(1) volunteer to see, do, and hear everything while you have the chance over the next three weeks."
(2) as a student in training, it's okay to be nosy, so nose away. you'll learn a lot that way.
(3) working ob is a great opportunity to practice your therapeutic communication skills with the moms. be very obeservant on how they relate -- or fail to relate -- with their newborn baby. you may pick up on signs of the mother not being able to bond with her baby, and intervene by seeing that she receives a psyche or social service consult.
(4) don't be shy about assessing everything on the mother and baby! leave nothing to chance, even if that mom says "it's my fifth baby! take nothing for granted in making sure that mom can verbalize back to you her discharge instructions, how to care for the baby, get the baby to latch on well to the breast if she is breastfeeding, and understands how to take her baby's temperature for goodness sakes!
i can't tell you how many moms i've encountered who do not know how to take their baby's temperature. make sure you let her know that "feeling the baby's head" is not the same as taking the baby's temperature. that very mom will be the one to be discharged to home, think her baby has a fever, call her doctor about her findings, only to be asked by the nurse "what's the baby's temperature, maam?" only to hear the mother say, "he/she doesn't feel like he/she has a fever/temperature." the nurse will say, "did you take the baby's temperature, maam?" the mom will say, "well, no, i don't know how, or i don't own a thermometer. i meant to buy one, but i felt his/her head and...." i think you get my drift on this take.
you, the ob nurse may be that baby's first line of defense/protection against it being placed in harms way if you take note of those things that are often overlooked during the mother's stay in the hospital those 2 or 3 days. checking the fundus, the bleeding, the mom and baby vital signs, counting the wet or poopy diapers, checking the hct, and all the other physically important parts necessary to check, are all very very important, but so is the mother's psyche for she may not be "stable minded emotionally or otherwise" to go home with that baby...thus intervention is of the essence. you may be the one to prevent another 'andrea yates' syndrome.
it's so easy as a student or new grad working in ob to overlook essential data such as i have described. it's not done intentionally, but often the excitement of the moment...being thrilled for the mom, cooing at the cute little bundle of joy, and sharing 'mommy stories' with the mothers may often times cloud the moment that is putting out signs/symptoms you need to be alert to medically and psychologically speaking.... enjoy your ob rotation! i didn't have one dull moment when i went through mine in college, nor did i find it dull when floating on those units as a hospital per diem staff member. i loved ob and newborn nursery! it's a great unit to teach and learn on. you'll do great! no doubts in my mind! :kiss