If you are an advocate for natural birth/homebirth with CNM

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    is L & D a difficult unit to be on as an RN? I am of the opinion that women should make informed choices about their births and that hospitals are wonderful places to give birth for sick/high risk moms & babies. But I believe that many women are great candidates for out of hospital births with little to no interventions. I've wondered if that would make L&D a bad fit for me as a RN? I appreciate anyone sharing their experiences/opinions on how my beliefs & RN role in L&D will mesh :-)
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

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    It depends on how birth friendly the hospital is and how rigid their rules are, and how much youre able to set aside your personal philosophy to care for your patients. My midwife went into home birthing after working for 10 years in a large medical center and not feeling comfortable with the level of intervention. Keep in mind that many low risk women choose to give birth in hospitals and that might be the best place for them. You're there to advocate for your patients and make sure their birth experience is as safe and comfortable as possible.
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    I am passionate about low intervention birth and have used to passion to help the women I care for--by doing as much education as I can in each labour room, providing them with information and tools to decide, answering questions honestly and getting really really good at labour support--position changes, counter pressure, massage, and just plain encouragement. I try to keep the lights low and the volumes down and respect each woman's vision of her birth. I think that all can be done in any setting.
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    I'm a huge advocate for homebirth for the right candidate (I had a homebirth with my second child). No, I did not find the transition to working as an RN in a hospital to be particularly difficult. Every unit benefits from having RNs who are natural-minded, because there are always going to be families who want a natural, low intervention birth but for whatever reason, are birthing in a hospital (even if they want a homebirth, not every community is homebirth-friendly or has good options for homebirth care providers). There are enough nurses who are very medically minded, so having a nurse who is a strong advocate for natural birth is a benefit to any unit! I was always assigned the "crunchy granola" families with the long birth plan who don't want to vaccinate or circ or have their baby bathed, because they knew I was good with those families and would work with them to try to have their needs and desires met.
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    Thanks so much for sharing! Your perspectives are very helpful :-)
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    Quote from klone
    I'm a huge advocate for homebirth for the right candidate (I had a homebirth with my second child). No, I did not find the transition to working as an RN in a hospital to be particularly difficult. Every unit benefits from having RNs who are natural-minded, because there are always going to be families who want a natural, low intervention birth but for whatever reason, are birthing in a hospital (even if they want a homebirth, not every community is homebirth-friendly or has good options for homebirth care providers). There are enough nurses who are very medically minded, so having a nurse who is a strong advocate for natural birth is a benefit to any unit! I was always assigned the "crunchy granola" families with the long birth plan who don't want to vaccinate or circ or have their baby bathed, because they knew I was good with those families and would work with them to try to have their needs and desires met.

    LOL, I asked for my daughter not to be bathed by the nurses and refused Hep B vaccine at birth (where I'm from, we only vaccinate for Hep B at birth if one or both parents are from endemic countries), and I had a 'birth preferences' form. I didn't realize that made me 'crunchy granola'!!!
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    I wonder...no bath??
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    I'm of the opposite mindset in that I think it's safer (not necessarily more comfortable though) to give birth at a hospital where medical attention for mom and baby are on hand at all times. In L&D, things can go from A-ok to really bad in seconds and sometimes you never see it coming. I was planning a home birth for my oldest child and I'm glad a friend talked me out of it because my son would have died if he hadn't received immediate medical attention at birth. Even with the NICU team attending to him right away, he spent a considerable amount of time recovering from a tight nuchal cord, meconium aspiration and pneumonia.

    As a labor nurse, I support and encourage each of my Pt's own unique birthing wishes so that within the confines of the hospital she can feel a sense of control over her own body and her choices and she can make the experience her own.

    There are definite pro's and con's to both home vs hospital deliveries but I feel it's best to play it safe and to be as close to medical care as possible.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    Luckyyou likes this.
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    I think your beliefs will be an asset, as long as you are able to put them aside if they differ from your patients wishes. IMO there are many moms who would benefit from nurses who have a natural mindset.

    Personally, I had a VBAC this past August. VBAC rates are really low in my area and there are only a few OB's that support them. I don't think I would have been successful had it not been for my nurse. She spent a lot of her time using positioning techniques to help my baby rotate and move down. It really worked. Had she not done that I have no doubt that I would have been labeled "Failure to Progress" and ended up with a repeat c-section. Moms like me need help from nurses like you!
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    Quote from jodyangel
    I wonder...no bath??
    Many people don't want the baby bathed for a few days. Vernix has some antimicrobial properties if I am remembering right. Plus they usually use Johnson & Johnson type chemical & fragrance laden soap. On a tiny newborn? No thanks!
    mommy_quigg likes this.


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