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How to Deal With a Not So Nice Labour and Delivery Nurse

Having given birth 8 times now in a hospital I can say I’ve had very different experiences for all. One thing I can say that I haven’t been prepared for each and every time was a not so nice labour and delivery nurse.

You are bound to get one at some point and generally, it’s one nurse out of the whole experience but it can bring you down a little, but I understand that nurses do have hard jobs, if you’re a nurse I do take my hat off to you, and I do believe salaries should be higher for healthcare professionals so perhaps you may want to look at something like this blog post as to how to raise your nursing salary, published by Regis College .

My Experience…

After Mia, baby #8 I can honestly say I had a wonderful experience. During my labour, however, I did get stuck with a rude nurse – she was so rude I did actually complain about her which I have never actually had to do. Before the baby was discharged the manager of the unit came around as she explained she does before every mama is discharged to find out about experiences. Now, I wasn’t planning on saying anything until I got home but the fact my 11-year-old daughter noticed how rude and unprofessional the nurse was I decided to speak up about her and a nurse I encountered the night before.

How was this nurse rude? Well, she would roll her eyes when I’d say anything. I mentioned how the pressure was getting to the point I knew I’d have to push shortly. She rolled her eyes and said, “not with these contractions they are way too short!” And of course, I was pushing about 5 minutes after her saying this.

Another example – having gestational diabetes means there is a risk of the baby having low sugar after birth. When they tested Mia she was low (1.1, 1.3 and 1.6 they tested her 3x in a row because her number wasn’t reflecting her behaviour) anyways, she rudely said “she needs to only drink this” and pointed at a bottle of formula implying I shouldn’t be breastfeeding I should only be formula feeding to get her sugar up. Something no breastfeeding mama needs to hear let alone one who was just told her baby has extremely low blood sugar.

She also rolled her eyes when I had mentioned my previous experience and she said “there’s no way the epidural needle broke in your back, you’d need surgery” just combative and very rude. Clearly not enjoying her job.

We were brought in at 8 am which was an hour after her shift started and she was this way right off the bat. It really does bring your spirits down when you are preparing for an extra special moment like birth. So what do you do to deal with it?

You could be like me and kill them with kindness. Making them feel crummy for treating you that way because you are so happy, upbeat and enjoying life or you could complain right off the bat. Part of me wishes I did complain right away and maybe get a new nurse, but I feel like killing her with kindness really made me feel like the bigger person.

After labour and delivery, I will say I had amazing nurses. Two of which I even did tell the manager went above and beyond, and I wanted them recognized because they were the best nurses I ever had out of 8 births and postpartum stays. One was my nurse and the other a NICU nurse who was assigned to Mia during her short stay.I did have another nurse who was quite rude but because I did spend most of my time down in the NICU I didn’t let her bother me much. She had come down to my room around midnight when I got back to my room to rest between feeds and I was texting my husband who was at home with my other children and this nurse told me to read “time to power down” like she was my mother and I was twelve. I couldn’t believe it. I told her I was texting my husband and I wasn’t tired, I was capable of knowing my limits.

She came back down shortly after telling me she took it upon herself to go to the NICU and let them know I was worried about the baby so they agreed to test her sugar an hour early so I could rest. I said great, jumped up and put my shoes on and she told me “they’d let me know her results” I said great, but I’ll be there for the test as I was every other one since her NICU admittance at 530pm. So I followed her down to NICU where she rudely told the staff, “I persisted on coming…” where my NICU nurse told me to ignore her, I could stay there 24/7 if I wanted. After this I didn’t see her again, thankfully I just stayed in the NICU until shift change at 7a.

“Such an Impact…”

I don’t know if these nurses realize what type of impact they do have on us new mamas or what but could you imagine these women saying these things to a first time new mama? I couldn’t imagine how crummy a brand new first-time mom would feel. I am experienced and don’t let anyone push me around so I could deal with it even though my extreme fatigue and emotions from another baby in the NICU while my husband couldn’t be there for support and all my other children at home.

SPEAK UP!

Giving birth is an exceptional time that we are supposed to treasure and enjoy. It doesn’t matter how many times a mom gives birth it’s special each and every time and I won’t let nurses who don’t enjoy their job anymore, nurses who are overworked or just crappy nurses in general ruin my special day or stay while my baby is being cared for.

If you feel like a nurse is ruining your experience speak up. Even if it’s at the end of your stay, or you call when you get home – it may end up helping the next mama behind you. Killing my one nurse with kindness, and letting the manager know about them both made me feel better about it all.

I have spoken to many other mamas who too have had some pretty awful nurses and also some pretty amazing ones. It doesn’t happen every time, as only one other time did I had an awful hospital stay (with Justin baby #6) but that was more to do with sharing a room (first-time parents, constant visitors etc) than with the nurses. But it does happen, and when it does – it has nothing to do with YOU and everything to do with THEM. Enjoy your time and experience and if it’s to the point you cannot – complain. There is always a manager of the unit and people you can speak to. You can also request new nurses if necessary.

Don’t feel bad about it. This is your special time, and you deserve to be treated properly and be well cared for.

Have you ever dealt with a not so nice nurse before?