What to do if you don't get along with your labor nurse!
What to do if you don't get along with your labor nurse
You and your nurse may have different beliefs or attitudes about birth, your personalities may clash, or maybe it takes more than 12 hours (typical length of a nursing shift) to warm up to a stranger!
Regardless of the reason, having friction with a nurse during labor is not an ideal situation. Having a supportive and caring birth team (which includes your nurse) is essential to helping you relax and feel empowered as you bring your child into the world.
Here are a few tips on how to talk to your nurse during labor:
Well, first...Hire a doula! A doula gets to know you throughout your pregnancy, she is there to advocate for you and will be with you throughout your labor. Plus, doulas are WONDERFUL at navigating the complexities of giving birth in a hospital setting while keeping your best interest in mind.
-Learn the name of your nurse! This goes a long way. I guarantee she will appreciate being called by her name.
-If your nurse or provider is suggesting an intervention you don't like you can ask one or all of the following questions: What is the reason for the intervention? What information will it give us? What happens if the intervention doesn't work? Will this intervention limit me from laboring or birthing the way I want?
- If your birth team is not supportive of your birth plan attempt to talk about it. Communicating your needs and preferences can be helpful, but letting them know WHY these things are important to you gives your team a chance to know you better and be invested in the birth you want. Usually, there's a way to get you the birth you want EVEN IF you have to change your birth plan. If movement and laboring in different positions are important to you, let your nurse know. It's possible to move around and be in various positions even if you have an epidural and are stuck in bed. If having a quiet, low-lit environment is calming to you let your team know that so they don't turn on the lights without warning you. There are SO many ways your preferences can be respected while also working with your team to keep you and baby safe!
- If you are unable to resolve conflict with your nurse ask to talk to the charge nurse or unit manager. They can help you settle the dispute or find another nurse to take over.
If talking about it isn't helping, and you find the conflict is keeping you from focusing or is stressing you out, try and direct your energy elsewhere, like connecting with your baby or on your birth mantra. It's possible you feel powerless and angry at how your birth is unfolding, but if the above tips haven't helped resolve the conflict focusing on it might make your labor more difficult. One thing you (or your doula or partner) can do is to ask your nurse not to talk or touch you during a contraction when you need to concentrate. After your baby is born, you can speak to the nurse, charge nurse, or unit manager to resolve the conflict.