I have been a patient and have treated medical folks as my patients. One of the biggest challenges is to find out what the patient is thinking, and that is best done by asking.
When I was in that bed, I didn't necessarily reveal that I was a nurse. I didn't want the caregivers to feel nervous, and, quite frankly, I had other things on my mind. In those instances where I was outed (they knew me from another context, or I asked a question in such a way that they suspected I had a medical background), I asked them to treat me as a patient and not to assume that I didn't want the customary explanations and encouragement. I also explained that I had a different specialty area and presented no threat to them.
When I have a nurse or doc or other type of medical person as a postpartum patient, I speak with them at the beginning of a shift and let them know that, unless they tell me otherwise, I'm going to look at them as a patient and do all my normal cares and explanations. I may tailor my speech a little to acknowledge that they already understand most of the terminology, but other than that, I want them to be able to get the full benefit of being cared for. This has been very well received.
I also reassure them that the minute they need something more--a more detailed answer, an explanation for why something is done a certain way, a rationale for a med, etc.--that I will give it to them or find out if I don't know. This goes double for anything involving their baby.
Once they know that they WILL have access to practitioner-level information if they want it, many of them are content to accept the patient role gracefully and actually enjoy being cared for.
The biggest factors are communication and trust. This is true with family members as well. As long as they have the feeling that nothing is being withheld, that they can ask anything and get an appropriate answer, they usually relax and focus on their new baby.
I have even had a couple of patients who tried to reassure me that they weren't critiquing my every move. Much appreciated.
What I have found is that a new mom is a new mom is a new mom, no matter what her career or educational background may be.