Pregnant L&D RN

Posted

I'm a 33 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Thankfully, my pregnancy has been smooth. I've had a couple of episodes of night nausea, passed my GDM screening, gained 14.5 lbs, and baby is measuring well. Except, I am a Labor and Delivery nurse. The patient load and comments from coworkers are unbelievable.

High acuity patients while pregnant is physically and emotional exhausting. I've received all sorts of cases. For example, I've had at least three patients endorsed with Quantiferon positive labs, without a confirmation chest x-ray. :drum roll: I've been the primary nurse for countless crash c-sections, cord prolapse, partial placenta abruption, postpartum hemorrhage with massive transfusion protocol. Patients with BMI 60-63. Substance abuse cases. I've acted as the first responder for traumas/MVA's. Thankfully, I have helping hands to push and break beds and hold limbs.

But the highlight (with a sarcastic cherry on top) are THE questions from coworkers. These are the questions I've received so far with their respective answers:

  1. Was your pregnancy planned? Yes
  2. Are you having twins? No
  3. Are you Gestational Diabetic? No
  4. Are your fluids ok? Yes
  5. Can I ultrasound your baby? No
  6. How many weeks are you now? Varies
  7. Who's taking care of your baby when you go back to work? My mom, she's retiring this month and she's 68 years old.
  8. Is your husband happy? Yes
  9. How long have you been married? 3 years, boo. And dated for 3, engaged for 2. Total years together 8.
  10. How old are you? 31.
  11. What are you having? A boy.

Comment: oh, It's girl because of the way your shaped. Okay.

  1. Are you moving closer to home? Now I am.
  2. So are you transferring to another affiliated facility? I need to consider it.
  3. Where are you delivering? At an undisclosed location. Away from physicians in training and immediate nursing circles.
  4. ANY SIGNS OF PRETERM LABOR? :This one is way too special to address because it come from my charge nurse:

These are L&D nurse to L&D nurse questions! It's frustrating because 1) there are clearly poor professional boundaries at play, 2) there is definitely a generation difference at play as well. All of these questions come from the older nurses, who, unfortunately, run the show. I do not want to come off as ungrateful for the semi-effort made to accommodate my patient load. At the same time, I want them to know that they are contributing to anxiety about my pregnancy and that they are being rude. Maybe it's because I mentioned I am considering a transfer?

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

I'm a 33 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Thankfully, my pregnancy has been smooth. I've had a couple of episodes of night nausea, passed my GDM screening, gained 14.5 lbs, and baby is measuring well. Except, I am a Labor and Delivery nurse. The patient load and comments from coworkers are unbelievable.

High acuity patients while pregnant is physically and emotional exhausting. I've received all sorts of cases. For example, I've had at least three patients endorsed with Quantiferon positive labs, without a confirmation chest x-ray. :drum roll: I've been the primary nurse for countless crash c-sections, cord prolapse, partial placenta abruption, postpartum hemorrhage with massive transfusion protocol. Patients with BMI 60-63. Substance abuse cases. I've acted as the first responder for traumas/MVA's. Thankfully, I have helping hands to push and break beds and hold limbs.

But the highlight (with a sarcastic cherry on top) are THE questions from coworkers. These are the questions I've received so far with their respective answers:

  1. Was your pregnancy planned? Yes
  2. Are you having twins? No
  3. Are you Gestational Diabetic? No
  4. Are your fluids ok? Yes
  5. Can I ultrasound your baby? No
  6. How many weeks are you now? Varies
  7. Who's taking care of your baby when you go back to work? My mom, she's retiring this month and she's 68 years old.
  8. Is your husband happy? Yes
  9. How long have you been married? 3 years, boo. And dated for 3, engaged for 2. Total years together 8.
  10. How old are you? 31.
  11. What are you having? A boy.

Comment: oh, It's girl because of the way your shaped. Okay.

  1. Are you moving closer to home? Now I am.
  2. So are you transferring to another affiliated facility? I need to consider it.
  3. Where are you delivering? At an undisclosed location. Away from physicians in training and immediate nursing circles.
  4. ANY SIGNS OF PRETERM LABOR? :This one is way too special to address because it come from my charge nurse:

These are L&D nurse to L&D nurse questions! It's frustrating because 1) there are clearly poor professional boundaries at play, 2) there is definitely a generation difference at play as well. All of these questions come from the older nurses, who, unfortunately, run the show. I do not want to come off as ungrateful for the semi-effort made to accommodate my patient load. At the same time, I want them to know that they are contributing to anxiety about my pregnancy and that they are being rude. Maybe it's because I mentioned I am considering a transfer?

All you have to say (repeatedly) is "I'd rather not discuss my health and pregnancy- it's personal". You are being touchy- I think your co-workers mean well and are just conversing. They are not 'contributing to your anxiety'- YOU are allowing that to happen.

quazar

quazar

Has 20 years experience. 603 Posts

Hmm. Well, I went through both of my pregnancies as a seasoned L&D nurse, and delivered where I work, had crash sections and marathon pushing sessions and pushing and hauling beds and patients and all that fun stuff, plus preterm labor both times. I honestly didn't feel put off by people asking me about my pregnancy, especially the technical questions (AFI, weeks gestation, etc), because well....that's the business.

I mean, to each her own and stuff, and obviously you're a very private person which is not a personality flaw at all. Your coworkers probably just don't get that, and as L&D nurses, quite frankly, we're used to being all up in people's private business. Sometimes people don't recognize that not EVERYONE is like that, though, and need gentle reminders.

Yes, it's hard to be heavily pregnant and be a nurse, and yes, L&D is extremely physical work and really hard to do the more pregnant you get. Just try to take breaks when you can, and remember: you need to ASK for help if you need it. Don't wait for it to be offered, ASK. As for them asking you questions you'd rather not answer, just say politely, "I'm a really private person, and I'd rather not discuss those details. I do appreciate your concern as a friend, though, and everything is going well with both me and the baby," or something to that effect. If people get their feathers ruffled after that, oh well, too bad, they can deal with it, they're big girls. ;)

Congratulations on your impending birth, and I hope you have a safe delivery and a healthy baby (and mom)!

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,949 Posts

Maybe those older nurses are overstepping but I tend to think its motherly instinct kicking in and at least they are interested in you and your pregnancy.

Just be nice and tell them you are a private person and try not to let your own feelings lead to anxiety. That would be self-inflicted. No need to get so upset. Like I said, I think it's cause they care and you are misinterpreting and mischaracterizing what is "rude".

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 16 years experience. 14,248 Posts

I agree with others that I think you're being a bit oversensitive about the questions. I don't see that any of them are really over the top or particularly rude. However, if you don't want to share, that's certainly you're right. Just say what Quazar suggested.

And regarding the assignments - I also agree that you need to ask for help. Taking care of a patient with a BMI of 60 should not matter because you should not be doing any lifting or moving alone, regardless of your pregnancy status. The +quantiferon patient should not matter as long as she is asymptomatic. If she's coughing, then you should be wearing an N-95 and she should be in an isolation room. If she's not, then she's not contagious.

ashleyisawesome, BSN, RN

Specializes in LDRP. 804 Posts

I don't think they are trying to intentionally make you anxious or really pry into your personal life, they are just making conversation. We constantly have pregnant nurses on our unit and most of them are more than happy to discuss their pregnancy with their coworkers. If they were to say "Please stop asking about my pregnancy, it makes me uncomfortable." I would refrain from asking about it, but they won't know unless you say something.

As far as the workload, my unit tends to "baby" our pregnant nurses. The charge nurses try to give them easier assignments if possible (but sometimes you can't predict an abruption or a cord prolapse!) The other staff nurses usually go out of their way to help them too if we know they are dealing with a difficult patient.

Most of our nurses deliver on our unit. I know I will whenever I get pregnant. I want to be taken care of by people I know care about my well being (not that other nurses wouldn't), and to have my work friends there to support me if things don't go as planned. Plus I know which nurses and doctors/residents to avoid. We usually let our nurses pick their nurse if possible and if a "scary" resident is on we let them know so they can request "no residents". Not to mention, if I go into labor at work, I am already in the right place!

not2bblue

not2bblue

127 Posts

most of the questions are fairly typical for pregnant women to be asked. What are you having, are there twins, how long have you been married, is your husband happy about the baby, how far along are you... These are things people ask all the time to any pregnant woman. And the others seem to just be "L&D" nurse questions.

"How long have you been married? 3 years, boo. And dated for 3, engaged for 2. Total years together 8." The way you wrote this answer makes it seem like you are easily offended by a pretty standard question. I'm guessing that this is your first baby and you haven't been a nurse very long.

"At the same time, I want them to know that they are contributing to anxiety about my pregnancy and that they are being rude. Maybe it's because I mentioned I am considering a transfer?" Well, yeah, telling them you want a transfer wasn't the best thing to say and expect sympathy. The stuff you describe seems fairly typical of L&D and it isn't like pregnant women in other areas aren't exposed to things, at least you aren't on an infectious disease floor. I doubt they consider that you might be anxious about your pregnancy at all. You have revealed the sex of the baby, at this point the questions should stop although people will probably ask when you are going on leave.

MrsRitchie

MrsRitchie

Specializes in ICU. 22 Posts

I think you would get those questions if you worked anywhere- as a nurse or not.

I am having a hard time relating to your post bc the two hospitals I work at- my coworkers are truly like family.

MrsRitchie

MrsRitchie

Specializes in ICU. 22 Posts

Yes, we often text our own providers before coming in SROM'd, just so they are aware they will have to come in later.