Nursing Birth

One Labor & Delivery Nurse’s View From the Inside

About NursingBirth February 6, 2009

NursingBirth is a blog in support of change for the current state of maternity care in the United States.  My goal in starting this blog is to get the word out there that if things stay the way they are, the safety and welfare of our mothers and babies continues to be at risk.  I also want the birth advocacy community to know that there are nurses out there that are on your side!   The time is NOW!  I hope my blog will include ramblings of my day to day life as a labor and delivery nurse, resources for birth advocacy and tips for becoming involved in the cause, book reviews, commentary on current events, new perspectives on past experiences, and thoughts towards change!


So why the name “NursingBirth?”  Since I am married to a linguist who enjoys word play, I have decided to play a little bit with words of my own.  Although I do not feel that birth is broken (despite what some obstetricians might tell you), I do feel like the current state of maternity care in America IS broken and hence needs to be nursed back to health.  I am also a nurse and hence, nursing is what I do.  Also, nursing is also used to refer to breastfeeding (another thing I feel needs to be advocated for and supported) and natural birth needs to be nourished and supported, which is exactly what nursing does for a newborn!


Please check out my blog’s first post, “Nursing Birth is BORN!”  as well as My Philosophy: Birth, Breastfeeding, and Advocacy 

A Note About Privacy:

This blog follows all HIPPA regulations.  Names, dates, events, and descriptions are altered for the privacy of all who may or may not be involved.  Unless otherwise quoted, all opinions expressed in this blog are my own.  Although this blog should not be used as a substitute for medical or midwifery advice, I try my best to support all facts with the appropriate research and encourage all who stumble upon this site to talk to their midwife or obstetrician about any questions that may arise while reading my posts.


49 Responses to “About NursingBirth”

  1. briome Says:

    Cool Great site….I love a good nurse!

  2. nursingbirth Says:

    Thanks Briome! Spread the word about the site! 🙂

  3. Kathleen Says:

    Hey there,

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog! So interesting! I’m 33 weeks with my 3rd, and am trying to do more research this time. I’ve heard alot of stats and facts about maternity care in the USA. I’m in Canada. My question is (and I’ll be asking as much as I can everywhere), is it the same in Canada? I don’t know how much you’ll know about what it’s like up here, but it seems to me it’s a little better (meaning more support for natural birth, less medical interventions, etc..)… I don’t know for sure though. Do you have any info on this?

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Hi Kathleen!! Congrats on your pregnancy and upcoming birth!! And THREE CHEERS to you for doing your research!! I am so happy that you like my blog and I hope you 1) keep reading and 2) have a very empowering birth experience!! As far as Canada goes unfortunately I know very little about Canada except that on somethings they are better than US regarding natural birth and on others that are right up there with us on outrageousness! I do read one blog called “Stand and Deliver” that can be found at: The author lives in Canada now but is from the U. S. She might be better able to help you out!! Good luck!

  4. Kendrea Says:

    Thanks for a great resource to get my students thinking. I’m a Bradley Method instructor and I will pass your blog along to my students.

    Thanks for all the work,

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Kendrea, It makes me SO HAPPY to hear you will be passing this blog along to your students. My whole goal in starting this blog was to get info out of pregnant moms and I appreciate the help! Keep up the good work youself! We need more childbirth instructors like you!

  5. Tracy Says:

    I love your blog! What a breath of fresh air! As a birth doula and mom of nine, I have felt the same fustration that you have. You are a wonderful nurse and give me hope that there are nurses out there who care about natural childbirth! Thank you for exposing what is REALLY going on with doctors in the hospital. I have always had to fight for a midwifery model birth at the hospital and I would love to someday meet someone like you on L&D who didn’t look at me like I am an idiot. Keep writing!!! I am first in line for your book!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Tracy, Wow! Mom of nine! You rock! I appreciate women like you who are fighting for the midwifery model of care! I can see the title of my book now…”Pushed Over the Edge” haha!

  6. vsakotai Says:

    Great blog!

    So many of the experiences you describe are, unfortunately, far too common. I teach antenatal Lamaze programs as well as provide labor support in India, and have to many times nudge, push and prod the expectant parents to get their voices to be heard over the cacophony of interventions that are “prescribed” to them. By the way, in many urban areas in India the C-Section rate can get as high as 80%! Shocking and unconscionable.

    Your new series looks great 🙂 I have had many situations such as (Sarah and John’s unnecessary Induction) yours, especially with oligohydramnios and post-dates.. just touching 40 wks plus (not even true post-dates). After printing out reams of research papers to give out to practicing OBs in my hospital, I am beginning to see small changes in our practice – still a long way to go. It should not be so difficult to have a natural birth!

    Dr. Vijaya

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Dr. Vijaya, Thank you for reading my blog! I dance the “nudge, nudge, push, push, wink, wink” dance every day at work with my patients!! One of my good friend’s family is from India and she said that in her family, many of her cousins had their two children via scheduled elective primary and repeat C/S and then got their tubes tied. Zip Zip! It is frightening! I say THREE CHEERS to you for pushing research on the practicing OBs in your hospital!! Good luck to you in your adventures!!

  7. Carrie Says:

    How REFRESHING to see someone in the medical field standing up for mothers & babies and doing the right thing!!! Thank you!!!

    I had 1 hospital birth that left me w/ PTSD (an episiotomy I didn’t want, labored on my back, no encouragement to walk or move around) and led me to have a homebirth w/ my next child and then an unassisted homebirth w/ my youngest.

    Keep going, sister!! You’re doing a great job! 🙂

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Carrie, I am so sorry to hear about your traumatic birth experience and I am so happy that you had an empowering birth experience the second time around!!!

  8. roriroars Says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and have to say thankyouthankyouthankyou! I wish I had someone like you precepting me during my brief stint as an L&D nurse… perhaps I would have stuck it out longer and been able to truly advocate for my patients. Keep up the good work!

  9. sarah Says:

    Just directed here from a mom website, loving it so far. I studied linguistics in college myself and I love the wordplay!

    I LOVE to hear from nurses who feel the system is broken too, I feel more often you hear from the nurses who insist that they see so many babies die or be injured and they wish everyone would birth with an obstetrician in a hospital, preferably in the OR (okay I am exaggerating a bit with that one, but you get my drift)

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Sarah, thanks for the support!! I work with some of these people, doctors and nurses, who feel things are just “too dangerous” to happen any other way but in the hospital. I have actually burned copies of BOBB to give them and they wont even watch. Its mostly the older ones. Hopefully they will all retire soon! Hahaha!

  10. Ann Says:

    Wow, it is so refreshing to have discovered your blog. I have put it on my favorites list, so that I can come back and read more.  Right now I am ready to graduate from nursing school and have worked on the OB floor during clinicals, and preceptorship. Before nursing school I was a doula for 3 years and know many of the local doctors and midwives that come through the hospitals.  I am sorry to say I have kept my previous doula experience in the closet while working with the nurses in OB.I see the puzzled look on some of the nurses faces when a midwife or Dr. says hello to me. It’s tough fitting in and being accepted as a student nurse on the floor. I did not want to be judged or ridiculed for my beliefs of natural birthing. It has been very difficult watching the numerous inductions, and chosen, scheduled c-sections. I have enjoyed supporting patients and their partners by giving encouragement to moms in labor. Patients have had to struggle to proceed with their birth plans in the hospital setting. (although there have only been a handful of spontaneous labors). After my final review in preceptorship, and graduation, I feel as if I will be able to vent and let all these bottled up emotions out.  I have been keeping a journal of my experiences and would love to share what I have learned and experienced on the OB floor.  I would love to continue working in the labor and delivery setting but will have to find a birthing center or hospital where I would fit it.

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Ann, we need more OB nurses with your background and experience!! I too often feel like I don’t really “fit in” with the current culture and I am often torn between leaving and sticking it out. But then when I think about it, if every nurse “like me” quits, who will be left “in” the system to advocate for the rights of childbearing families!! So for now, I am sticking it out! I hope you one day find someplace you can truly be yourself!! I certainly do!

  11. Maggie Says:

    I love, love, LOVE your blog. I’m pregnant with my first baby and planning on a natural birth. I get so frustrated when people tell me that I’m crazy for not wanting an epidural or give me unsolicited advice about how pain meds are the only way to go. Reading blogs like this (and having a very supportive nurse-midwife) reaffirm my decision and help me keep in mind that my body can deliver this baby without drugs. Also, thanks to your blog I’ve thought of many questions to ask that I otherwise wouldn’t have (hi, amniotomy!). I hope I have a nurse like you when I deliver!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Maggie, CONGRATS! on your pregnancy and HOORAY! for you for doing your research 🙂 I am so glad to hear you have a supportive birth attendant (A VERY important step!!) It makes me so happy to know that my blog has helped you think of a few more questions (Goodbye amniotomy! hahaha!) I wish I could be your nurse of course but I will send positive birth vibes your way anyways 🙂

  12. Melissa Says:

    I LOVE your blog! I wish you were in Orlando so you could be my L&D nurse at the beginning of August.

  13. chris Says:

    what state do you work in? you mentioned northeast and was just wondering if you were in my area.

    • nursingbirth Says:

      chris, because of HIPPA rules I can’t put out that information. Sorry!! I wish I could tell everyone where I worked but I have to protect the privacy of all those involved! Shall I ask where do you live instead?? 🙂

  14. Jayle Says:

    Hi – I linked here from Tina Cassidy’s blog and your comment on the article about the increasing induction rate. I’m just curious as to your opinion about something…

    I’m just over 30 weeks pregnant (third pregnancy) and totally anticipating an induced delivery. Historically, I have a very rapid jump in my blood pressure near the end…which prompts an induction. Is this another unjustified claim for induction or is it a legitimate and medically-necessary response if there are no other complications?

    Also significant – my first son was stillborn just 3 days prior to his due date. One theory is that my elevated BP caused enough stress over time that he was unable to keep producing amniotic fluid. There was none present at the time of his death. That is, at least, my rudimentary understanding of what happened. (No thanks to the OB who was “caring” for me – he never attempted an explanation, for sure. And certainly never justified his reasons for ignoring my severely elevated blood pressure – which I was not told about at the time.) I used a midwife for my second pregnancy and this one as well.

    Curious as to your thoughts on inductions due to blood pressure issues…?? Thanks!

  15. Wendyrful Says:

    Nursing Birth… As others have said, I LOVEloveLOVE yoru blog! I am a mother of 6 (I was lucky to have the first two precipitously and didn’t ‘need’ drugs to kick start a labor/ or help remove the pain, etc). I have had UAHB, HB w/ a CPM, BCWB and HWB. I am a labor doula, a CBE and apprenticing MW. I LOVe that you are unafraid to ‘tell it like it is’ – I am often afraid to rock the system too much, but try very hard to encourage moms to educate themselves to take a stand and have empowering births. I would LOVE to wrok with more nurses like yourself. Thank you for all the work you do – with moms as well as with your blog. I will be refering to it often, and passing the link out far and wide!!!!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Wendyful, First off, love your name 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting!! I’d love to work with more doulas like you too!! What a great resource you must be to your clients having such a variety of birth experiences!!

  16. I really enjoy reading a blog from an educated medical professional. I am hoping to conceive baby #2 sometime soon and am doing quite a bit of research on my birthing choices this time around. I loved my experience with my first baby, but sadly, my OB passed away suddenly and before I choose a new doctor or midwife, I want to explore all my options. I am leaning toward a natural birth but in a hospital setting. I was hesitant to just jump head first into the whole “natural birth” realm since many things seemed so opposite of standard medical practices in modern obstetrics. I have come to realize you can have the best of both worlds and that is what I love about your views and what you share in your blog. As an advocate of natural birth, and a labor and delivery nurse, yours is the advice I have been looking for! Thanks for sharing.

  17. chris Says:

    I live on the CT/RI border on the shore (Stonington/Westerly).

  18. Aislyn Says:

    Thanks so much for this blog! I am a postpartum doula and breastfeeding counselor. Because I believe our maternity care could be greatly improved, and I want to make a difference, I have decided to apply to nursing school. I recently got a job as a labor & delivery assistant in a teaching hospital so I can gain exposure to birth as the majority of people experience it. I am constantly questioning my sanity for having put myself in such a frustrating position, and I am drinking in your words like water. Again, thank you so much for this blog and the work you are doing! I am in New England.

  19. Anne Says:

    I was referred here by the Navelgazing Midwife, Barbara Herrera – GREAT blog! I’m going to be starting my doula training soon and will be reading this voraciously.


  20. Anne Says:

    Okay, I know I JUST commented two days ago, but I’ve been reading your blog every spare moment I have since then, and I had to write again. YOU NEED TO WRITE A BOOK. I’m so serious. A real view from the inside like yours, written in your engaging style, is very much needed! Hell, I’ll help!

    A few random thoughts: I noticed in your (great) book list that “Pushed” by Jennifer Block wasn’t on there. Have you read it? Amazing. If I could choose just one book for every woman to read, this would be it. Very current on the research, and compellingly written.

    Also, as a doula-to-be, I was wondering how much you’ve worked with doulas, and what your experience has been? Have they helped you in your efforts to support women? Have you had any negative experiences? I have heard of some who overstep their bounds and thus cause doctors to refuse to work with any other doulas in the future, which is a real shame. Anyway, your perspective on this would be most welcome.

    Regardless of whether you end up publishing a book or not, keep up the amazing work! This blog is a total treasure. You rock.

  21. Mary Says:

    What a wonderful blog! Thank you for all your great information!

  22. Mary Says:

    I just sat here for the past hour and a half reading your blog (simultaneously with my friend who is about 6 hours away!) and I am amazed at the things you put up with! Bless you for your courage and perseverance in sticking with your work as a L&D nurse! We might not see it in our lifetimes, but someday things will get much better in this country for our mothers and babies. Meanwhile, let’s hope there are midwives and L&D nurses like you who can help us through it!

    • nursingbirth Says:

      Mary, THanks!! I really appreciate that! And I love how you are “tag teaming” my blog with a friend! I hope more readers are like you and start talking about this stuff to their friends and family!!!

  23. Linette Says:

    Can you send me your email address? I couldn’t find it anywhere on the site.

  24. Nell Says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for your awesome blog! I think you are very brave for telling it like it is. I read Pushed by Jennifer Block weeks before my second was born and was determined to not get a c-section. The rate keeps going up and up and even though I was seeing the midwives at my practice and it was a second baby, I was still afraid I’d end up with one. I got to the hospital at 7cm so I was very happy I’d progressed that far on my own out of the hospital! My midwife also let the baby descend after being fully dilated for a bit before pushing. I didn’t even know you could do this. I ended up only pushing for like 10-15 minutes, maybe less, we were all shocked at how peacefully and easily my baby entered the world! Absolute bliss!
    Bottom line, women need to be fully educated regarding their options, especially first time moms!!

    • NursingBirth Says:

      Nell, thank you for visiting!! I just love how you posted about your awesome birth! Thanks! I wish all women were given the opportunity to experience birth as you did!!! Come back often 🙂

  25. Tori Says:

    This blog is amazing.
    I honestly feel bad because before having read it, I questioned if L&D nurses such as yourself (a true advocate for mother and her best birth) existed!
    I am a new doula and I’ve not yet had very many interactions with L&D nurses but from what little personal and doula experience I have, they are kind, caring, though not overly interested in being an advocate for mom and FAR TOO BUSY to even try. Just reading about the chit chat you have with your patients, I’ve yet to see that happen at all. The nurses I see in the hospital in my town make more eye contact with monitors than mothers and have stock answers and leave questions for the doctors to answer.

    This perspective is so valuable. Your voice is so CLEAR. You break it down, in simple but yet technical terms. You bring about the knowledge that only ignorance can disagree with and the documented experience that casts a bright light on a vast jumble of injustice happening one mother at a time.
    This blog brings me great sadness, entertains me, gives me hope and pushes me forward in my journey to help women, one at a time to have happy births.
    Please keep writing!
    Doula in the midwest

  26. Sabi Says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog! As a newlywed who is, with her husband, considering parenthood, I’m devouring all the information I can about pregnancy and childbirth. Sites like yours are a powerful informational tool, that we plan to use to defend myself and our future children from unnecessary harm. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

    • NursingBirth Says:

      Sabi, WELCOME!! It is SO AWESOME to hear that women who don’t even have children yet are reading my blog! I LOVE how you are educating yourself before you even get pregnant!

  27. Courtney Says:

    Hi, really have enjoyed this blog. I’m one day ‘overdue’ with my 7th child, and I’m sure it seems strange, but everytime I have a baby, I can’t remember much about the last birthing experience… except that it was painful and I remember being elated that it was over and I had this new, darling little life!

    I have to tell you what a joy it has been to hear from a L&D nurse. My experience with my 4th childs nurse was so terrible (she read info on my chart about my child I had given up for adoption and asked me all sorts of heartbreaking, insensitive questions…I cried for weeks afterwards) that I vowed to never have another hospital birth, and I haven’t. I’m glad to see that there are nurses who take their patients seriously–emotions, health, concerns, pain–and what a blessing to have someone so knowledgeable in this field to share their experiences and empower other women through their childbirth experience. Thank you!

  28. Jo Groves Says:

    I just want to thank you for your site. I am about 10 weeks prego with our first child. Although I am very nervous about the labor and delivery (still am) I feel much more prepared about the actual birth. I am military stationed oversees and it is/can be very difficult to choose a care provider simply because of the lack of options. But rest assured, I am going to make sure whoever it is will be the best one possible. I am much more relaxed now. Grazie!

  29. Kathryn Says:

    As a nurse and mother who is passionate about natural childbirth I am so very happy to see a nurse speaking out about the truth behind childbirth in hospitals when a doctor is involved (especially those who are overbearing and dont care about anyone but themselves). I had the worst experience with a doctor when i had my son and was so upset about her obvious motives while i was giving birth. We as women need to educate ourselves about this and not just sit and take it because the “doctor said so”. We need to take back our right to birth how we want too!

  30. I’m trying to figure out how to pin this to pinterest ?

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