The Unexpected Challenges in Labor, Delivery Nursing
Many student nurses become enamored with labor and delivery nursing and the infectious joy surrounding most births. This specialty, however, is not without its challenges to effective care. It requires nurses to remain vigilant and current on the advances in obstetrical care while working with pregnant patients from all walks of life. Many expectant women and young girls arrive unprepared for childbirth and may have misconceptions that foster unrealistic expectations for delivery. For example, in an effort to have a “painless birth,” an expectant mother may request an epidural in order to feel nothing at all. If not properly educated beforehand, she may panic as the loading dose of the epidural begins to wear off and she feels the pressure of the baby moving down. The primary responsibility for re-educating these women falls on the labor and delivery nurse.