What I Wish I Could Tell Pregnant Women…

There are so many things I wish I could tell pregnant women. So here goes…

  1. I know your back hurts, and maybe you have pressure “down there,” but don’t be induced just because you’re tired of being pregnant.  Pregnancy really is a gift (with all the weird accessories that go with it) that a lot of women aren’t able to experience.  Wishing your baby would be born early?  Talk to a mother who has had a baby in the NICU, or a mom whose baby died from a complication of prematurity.  Everyone thinks it wont happen to them.  And when you’re induced for no medical reason, there is a much greater chance of you ending up with a cesarean delivery.
  2. The most accurate ultrasound is the earliest ultrasound.  It doesn’t matter if they change your due date towards the end of your pregnancy, or if the baby “weighs THIS much.”  Your baby’s weight doesn’t help your baby breathe.
  3. Your doctor is human, and so are we.
  4. Just because you’re admitted to have your baby, you can still do things for yourself. You don’t have to stay in the bed, and you shouldn’t stay in bed!
  5. If you told a nurse at any point that you wanted to breastfeed, and then you ask for formula and they just hand you a bottle, that is wrong!  Say to them…My goal was to breastfeed, but now I want formula. What do you think about that?
  6. I don’t want to poke you more than once to get your IV. But if I have to, I will find a way to make it not my fault: Oh, you are so dehydrated.  Your veins are so tiny.  Your veins roll.  Are you a smoker? How much water do you drink?  Your veins are so valvy… sorry :/
  7. I will not remember what your vagina looked like the moment I walk out of your room.  This I can promise you.
  8. Don’t be embarrassed about your stretch marks. We’ve seen worse.  And again, we will not remember them as soon as we walk out of your room.
  9. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.  Courtesy goes a long way…
  10. Be honest with us.  Every nurse I know has a need to help people.  If you tell us you’re scared of ____ and you’re worried about ____ we will comfort and reassure you.
  11. Come prepared to the hospital. You will most definitely need: your toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, and pajamas for after you deliver.  I’m always perplexed when someone does not bring their toothbrush, but does bring an outfit to take the baby home in. (But if you do forget, we have everything except the pajamas).  Pack this bag early in your pregnancy and just have it ready, just in case.
  12. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Do not let anyone do anything to you if  you’re not sure what they’re doing or why they’re doing it.
  13. If anyone stays in your room, I will make them work. It can’t just be me and you doing everything.  So dad, here’s the ice machine and grandma, here’s the emesis bag 🙂
  14. You have to be able to take yourself off of the monitor to go to the bathroom. If you call out needing to pee, it might take me a minute to get to you and when pregnant people have to go, they have to go!
  15. Every single time we go into your room, we have a purpose.  Even if it looks like we’re just chit-chatting, we’re actually doing a hundred things in our head: oh her IV is almost empty and I don’t want it to beep, her trash is getting full, I wonder if I can find another pillow for her, her respirations are 19, she is handling her contractions well, she’s alert and oriented, her family is providing great support…

Categories: Labor & Delivery

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19 replies

  1. Also, we don’t have bleachers set up in the labor and delivery unit for a reason. Birth is not a spectator sport. Support people need to be just that: people there to SUPPORT you during labor, not just gawk at your bloody vagina and/or tell you horror stories of their own births and/or sleep and/or play on their smart phone. If you’re not helping the laboring mother, do us all a favor and just go home. You can watch a delivery on the Discovery Channel if you’re really that curious. On that note, no one is entitled to be at the birth of a baby except the people who created that baby. That includes your mother, your mother in law, your sister, your best friend, your sister in law, your preacher, your auntie, etc., ad nauseum. If they weren’t there for conception, they don’t have any claim to be there at the birth unless YOU want them there. One more thing, we limit the number of visitors in the labor room for a reason: if there are complications, we don’t need to be shoving visitors out of the way to get to you and/or your baby to handle an emergency. Throwing tantrums about it at the nurse’s station is only going to earn your visitors a swift escort to their car by hospital security.


  2. Where are you a nurse again? I am seriously considering just coming to you and I’m not even pregnant yet. My baby can wait the 3 hour or so plane ride, I don’t want to deliver anywhere else!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would also like to tell people all our interventions are for a reason. We don’t want to put in internal monitors because we have nothing else to do. We don’t do use the vacuum or forceps or do an episiotomy because we’re bored. We don’t do c-sections because they’re fun. We don’t transfer your baby to the NICU because we’re mean. Also, medical inductions are for a medical reason and as much as I would like it to look like normal spontaneous labor, it isn’t. So when your healthcare provider has told you it will be necessary, please do 2 things. #1 Make sure you understand why it needs to be done and #2. Just try to resolve to yourself that it’s a different ball game. We’ll do our best with your birth plan but I make no promises. When in doubt, refer back to #1 and make sure you REALLY understand because I always wonder when people are being resistant during the induction if they really understand the reason behind it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This new mommy appreciates your post! Thank you! Also, I love #7!


  5. I got caught watching a ballgame on TV not helping. I got reprimanded and from then on paid attention.


  6. Pregnancy is a GIFT. amen.


    • I totally agree. I get that people have issues..but I was just one of those people that LOVE LOVE LOVE being pregnant. I feel so beautiful! I think it’s funny when I wobble around. I sleep like I’m in a coma. My years of nursing have trained me at holding my bladder, so even that’s not a big deal. My biggest deal is that I can’t drink red wine, one of my favorite things on earth. lol


      • I had a physically easy pregnancy and now months out I think I’ve romanticized it even. But whether it is a physically challenging or enjoyable pregnancy, whether emotionally it’s difficult or a breeze, pregnancy in itself is a gift. I wanted to stay pregnant longer. I was not fortunate enough to take my baby home- I knew that was a possibility all through my pregnancy and I was grateful to just have the experience of it all. pregnancy is a gift. I know some of my patients get it, but I wish they all could.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Please pick a Doctor for your baby before going into labor and having your OB/GYN or LaborRN having to choose one. Your Pediatrician is extremely important & will be in your lives for at least 18 years. Who is in your insurance plan. Make sure he/she is on the same page for your needs/wants of baby care. Do they encourage breast feeding, do they have more than one doctor, do they have a sick and well area, what are their hours & are they open on weekends, do they have other pediatrician’s a few towns away that cover emergency visits. It’s very important to research!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that you are doing this for women who don’t know what to expect. I remember living overseas in Japan and my mom was sitting in Texas on the phone with me trying to call me down. The nurse stepped in and did an awesome job.


  9. Great blog! I am a nurse on the other side of the spectrum (Hospice) but I can relate so much of this to my work as well.


  10. I stumbled upon your blog about a month ago and have been reading and rereading it since then. I love your insider secrets!

    8 years ago I gave birth to my daughter 8 weeks early. We were totally unprepared and nothing about the labor and delivery went anything like I’d imagined. I also never imagined leaving the hospital without a healthy baby in my arms or that we’d spend the next several weeks visiting her in the NICU. We’re fortunate that she’s now a healthy nearly 9 year old.

    In January I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) My goal since the start has been to just get past 32 weeks, I made it! Every day I pray to stay pregnant for just a while longer, I know the longer bean cooks the better chance he or she will have at a healthy start in life.

    Part of my worry is I’m 40 and where I live they have an ‘over age 40 not over 40 weeks’ induction policy that I don’t entirely agree with. If possible to I would like everything to happen on it’s own and hopefully have as few interventions as possible.

    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, I can’t tell you how helpful the information has been, reading your blog has helped me feel more confident about my pregnancy and care choices.


    • Yay! That made me want to cry. Talk to your provider about your concerns. There are legitimate concerns associated with AMA over 40. Right now, just concentrate on your fetal kick counts and being as healthy as possible. I’m so excited for you. I had mine 8 years apart and it’s a totally different experience, being in a new place in my life 🙂 xxxxxc


  11. I stumbled upon your blog (I think a fried mentioned it on Facebook.) The first was such a fun read I kept going. I’m long past the baby stage but you have such a good way with words I just can’t stop reading. I encourage you to try submitting your work to parenting/pregnancy magazines. You could earn some money on the side! Best of luck to you!



  1. The art of being human

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