I will never forget the nurses who cared for me when I birthed my babies. They comforted me during labor, offered support and encouragement, and even snuck me food in the delivery room. My postpartum nurses were incredible, too, and were rockstars when it came to helping me learn how to be a mom. Most moms will tell you a nurse can make or break your labor and delivery experience, because birthing babies isn't easy. Which begs the quest: what do maternity nurses love the most about their jobs? I truly believe it takes a special kind of person to want to be there for women when they're at their most vulnerable (and secreting so many bodily fluids).
Romper asked maternity nurses why they were so passionate about their jobs, and pretty much every single one said it's because they love empowering women during childbirth. Labor and delivery nurses support moms-to-be through one of the most challenging, vulnerable, exhilarating experiences of their lives, keeping them calm during labor, helping them make informed decisions, and making sure their obstetrics provider knows what's going on throughout the entire process. They do get to see parents meet their babies for the first time, and help parents make difficult choices about their babies or cope with insurmountable loss. I honestly don't know how they do it, but I sure am glad they do.
Postpartum nurses are just as special, too. They have the extremely important job of taking care of new moms while they learn to take care of their babies. They help us navigate our sore bodies, bring us frozen diapers, giant mesh panties, stool softeners, pain meds, and teach us how to feed our babies after the exhausting task of bringing them into the world. In return, they see the tender moments of new parenthood.
In other words, the nurses who care for pregnant and postpartum women are incredible. And if you needed any further convincing, well, just read the real reasons why they love and value their important jobs so much:
"I work in a very busy teaching hospital and regional perinatal center that serves a large percentage of high-risk and/or socioeconomically at-risk patients. I love finding a common ground with my patients to earn their trust. It is important to me that they feel like have the resources and information they need to be prepared to care for themselves and their infants upon discharge."
"The best bit is that moment when you introduce a new child to their family. It's magical every time. I also really love it when I get to look after the same family over multiple days, helping them evolve and building their confidence."
"I'm a postpartum nurse and a lactation consultant. The real reason I love my job is that I get to help build up the confidence of new parents. I love teaching by doing things hands-on, and it's wonderful seeing everything 'click' when a dad finally learns how to change his newborn's diaper or when a mom finally feels strong and comfortable holding her preemie and giving him his bottle."
"I used to love my job, before the baby-friendly hospital initiative was implemented. I felt like mothers and their babies were well taken care of, mothers were not expected to be the sole caretaker of their baby, and babies didn't starve or get hurt due to restrictions. Moms were pampered, like they should be. Now, I would only work at a hospital that is both mom and baby-friendly."
"I love the bonding I had with laboring patients who I had never met before. By the end of a delivery, we would be like old friends. To be with someone on the day they become a parent is magical."
"I'm a labor and delivery nurse, and I have been for 10 years. I’ve worked in a huge, level-three, high-risk city hospital and a small level-one community hospital. I love my job for so many reasons.
First and foremost, I just love birth. I love seeing the utter power women possess. To be a part of someone’s birth experience is such a sacred, amazing experience, and I get to do it many times a week. It’s amazing to meet someone in early labor when they’re smiling, chatty, nervous, and excited. Over a few or many hours, through the birth of their babies, they transform into a focused warrior tapping into strength they never realized they had. I love working through the hard parts of labor with women and their partners.
I love answering every question and explaining each and every thing that is happening. I love being the advocate and go-between a women and the doctor, explaining what the doctor is saying and telling the doctor what the woman wishes and coming to a mutual decision. I love supporting a women and showing their partner how to support them.
I even love the hard parts of the job, letting a women hold my hand during an emergency, looking in their eyes and telling them it will be OK, hugging them and crying with them when it’s not OK. My very favorite moment in my job after all these years is the moment a new mom has had her baby: the baby is pink, crying, and beautiful laying on her chest, and she looks at me with tears in her eyes and says thank you for everything. I get goosebumps every time at that moment. I am literally the luckiest person to get to do what I do."