Easy question for L&D nurses

Specialties Ob/Gyn


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25 Posts

Specializes in L&D, Postpartum.

I think the theory is very interetsing. I beleive it has a lot to do with whether you are educated and IN CONTROL of yourself during labor.

My first delivery was beautiful. I went to the hosp at 8am 4cm, 80%, ctx 2-3min. Noon, I was 6 cm and my contrax stopped. They thought he was too big. I rested for an hour. 1pm they gave me pit. 3:30 started pushing and at 4:03 my son was in my arms. I had discomfort and pain but never out of control, screaming, "I think I'm going to die" pain. I had educated myself very well on "first time" delivery experiences for new moms.

Now, I was not so educated with how differently one labor could be from the next. I figured, second child...cut my delivery time from before in half and all is well. WRONG!

Water broke at 9am (in Lowe's...lovely). :imbar: Went to the hosp at noon. No contrax. BUT, I was dilated to 5cm, 90% and 0 station. I walked ALL day with what felt like her bowling ball of a head half hanging out. 5pm the Dr insisted pit to get things rolling. 5:30 6cm...5:45 started getting very uncomfortable and thinking WOW I have a few more hours and this is much worse then the last time. 6:00 freaked out, the pain was so intense that I thought my bladder was rupturing. Told the RN I had to pee. She advised that she needed to check me. Checked me, told me if I felt the urge to push....DON'T and she ran out. My husband panics at this point. Doc ran in just in time to catch her head! I pushed once to get the shoulders out and that was it. From the time I received my IV to the time of her birth was 50 minutes. I never expected a delivery to happen so fast and I remember thinking I was going to DIE!!! I was SO not in control of the situation. I just simply coulnd't believe enough time had passed by to get that far.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, I believe the more knowledge you have about what your body is going thru and why, the more in control you are and less EXCRUCIATING pain you are in....

I love this website!

My love is for Labor and Delivery. I am finally starting nursing school in May. Wish me luck! I CANT WAIT!!!!

Take care!


288 Posts

Have yet to see anyone sleep through labor. I have seen women sleep between contractions, wake enough to moan, then fall back to sleep, however.

I think we are taught culturally that labor is supposed to be excrutiatingly painful. How many newly pg women are approached by friends who tell them what a beautiful, empowering experience birth is? Nope, they get all the horror stories.

I think if pts educate themselves about the birth process, expect discomfort, but trust in their bodies, they can achieve the birth they want. Not completely pain free, but not out of control, fearful, excrutiating pain labor either. What we don't understand, we fear.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Originally posted by moondancer

Well, I am here to tell you, this theory is WRONG,WRONG,WRONG! LOL!!! :chuckle Believe me, after 4 births, each and every one of them was painful, not b/k "culture" tells me so, but b/k it was the most intense, gut-wrenching pain of my life! :eek:

I have had some pt's relying on hypno-birthing...let's suffice it to say, most don't end up following through once active labor hits. My take on labor is...the more educated about the process you are, if you KNOW what you're going to deal with , then yes, mentally, you CAN make a difference in how handle your labor...it still hurts just the same. I was definitely not one of the very few women I see who have babies and then say "that wasn't too bad"! Oh well, my baby making days are over! :)

I agree with you . . . "WRONG, WRONG! WRONG!"

It hurt like hell and I was educated and didn't have an epidural and used that useless Lamaze breathing. I've had four and I really really wanted a cesarean with my last. (got it emergently).

I had a patient about a month ago who did not like pain at all (who does?). She got to 10 cm and refused to push. It was the weirdest thing . . .you could see her just leave, her mind went somewhere during the contraction so we didn't know when she was having one (monitor off by this time). I've never met someone who could actually disengage like this woman. We finally had to do a cesarean because she wasn't going to push and her body wasn't going to do it without her mind.



mother/babyRN, RN

11 Articles; 1,587 Posts

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN.

Don't forget the factor of a high pain threshold...I tell patients that if they are verbal and expressive, that is how they may be..If they are stoic and tend to keep things in, that is how they will be...Usually the experienced nurse will see non verbally that those who sleep in between contractions ( and one CAN as I recall doing so....One 12 hour labor one has the energy expenditure of two marathons and THEN we expect you to push..

Some people are in the zone but most without benefit of pain med are just either in the zone or not in horrific labor. There are exceptions to every rule of course, and one can walk around at home for weeks at 5 to 6 cms ( as I did) so that when the membranes rupture or labor finally starts to get serious and mean something, they are already almost there..USUALLY there is no sleeping ( if there is no epidural or pain med on board) during transition so I would say NO, that doesn't happen a lot...One hypnobirth I attended was reasonably quiet and the patient maintained excellent control throughout...


114 Posts

Specializes in Physical Rehabilitation.

Last year I was pregnant for the first time - and with twins - edd 10/18/03. I never had any Braxton-Hicks throughout the entire pregnancy, and had not been put on bedrest. One night (at 29.5 weeks) I felt "gassy," and thought no more about it. Well, this feeling kept up throughout the night and in the early morning I took it seriously and wrote down the times. Anyway, I got to the hospital and was 3.5cm dilated and contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart. Even though multiples can come early I NEVER thought about it actually happening to me. They admitted me and put me on mag sulfate for a week - the whole time my contractions were present to some degree and the Drs raised and lowered the dosage accordingly. This was the only med I was on (after steroid shots and ABX). The contractions continued to feel like minor cramping to me, and I honestly did not think this was the serious labor I had seen in other people. I remember telling one nurse my first in the hospital that I was concerned because my contractions more frequent, and she gave me paper to write down the times. This went on for a while before I told her to please put the monitor on me! Needless to say I was rushed over to the high risk area as soon as the drs saw the monitor. After that the nurses would always bring the monitor in immediately when I felt them increase. But after a while I think I got used to them. One night a week later they felt more prominent/frequent but I was just going to go to sleep. My DH said to have the Dr (resident) check one last time - and I was 8.5cm. They took me to the OR and the doctor performing the c-section did one last check before surgery because I "did not look like a woman in labor" (from my demeanor?) At that point I was 9 cm, cervix described as "paper thin." I was still in denial about having my babies so early (30.5 weeks at this point). All I remember saying outloud through the c-section was "I can't believe I'm having my babies now." They were in the NICU for five weeks and are big, healthy, beautiful babies. Sorry for the long post, but thought my experience might show another side of this situation.


102 Posts


Yes, that is the kind of story I was looking for... that is amazing to me... what you were describing the 'cramping' was like what early labor felt like to me but then the contractions IMMENSELY intensified. Thanks for sharing your experience.

It will be interesting if anyone does research to find out why this is so. I know it would be a difficult thing to study, 1) pain being subjective and affected by so many things 2) pregnant humans. I'm thinking of nerve innervation to the uterus or something along the lines of that as to how our bodies are different, heredity, genes, dna... that kind of thing. Dont want to hear anymore about being educated or mind over body kind of strength... I know that *helps* but I just think there is great deal more to it than that.

But at least now I can believe someone when they say they didnt need any drugs or epidural for their labor! lol... Dont get me wrong, I DO believe what my pts say and treat as such.

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