you a chance to deliver your baby naturally if you had a cesarian before.
If you absolutely want to do it, talk over your chances beforehand and assess your situation.
9 ... Or If Her Baby Is Breech
Another situation when nurses will insist on performing a C-section is a breech position of a baby. According to stats, about 80% of breech babies are born via this procedure.
It's easy to understand why C-section is preferable here – after all, coming out feet first through the birth canal can be risky for the baby and natural labor will be much harder for the mom in this case.
8 Allow Interference If The Labor Is Too Long
Prolonged labor is one more thing that can lead to unplanned C-section. But what's prolonged labor anyway? WebMD says that it's the labor that lasts longer than 18-20 hours. In this case, if nothing else helps to make the process faster and the baby still doesn't seem to be coming out, C-section is highly recommended by nurses and doctors.
7 Lie Down With A Drape In Case Of C-Section
Let's assume that you have finally agreed for a C-section (or, probably, you planned it beforehand). What's next? The next thing that happens is nurses putting up the drape that will close the lower part of your body from your sight. And it's done for a reason. Witnessing the procedure isn't the most pleasant thing in the world unless you want to see your uterus outside your womb. So allow them to put the drape up for your own sake.
6 Live Off Ice Chips During Labor
In most hospitals, nurses won't allow you to eat anything during labor. If it's your first baby, it might get you worried. However, you shouldn't be. In fact, all the hormones that are produced during labor kind of block the feeling of hunger, so you probably won't want to eat anything no matter how long the process takes.
But since you still have to avoid dehydration, you'll be offered ice chips. Eat them up because it'll definitely help you feel better.
5 Stand The Pain Without Epidural For Some Time
Yes, you're obviously in pain. But it doesn't mean that you'll get an epidural right away. Sometimes it can be too early for the shot which means that a woman isn't 4 or 5 centimeters dilated yet. Giving an epidural at this stage can slow down the contractions and impede the process. On the other hand, she can be too far along and it means that the injection just won't have enough time to take effect.
4 And Stay Still After You Get One
If you got an epidural, keep in mind that it'll make things different for you. Among others, you'll have to stay in bed in the position your anesthesiologist will show you for the entire duration of labor in this case. In the process, your nurses will remind you to maintain this position over and over again. You might hate it at first, but remember that it's done for your own benefit.
3 Get A Catheter
Besides, an epidural also comes with a catheter. Since you can't feel or move the lower part of your body, you can't realize that you need to pee. It doesn't only mean that you won't be able to go to the restroom (you obviously won't). It also means that you'll lose bladder control. So the catheter will be there to hold your urine.
2 Throw Her Birth Plan Out Of The Window
Writing a birth plan is a good idea because it helps you and the hospital staff to be on the same page. But sticking to this plan no matter what isn't as good as some moms think. Unexpected things can happen and you might require an epidural, a C-section, or anything else that you didn't want initially. So, be more relaxed and flexible, allowing your nurses to do their job in the best way they can.
1 Speak Up If She Needs Something
It's your labor. So no matter what, you have a say in it. If you absolutely don't want something to happen because it makes you uncomfortable (like cervical checks, for example), speak up. If it's possible to do it your way, your nurse will certainly agree. If it's impossible, she won't do it, but it's still worth asking. Your nurse will appreciate it.
Sources: Belly Belly, Health Line, The Mama Nurse, Self, Mama Natural, WebMD, Babble