With the prices for giving birth in the U.S. continuing to rise, (1) we thought it’d be a nice change of pace to talk about something positive regarding maternity wards – like the immense impact delivery nurses have on new mothers’ experience and wellbeing (2).
During the pregnancy months everyone is worried about the doctor that’s going to be delivering the baby – is he or she competent enough, caring enough, professional enough, and so on. And while the professionalism and skill of the doctor are obviously vital, delivery nurses remain the unsung heroes of the maternity ward.
Delivery nurses are the ones helping the mother prepare for the birth, guiding her throughout the whole process, and helping her afterward. They are the ones that, after the doctor leaves, make sure the mother is ok, is in good physical and mental condition, and has everything she needs. Delivery nurses take care of the mess after every childbirth, they help with those first perilous treks to the bathroom, they are the ones that often snap the first baby photo as well.
As Jill Krause, the writer of the bog Baby Rabies blog (3) shared recently:
“I’ll never forget the faces of the nurses who followed me into the bathroom after delivering each baby,” said Krause. “That moment when I was so vulnerable, so tired, scared, shaky. My swollen belly deflating, and my modesty long gone. They treated me with such kindness and dignity.”
And most mothers share the same sentiment. Zoe Freeman from Healthy Holistic Living (4) also shared the story of her own birth that her mother had shared with her:
I remember my mother telling me about my own delivery. Zoe says. The doctor commanded my mother to lay on her back while he prepped for the birth, frightening her with his urgent concern for my life. The nurse attending her tried to comfort her, and suggested that she try lying on her side to see what happened. The doctor ordered my mom onto her back once again, an action which they later realized tightened the umbilical cord around my neck in the womb. The nurse quickly explained her discovery to him, pointing out my regulated heartbeat. Because of her [the nurse’s] vigilance and dedication to my mother’s (and my) wellbeing, the delivery proceeded smoothly and without incident.
So, while there are lots of things to be unhappy about with the U.S. healthcare system and the rising costs of childbirths, let’s not forget all the hard-working people that continue doing their best despite these problems, and help mothers as they go through the most miraculous and painful human experience.