Enema chat rooms
Here, eight of them give us their inside scoop on hospitals, contractions, and why it's okay to poop while you're pushing. "When there's a shift change, the nurses getting off work are reluctant to take on a new patient, and the nurses coming in take a while to get up to speed," says Angie Southwick, RN, of Dixie Medical Center, in St. "I hate to say it, but sometimes women can sit in triage [an examining room where a nurse evaluates whether you're ready to be admitted] for a long time." A time-saver: find out what times nurses usually come on shift and hold off checking in until an hour later.
(But plan on spending 45 minutes to an hour in triage no matter when you go; that's how long it takes to monitor how your labor is progressing.)Break the ice.
For months after I got pregnant, I stressed over which of the 10 ob-gyns at my HMO would actually be on call for my baby's birth. When push came to, well, push, it wasn't my obstetrician cheering me through gut-wrenching contractions and scoring me a quick, blissful epidural, it was a labor and delivery nurse -- a woman I'd never seen before she whisked me into the maternity ward but who was such a comforting, Angela Lansbury-like presence that I wanted to add her to my Christmas-card list.
I'm not the only new mom who's been surprised at spending the vast majority of labor with a nurse.
If you're ultra-close to delivery, she may be willing to stick around for an extra half hour while the oncoming nurse catches up on paperwork. "Some women come in with these white gowns with a matching robe and slippers -- but you're here with sore nipples and a sore bottom, and who wants to put on a white lacy dress when you're feeling like that? "Plus you're going to be bleeding heavily, so why mess up your own nightgown? If it gets messy or if baby throws up on it, you're fine."Say thanks.
But if you're going for a natural childbirth, it's perfectly okay to ask for a nurse who's either worked with unmedicated moms or delivered that way herself; you can even ask your ob-gyn beforehand for a recommendation.
If you focus on a few key wishes -- like having a mix CD playing in the delivery room, or avoiding an epidural -- your nurses are more likely to make them happen.