Training OB nurses for natural birth support

  1. I posted this on the Nurse Midwife Board also, but thought it might get more activity here.

    Does anyone know of any available inservicing or training to teach OB nurses how to care for laboring women who are low risk and desire a natural birth? I am a CNM, but am currently working as an OB Director (newly), with a group of wonderful nurses who have gotten very accustomed to women laboring with epidurals. They are not comfortable with women laboring naturally, intermittent fetal monitoring, etc. I would like to change that. I know I can put together some information and instruction for them, but just wondered if anyone is familiar with a specific inservice, video, book, or whatever, that would work well for this purpose.

    Thank you.
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    About mommy2boysaz

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 288; Likes: 113
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in OB


  3. by   Lamp Lady
    Have you given thought to a Certified Doula coming in and teaching them how to work with patients? I've been a Labor and Delivery nurse since the day I stepped out of nursing school in 1983. Though I had Mindi in 1982 with no epidural or medication; I was still unprepared to take care of these ladies. My choices were listen to them cry, scream, swear, or worse or learn how to help them get through it the best way we could together. I later came to find out that actually what I had learned to do was be their doula but get paid by the hospital and be their nurse and reap the joys of a doula and the satisfaction in my heart that I had taken good care of my patients as I had been trained to do. For me it was a win win situation. I still get to help some of my patients keep it together until they get their epidurals or the patients that come in complete while we are waiting for the doctor to wake up and drive in (I work night shift in small hospitals). Almost 30 years later, my nursing is still my hobby not my job. The Doula idea is just a thought. Good Luck to you all!
  4. by   Fyreflie
    We had midwives come in and do a one day training on labour support during my perinatal training--other than that, just practice!! It might be beneficial to have someone experienced in labour support "buddy" a nurse at a time but I know the logistics of that are kind of tough
  5. by   nurse from heaven
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Hi mommy2boysaz. I was so excited when I read your post. I'm an LPN who is currently going back to school for the sole purpose of being an RN in L&D. Sometimes I wonder if going into the profession will mean administering Pitocin even when it is unnecessary. I think natural births are beautiful when a pregnancy is low risk. So what you are doing is commendable. Have you read the book "[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Ina May's Guide to childbirth". I think you will find it useful even if all it does is to help the nurses change their mindset about natural births.

    My goal is to be a CNM someday. You nurses on this site are all inspirations.
  6. by   mommy2boysaz
    Thank you all for your input. I will probably just put together some videos and info myself to share with them. Hopefully eventually we will have a CNM on staff that can show them first hand how birth can/should be.

    nurse from heaven-
    As a L&D nurse, you will absolutely be doing things that you disagree with, unfortunately. Your best bet would be finding a hospital to work in that employs midwives. Even then, you will still be managing the care of women who are undergoing unnecessary interventions. This can be very frustrating. However, you can also look at it as an opportunity to help women in a personal way that only you can, whatever they are going through. You definitely should consider becoming a midwife! Good Luck to you!
  7. by   klone
    The nurse who trained me in L&D was a certified doula and took training with Penny Simkin. She never used her doula certification, but obtained it simply so that she could provide labor support. When I was a student, working as an extern, she drilled into my head the importance of labor support and learning things like pressure points, massage, etc. She was fabulous!

    I would say some kind of doula training, or even a one-day seminar.
  8. by   monkeybug
    When we get a patient that really wants to go natural, I generally end up taking her because it is such a rarity at our hospital and the other nurses are uncomfortable with it. (or this was the case when I was there full time, I'm now per diem) I have no formal training in natural labor, but I got a lot out of reading Ina May Gaskins' books and the Bradley Method book. Maybe find a Bradley instructor in your area and see if she will come in and give a talk?
  9. by   FLDoula
    I agree with finding a Certified Birth Doula to come in and give an inservice. I'm certified through DONA (Penny Simkin helped found this organization) and if you look on their front page there is a section for "find a doula." DONA International – Welcome! I would do something like this in a heartbeat! As nurses (I'm still a student) we want to alleviate pain. Labor is pain with a purpose and some women do want to give birth med free. It's hard for me and I've been around it for 5 years.
    There are some great videos out there at if you are looking just for videos. I would suggest some hands on training though. Good luck!
  10. by   queenanneslace
    Have you looked at the AABC? I think this is a recent addition to their conferences and workshops - a day long seminar called "Practical Techniques to Support Women in Childbirth."
  11. by   queenanneslace
    AWHONN has some very good resources on intermittent auscultation of heart tones:

    Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
  12. by   mommy2boysaz
    Thank you for the links! I didn't realize that AABC was offering this seminar. It's exactly what I was looking for! I went to their How to Start a Birthcenter Conference and it was great. Now I just have to await the 2013 dates (after the Jan. class).

    I actually recently hired a new nurse for my unit who has no OB experience as a RN, but has been a doula for a number of years. I'm excited about her starting. I think having her on board will benefit the whole staff.
  13. by   violet_violet
    The documentary, The Business of Being Born, really inspired me and was an eye opening experience, as well as to hear other views.
  14. by   owlRN01
    This is a great thread! I'm tagging this for later I plan on becoming a CNM!