I really need a pep talk..

  1. Hi everyone..

    Tonight I got a call from my 3rd client that she thinks her water has broken. She feels small "bursts" of fluid when she gets up / lays down, etc. So I told her to take her time, pack her stuff together and go to hospital. She'll call me when/if admitted.

    But.. I'm feeling nervous. I feel like I'm going to screw up somehow, say the wrong thing tonight, or whatever. Maybe have a nurse that just wants to battle with me (this happened my first birth, I just kept my mouth shut and took it ) But I just want to be helpful. I want to be the support this mother-to-be expects.

    I feel like I don't know how to "emotionally" support someone. In the doula training, they focused so much on physical comfort measures, that I go back through my notes and binders and don't see much about emotional support. What are the right things to say? How do you be emotionally supportive?

    On my last two evalutations (the scale is 1 worst to 5 best) I got all 5's on everything except a 4 on "Were the techniques used by the doula helpful to the mother in handling emotional aspects of her labor?"

    I usually have great confidence, am convinced I know what my job is, etc. But I'm just not feeling it tonight Any help?

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    About Natalieboo

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 112; Likes: 2
    SAHM, Birth Doula


  3. by   Brownms46
    ((((((((((((((((Tiff))))))))))))))))) Please do not beat yourself up trying to be everything to everyone! Seems for someone who is just starting out...as your (working on cert...appears to suggest)....you're doing just fine... I'll bet when you get the cert. You will be the best there is!! You're beating up on yourself...also seems to suggest you're a perfectionist also. And as one who also suffers from the desire to be the best of the best...sometimes...we're our own worse critic.... Hang in there....and give yourself a break...
  4. by   shay
    Tiffany, everybody feels this way at first when learning how to deal with labor patients. It's hard. The normal progression of learning is to master the physical tasks first (comfort measures, in your case), then to fine tune the emotional/supportive aspects second.

    It sounds like you're doing just fine, and Brownie's right. Don't beat yourself up. Just relax and be yourself. Don't worry about "clashing" with a nurse or doc. Take it moment to moment, okay?

    Hang in there, dahlin'.
  5. by   Natalieboo
    Thanks both of you!!

    I really didn't even realize I was "beating myself up". I just more than anything want to get along with medical staff as well! One thing I noticed is, when I walk into a clients room and introduce myself to the nurse, she immediately gets ... well, defensive! Maybe I will understand this when/if I become a L&D nurse.

    Here it is 11am the next day, and I am still not with her at hospital because she hasn't had any labour. Just a broken water. She's been on pitocin since 9am. I hope things pick up soon! I'm getting pumped.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Nat, I 2nd what all the above said. You sound WAY too conscientious to do ANYTHING BUT THE BEST! We ALL go thru times when we doubt ourselves in what we do. That is part of the whole package. the trick is to learn by any mistakes you have made and just do the best you can. If your heart is in it, you cannot go wrong. And I believe YOURS IS! Keep on keeping on; you are terrific!
  7. by   indynurse
    The emotional support you give will get better with more experience and confidence. And, based on what you said you have received on evaluations, you are already doing a pretty good job with it. I use humor a lot of the time to keep things light for the pt during an intense experience in their life. I also find it useful to acknowledge to the mother that this is hard work for them and I tell them they are doing a great job. I know this sounds trite, but sometimes, it is just what they want to hear.
    Also, as you gain more experience, you will also get a "thicker skin" when it comes to interactiong with doctors and nurses. Their point of view may be a bit different from yours, but keep in mind they also are trying to look out for the best interests of your client. We all have the same basic goal, a healthy & happy outcome for Mom and baby.
  8. by   mark_LD_RN
    you will feel better with more experience. and remember you can not be all things to every one, and do not expect to get all perfect marks especially this early on in your career. also you will notice that no matter how hard you try some people just can not be pleased,but you need to keep trying anyway
  9. by   Swiftee
    Supporting anyone emotionally, especially during labor, is really hard because people have different personalities. I agree with indynurse on telling the patients what a good job they are doing. I know some people don't like it when someone jokes with them during intense labor, though. It can make it seem like everyone else is having a jolly good time laughing it up while the patient is working her butt off. I think that having a 4 out of 5 is really, really good! You should be proud of yourself! Also, use your experience as a mommy to help guide you if all else fails. You do have some first hand insight. Also, it never hurts to ask the mom before she goes into labor what kind of emotional support would work best for her. That way you'll know ahead of time and it wouldn't as awkward as asking her in the heat of labor.

    Congrats and good luck!

  10. by   Nurse K-Bear
    you need to take care of yourself in order to help others. I am not a ob nurse. (hope to be soon!). I am a new nurse with about 6 months experience. One of the best things I learned in these past 6 months is in front of your patients and staff, show that you are confident in yourself and make the patient feel like you have done this many times before. The first time I gave someone an injection I was so nervous but they patient did not realize they were the first one. I thought I was going to be sick.

    A nurse with many years of experience also told me confidence and being comfortable comes with time. Hope this helps! Good luck.
  11. by   Natalieboo
    Thank you all so much for your kind words, and rebuilding of my confidence and self-esteem!

    I love to hear of all your experience and I learn a LOT from it. Thank you so much for continuing to support me on my journey!!