I am a mom of three kids, with another baby due in early July. I’ve had two of my kiddos before I became a labor nurse and I remember worrying a lot about whether what I did was normal or not. I was nervous about being judged by the nurses and physicians taking care of me. I didn’t want to be that “weird” patient. My third delivery was so much better because I knew that I wasn’t being judged by my choices. We see a lot of crazy things as healthcare providers, a little poop isn’t going to phase us.
I want you to know, that as a labor nurse, I promise I will not judge you. Our job as nurses is to take care of you and your baby in the safest way possible. We are going to pay more attention to your baby’s heart rate on the monitor than to the spot you missed shaving your legs that morning. Honestly, I’m not just saying that! You would have to do something pretty far out there for us to bat an eye. These are the most common things that I’ve seen moms worry about that I want you to NOT worry about when baby day arrives!
1. Shaving: I tell you what, it is hard to shave those legs when you have a big baby belly and can barely reach them. We don’t care if you don’t have perfectly smooth legs. We probably won’t even notice! Speaking of shaving, grooming down there is another thing we won’t criticize you for. Whether you shave it all, some, or none, we really don’t care.
2. Getting an epidural: Pain management is your choice. If you are adamant that you are not going to get an epidural, and then change your mind, that is fine by me. I’m not going to judge! It’s your labor, do it how you want. If you come in knowing you want an epidural and get it early on, that’s up to you as well. I won’t think you’re a wuss.
3. Not getting an epidural: If you want to go pain medicine-free, good for you! I will support you and do my best to make that possible. I won’t doubt you or make you feel like you can’t do it, because you can!
4. Being emotional: Pregnancy makes your hormones crazy. Labor makes your hormones crazy. Delivering the baby makes your hormones crazy. I get it. Cry if you need to cry. Laugh if you need to laugh. Do both at the same time if you feel like it. I promise that I’ll understand and not judge you for how you’re feeling.
5. Dropping some F bombs: Labor hurts. It’s hard to control that pain and what comes out of your mouth when you’re feeling that pain. I will not judge you if you do a little cursing or have a potty mouth during labor. It happens to the best of us.
6. Getting a little out of control while pushing: Been there, done that. It’s hard to control that pain, especially if you’re a first time mom and don’t really know what to expect. I won’t judge you for getting out of control, but I will probably have to get a little stearn to get you to focus.
7. Not being married: I usually don’t even know if you’re married or not. As long as you love and care for that child, it’s none of my business!
8. Asking questions: I feel like I get a lot of moms that apologize for asking so many questions. Seriously, don’t apologize for that! It’s so much better to know and understand what is going on than to sit there and wonder about it. Please, ask away!
9. Having a birth plan: A lot of moms with birth plans come in feeling like we’re judging them and that we don’t want them to have a pain medicine-free birth. We’re not! It’s good to know your choices and be prepared.
10. Pooping while pushing: No big deal, it happens. It usually means you’re pushing in the right spot. Don’t worry about it or be embarassed. Usually, we’ll have you all cleaned up before you even know it happened.
11. Passing gas: This is also one of those things that happens a lot. If you have an epidural, there’s no controlling it. Any extra air in there just comes out when it wants to. We are used to it!
12. Leaking blood or amniotic fluid onto the floor: Whenever this happens I always say, “It’s not a normal day unless I’m wiping some sort of fluid off the floor!” That is the truth! Don’t worry about it, it’s my job! Labor is a dirty job sometimes and there’s not much to do about that.
This list could go on and on. Enjoy the birth of your child and don’t sweat the small stuff. Healthcare providers are there to help you, not judge you. I promise, we’ve seen it all and not a whole lot phases us! If you’re not sure if something is normal or not, ask and we’ll be happy to reassure you.
Labor is a messy and sometimes gross process. It is also amazing and life changing. While you’re laboring, think about the beauty in what you’re doing and the amazing life you are giving birth to. Those babies are so worth the pooping, pain, and awkward body fluids.