6 Things Your Hospital Won’t Tell You About Labor and Delivery
Wondering what really happens behind closed doors of the labor and delivery unit?
Oh, sure. You know that a pregnant mama comes in and a baby comes out, and perhaps your childbirth education classes gave you some insight into what to expect during your labor and delivery, but who isn't curious about that behind-the-scenes action that happens every day at a hospital? Satisfy your curiosity about a birth center with some inside secrets from a former labor and delivery nurse.
- There's a very real chance a nurse could deliver your baby.
Honestly, it happens a lot more often than you would think. And honestly, usually both the nurse and the baby do totally fine. Deliveries that happen that quickly usually mean a healthy, if potentially bruised, baby.
2. Your placenta will probably be thrown out.
It depends on hospital policy, but in a lot of cases, your placenta is usually just considered medical waste. If there is a problem during your pregnancy or delivery, it may be analyzed. But other than that, it is disposed of or donated.
3. Your nurse does way more than the doctor.
You may think that your doctor is the one calling the shots, but trust me, your doctor depends on a good nurse for pretty much everything. Your labor and delivery nurse is the one monitoring you, discerning if there are any problems, and responding to any emergencies.
And more often than not, a good nurse is skilled at gently guiding the doctor in calling orders that he or she thinks are necessary, so don't worry if the doctor isn't around much, it's typically the nurses running the show at your labor and delivery.
4. No one is really too clear on how much stuff costs.
We once had a couple come on who didn't have any insurance, meaning they were paying out of pocket for some tests that the doctor wanted to run. They asked (rightfully so) if all of the tests were 100% necessary and what outcome they meant for them and their baby – and at what cost.
Instead of getting them an answer, the doctor became very irritated because, the truth is, the staff really doesn't know how much care or supplies cost. But know that you do have a right to know, so don't be afraid to ask if you're concerned about any unnecessary testing.
5. Most requests can be accommodated.
You may think that because you're delivering in a hospital, you're stuck with the hospital rules for a standard birth. But if you plan it right, get permission, and work with the staff and care provider, most requests can be accommodated for labor and delivery. OB staff really are a great, caring bunch of people, and they want you to have a positive experience.
So whether that means requesting extra people in the delivery room, toasting your baby's birth with a glass of bubbly, or doing skin to skin in the c-section room, don't be afraid to ask for what you want.
6. Those little surveys actually mean everything.
A good nurse would never push one on you, but you know those little patient satisfaction surveys that the hospital sends you or tries to collect over the phone? They actually mean a lot to the hospital as a whole and to individual nurses. Most units have special reward systems for nurses who get high “scores” and extra incentives for nurses who are mentioned by name.
So if you have a really positive experience with a specific nurse — or any staff member, for that matter — I can guarantee that he or she will appreciate your taking the time to mention their name. When I had my babies, it was a chance to recognize several of my co-workers, everyone from the housekeeper to the food-service workers.
Did anything about your hospital stay surprise you?Read More