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Anxious l&d


Hi all. I was a postpartum nurse for 1.5 years, but that didn't help my skills or confidence a whole lot. I've been off l&d orientation for 3 months. I have the worst anxiety coming to work! I'm worried I'll miss something really important! Will this pass? Am i possibly not cut out for this? The other recent orientees seem a bit more confident. I went into nursing with this as my goal, but now I'm worried I'm gonna be a spaz forever! Experience? Tips? Etc?


Specializes in Maternity.

L&D is a high paced environment that requires being some what autonomous. Having said that a 3 month orientation may help build your confidence. You need to really

look into yourself and think about how you might function in emergencies like emergency cs and a crashed baby at birth. It's a wonderful place to work. I enjoyed it for 26 years but it can be very stressful

at times. Good luck to you!

iPink, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum. Has 8 years experience.

I agree with the PP, L&D is tough and what you're feeling is pretty normal for being new to that area. Even with your experience as a postpartum nurse, it still can't completely prepare you for a unit that can easily go from zero to 150 within minutes with the birth of a baby.

How has the feedback been from your former preceptor? Give yourself time to grow and learn.

Sent from iPink's phone via allnurses app

NurseNora, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D. Has 52 years experience.

In my experience, anxiety is normal for L&D newbies. Don't compare your insides to you coworkers outsides. Bet they're not as confident as you think. Remember that having a baby is a normal healthy thing to do most of the time. You only have to be alert for the few times something does go wrong. With your attitude I feel sure you will pick up on those. Be gentle with yourself.

cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health. Has 10 years experience.

I agree, anxiety is normal! It helps to remember that birth is an inherently normal process. When it goes wrong, it can go really really wrong, but we should always start with the assumption that everything will go according to nature's plan.

Keep mom and baby skin to skin for at least an hour after birth. Anything that can't be done on mom's belly (weights, etc) can wait. See if you can find some doula training- it helps allay anxiety when you have useful skills to assist and mom through labor. Try to see/assist with as many NORMAL births as you can. Review your NRP, shoulder dystocia, and PPH protocols at the beginning of each shift and run through the steps with each new admission, just to keep it fresh. Provide hands on labor support and stay in the room with your patients (when staffing allows). ASK QUESTIONS whenever you are unsure. Remember that EFM interpretation is highly subjective and poorly predictive of outcome. Learn how to accurately perform intermittent auscultation (not just intermittent EFM), even if your facility doesn't do it.