Confessions of a Labor & Delivery Nurse



A friend of mine lives on the East Coast and is a proud labor and delivery nurse. When I asked her to spill some details, she happily said yes ... on one condition. She wants to be known simply as "Laborie Delivia."

Ms. Delivia dished about about what she and her colleagues talk about, some pet peeves, and what women should know before walking in the labor and delivery ward in their hospital. For some insider tips, read on.

Bathe: When your labor is a surprise, of course it's expected that you drop everything and just show up to the hospital. But, it's really gross when people show up to a schedule induction or c-section without bathing. This happens more often than you would think and they all can tell.

Grooming is essential: Trim downstairs ladies. They like it. There are some people who are overgrown and it's just not as clean of an experience for all involved.

Be strong: When women ask for an epidural after they are only one centimeter dilated, the nurses think you are wimpy. They are nice about it, but secretly they are rolling their eyes. (P.S. I asked for an epidural super early the first time I gave birth and I plan to do it again. They can roll their eyes all they want.)

Be educated. Would you run a marathon without training? No. Labor is like running one, so prepare. Laborie hates it when people have a plan in their mind about how they want things to go, but it's unrealistic. It makes everyone's experience more difficult.

She may sound harsh, but at least she was being honest. If you have any questions for Laborie Delivia, she assured me she's ready and willing to answer them, so let me know in the comments and I'll ask her.


Image via SaraMcD/Flickr

labor & delivery


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nonmember avatar Mandy

I was seriously concerned about pooping while pushing. I don't think that I pushed as hard as I should have at first because I was afraid for my nurse and all of the student nurses to witness something so disgusting. So, my question is: just how grossed out do labor and delivery nurses get when someone poops or passes gas while pushing?

jeann... jeannesager

My friend is an OB nurse, and her two cents is simple: understand a birth plan is just that . . . a plan. And plans don't always work out. Don't blame HER for your body.

nonmember avatar Monzie

When I'm 41 weeks pregnant, the LAST thing I'm worried about is what the nurses are going to think about my unkempt pubic hair. When I check into a hospital, I'm looking for compassionate and competent care not a date...

Fallaya Fallaya

I disagree with the "grooming is Essential" crap.  I don't feel like women should feel the need to trim their pubic hair at all.  I certainly didn't.  Well, I take that back:  I trimmed just a tiny bit, but I was still "bushy". 

Pishyah Pishyah

Yes, because I'm more concerned about the L&D nurses than my own comfort.  Riiiighhhht. 

Sure they think it is wimpy.  mmmmhmmm.  I'm wondering how often they push it on the moms who don't want it at all. 

halle... halleys_mommy_1

I'm sorry but I am lucky that I can shave my legs at this point much less my va-jay-jay. I'm a bigger girl and messing w my flab to be able to shave sends me into contractions so I'm going to stay a hairy bush woman thanks =) LOL

I agree w bathing though. Ewww. I felt so bad when I had to go to L&D cause we thought my water broke (at the county fairof all places!) and I couldnt shower! I kept saying "I'm sorry I fel gross!" haha they assured me they didnt care.

Rae-R... Rae-Rae1091

I have had 4 children and on a few occations I wanted to knock out a few of the nurses because of attitudes. Have you or any one you work with ever felt the same way about a patient?

MyKid... MyKidsSccrMom

I'm with Pishyah and Monzie!  Sorry nurses - YOUR comfort and level of comfort is not on my radar in the least!!!  If you want a nice clean job then you are in the wrong business.  eye rolling

Addys... Addys_Mom

Yeah shaving is not an option. Bathing is. And sorry but i am a pansy and i would rather ask for an epidural a million times before i was dilated enough than to tough it out too long and miss the window to get one. I am curious about the pooping question though.

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