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Advice for pregnant women from labor and delivery nurse

Advice for Pregnant Women from a Labor + Delivery Nurse

here's the secret to a successful delivery

If you’re a soon-to-be mom, there’s a strong chance you’re a tad stressed with everything going on. But our mommy blogger Stephanie is a former labor and delivery nurse, and she has a few thoughts for you.


When my daughter started preschool there were a lot of things the teachers wanted to know about her. The paperwork, the questions, it all seemed endless.

What are her likes and dislikes? What are her strengths and weaknesses? What about her potty habits, eating habits, personal preferences? Yes to broccoli, no to chocolate. (I know, she’s from another planet.)

At one point I wondered if a sample of her DNA would be more efficient. I’d happily oblige.

I understood though. The school just wanted a summary of who she was. A little bio on a little human. So I pushed through the hand cramps, because as her mother I’m the only who could answer each question with ease. After all, I birthed her.

But strangely enough, out of all the questions from birth dates to bowel movements, there wasn’t a single one about the way my child entered into this world. And why not? Most moms spend nine months obsessing over this very concept: C-section versus vaginal birth.

When I worked as a labor and delivery nurse, I’d see birth plans as long as the Bible brought it. Women asked for simple things like fluffy socks and ice chips, others had more complicated requests like no medical interventions—no matter what.

But here’s the fun part about kids: Even when they’re in your uterus, they still have their own will and way.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times a baby’s heart rate dropped and I witnessed the mother’s own heart do the same. The suggestion of a C-section is one that’s rarely met with applause.

I get it, no one wants a longer recovery—but everyone wants a healthy child, and if it’s medically suggested, it’s probably a good idea to burn that birth plan.

But I empathized with those new mamas who were set on sticking to a certain plan, because the last bit of control we will ever have over our children is when they’re trapped inside our bodies.

After that we can try to have a predictable and planned life, and sometimes our little people oblige, but often the fantasy we had in our head never becomes reality. That’s just the dance of having daughters and sons.

I never imagined my family plan would include two miscarriages and two children with special needs, but here I am, walking through what I’ve been given.

It’s smart to write down our hopes and dreams for our children, but how they come into the world shouldn’t be a frontrunner in that. You see, it doesn’t matter how children are born, it matters what they become.

And that has a lot to do with how we raise them.

So, new mom, remain pregnant with possibility and always have a plan. Just be prepared to throw that plan out the window when life intervenes.

That’s the secret to a successful delivery—and to motherhood.


Stephanie Hanrahan was just your seemingly average housewife until she grew tired of pretending and took an axe to her white picket fence (also known as making her private journal public). Learn how she traded her pretending for a panty liner on InstagramFacebook, and her blog Tinkles Her Pants, where she chronicles her journey as wife to a husband with chronic illness, mother to special needs kiddos, and a woman who often unravels then finds her footing again.

Image courtesy of iStock.