I am a new grad (8/06) and I just did my L&D rotation in October. The only advice or pointers that I have to share is to remember to watch for "late decelerations" and reposition the mother. Also try not to dismiss a persons pain rate. While I was in that rotation, some of the "seasoned" nurses made comments like "yeah, its gonna hurt, thats why they call it labor" or "you should of thought about the delivery before you got pregnant". Like anyone could explain what labor is really like! Just try not to judge or form opinions about the person in labor, they are probably goin through something that was totally unexpected (the delivery), and even if this isn't their first delivery, everyone is different, and they are probably a little nervous about everything thats going on. It can be a very frightening experience. Keep an open mind. I remember one young woman I was caring for, she was scheduled for a c-sec, and was nervous because she knew her baby had hydroceph., but really didn't understand what that meant. I could tell when she went to the OR that she was really nervous, and I observed several medical staff all moving around and setting things up, that they kinda forgot that there was a person there, and she was scared, and had no idea what was about to happen to her or her baby. I just went over and held her hand and talked to her about all the "setting things up" that was going on around her. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked me to stay with her because there was nobody else to hold her hand. As a student I felt so fortunate - you are in an awesome position to show compassion to the patient, and still observe what the nurses are doing. When you are asking questions on the patients behalf, you can learn so much too.
Good luck with your L&D rotation, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It is a wonderful experience and a privlige to be predent when a new life is delivered!