136. What Your Labor And Delivery Nurse Wish You Knew With Guest Naiomi Catron From Milk Diva
Before you deliver your baby, there are a few things your Labor and Delivery Nurse would like you to know and it just so happens that my guest is just that. Learn how to treat your nurse like your ally from Naiomi Catron who has worked in this field for 10 years. Preparing before you give birth is key.
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Read the full transcript here:
Welcome to the Breezy Babies podcast. This is episode 136. What your labor and delivery nurse? Wish you knew. Could you use more confidence as a parent? Welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies. You're in good hands. Breezy Babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road, am I right? I'm your host breed the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you. Let's go. Hello there, friend. Welcome to another week of the Breezy Babies podcast. Do I sound a little bit different? I'm sure you noticed I have a different little jingle at the beginning of this podcast. It was time for a little freshener upper. Not that that's even a word, but I just decided it was time to take my mic to the next level. Actually, when I started this podcast, I bought a mic. And then at some point, I bought a new laptop, and my microphone wouldn't plug into my new laptop, so I kind of just forgot about the mic and just kept going. One of those things where it's like, better to just do it and get it done than to just wait until it's perfect. So my audio hasn't been top notch for a while, but I decided I was ready for a microphone. And while I was at it, I bought myself a new jingle for this podcast. And it's just fun. It just feels like, fresh and new, so I hope you're loving it on your end as well. I'm so excited to talk with you today about what? Your labor and delivery nurse wish you knew if you are pregnant. Planning on being pregnant soon. This is going to be really interesting for you to kind of figure out what is in your labor and delivery nurses head because I have a guest for you today who is a labor and delivery nurse. So you're going to hear it straight from the horse's mouth. I don't know if that's the best thing to say, but anyway, I want to start by reading a podcast review for you. Sorry, this is not a podcast review. This is actually a Google review that was left by Valeria Corona. She left five stars. A Google review for Breezy babies. And she said it was a very instructive session. I felt heard and encouraged by the input given. Highly recommend. Thank you, Valeria, so much for leaving that Google review. It is short, sweet, to the point. And guys, when you leave a review, it doesn't have to be some long, drawn out, long paragraph. Something short like that still means so much to a small business, and it helps other people to find our website and other people to find our podcast and find all of our things when you leave a review. And can I just say, I'm super grateful for all of my clients. It's even fun when I meet with you and you say, oh, hey, I listened to your podcast, and then I get to meet with you and see you face to face, whether it's in person or over telehealth, it is just so much fun. This week, I am breaking a record. I have nine right before I about hit record to do this. I actually had eight telehealth consults for this week, which was actually my record, my all time record. And then I had another last minute emergent one that I kind of just tucked in, even though I kind of don't even have the time. That's what you do sometimes when you just really love your clients and you want to serve them. I tucked in a night consult, and then I'm out of the office all next week. I'm taking some time off. I know a lot of consultants who do multiple consults every single week. I just tuck in a few here and there while my baby's napping or my husband has a day off work, and I can't really do much more than that. So I am super grateful for a full schedule and for all of you believing in me, and it's just so much fun. Okay, so now you already know that I did have my fourth baby at home. I want to start talking about our topic today. So I did have my fourth baby at home. In fact, my 100th episode, I believe, was all about my home birth. My first three deliveries were at the hospital and were great in their own way. And even though I took a bit of a turn during COVID with my fourth baby and decided to deliver outside of the hospital, well, let me just say, I tell you that because while I do educate on the topic and the option for home birth, for some, that does not mean that I am anti hospital. In fact, you may remember that I myself worked in the hospital for many years before I was an IBCLC. I was a registered nurse, first in my career, right after I graduated and passed my NCLEX as a new nurse. It was 2010 and there were no new jobs for nurses. The economy had taken a dive for the worse in what was it, 2008, I believe, which was right around the time that I started nursing school. At the beginning of nursing school, we were told, oh, you will have a job when you graduate. You just tell us where you want to work, what area you're interested in, and we'll slot you in PS. I always thought I was going to end up in labor and delivery the whole time that I was in nursing school. Well, over the next two years, that promise to just slot us into whatever job we wanted slowly fell apart as families all over were losing their jobs. The economy was so bad, these families were needing to make more money, and all of these moms who were at that time stay at home moms but had kept their nursing license active, were suddenly going back to the workforce in droves. Now, can I just explain one quick thing? You really do not learn how to be a nurse in nursing school. You learned textbook facts, you pass written tests, and every now and then you get some real life experience, but you graduate really just a newbie. And if you go into an interview head to head with a nurse who has worked on a unit and has real life experience as a nurse, he or she will absolutely get chosen for you over you for that job. So I know that's just how it goes, but man, it really made it hard for me to get a job in 2010 as a brand new nurse who PS. I was also pregnant. Just imagine that in your mind for a second how I must look walking into an interview room with no experience and a big pregnant belly. I was not exactly the most desirable candidate, and I went to multiple interviews head to head with my nursing cohort friends, fighting for the same jobs, and it sucked. I finally did get a job in the medical surgical float pole, which means that I traveled between four different hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley. I wouldn't even know exactly where I was working until the morning of. I would call in around 05:30 A.m. And ask first if they needed me, and then second where I needed to be. Sometimes I was told, oh, we don't need you, and I could sigh a deep breath of relief and go back to bed. But most of the time, I was told I needed to be to this hospital and this unit by 07:00 a.m.. I went everywhere I worked on oncology one day and then a surgical floor of the next, then an Orthopedic floor the next week, and then a cardiacs cardiac unit the next. It was so hardest job of my life, honestly. So when I got a job on a postpartum unit a year later, I was so relieved. But it was still hard work. Listen, nurses work long hours. My shift was 07:00 P.m. To 07:00 A.m., but I had to be there closer to 06:45 p.m., and I rarely left before 08:00 A.m.. Also, as a nurse, you hardly get time to go to the bathroom or eat food or even get a drink working all night. Well, you don't get a nap unless you happen to doze off while you're charting. Being a nurse is a hard job. I still remember it so well way down in my bones, even though it's been years since I worked in the hospital. All this is to say that I have an immense respect for everyone who works in the hospital, the doctors, the respiratory therapists, the pharmacists, the CNAs, the texts. It's so hard. And we need these people working in the hospitals. Just look at labor and delivery alone. Not everyone is a candidate for a home birth. We need hospitals. I have such a respect for those who work there. Do I personally agree with every hospital policy that surrounds the birth and postpartum period? No, I don't. But I still respect the people who work those long hours and show up on weekends and holidays. Think about this. The hospital never closes. It has revolving nurses day in and day out, working all day and all night, nonstop. It really is just amazing. It's quite a feat. And guess what? I have one of those amazing labor and delivery nurses to share with you today. I know it's just one out of oh, I can't even imagine how many labor and delivery nurses there are in the world, but she is amazing. Her name is Naomi, and she actually is a friend of mine. At least I would consider her a friend. I'm so excited to share a little bit of her with you. She is also an IBCLC. She lives in Austin, Texas. And isn't it so cool that thanks to social media, I can have IBCLC friends from all over the United States? Seriously, I feel like I know Naomi, even though we've never met in person, just because we've had so many interactions as IBCLC friends, through social media, through calls. And I know you are going to love her and her expertise. What's really cool is Naomi. She has four IBCLCs on her team, so she is a boss mama. She is killing it. She has been a labor and delivery nurse for ten years, so she has a lot of experience with this. She is going to share with you what she wishes all of her patients knew before they came into the hospital to labor and delivery. So without further ado, I'm going to turn the time over to Naomi. Here she is. Brie. Thanks so much for having me on your show. I'm super excited. My name is Naomi. I am an IBCLC so board certified lactation consultant in Austin, Texas. And I am the owner of Milk Diva Lactation. Right now we're a practice of four lactation consultants. We specialize in babies with tongue ties, and we have a really fun clinic with a pediatric dentist, and we have a really awesome fun job here in Austin. I have been a practicing labor and delivery nurse for the last almost ten years, and I have worked in Austin. I've also taken a travel assignment in California. I started in a high risk hospital as a new grad, so lots of moms with other issues like illnesses and labor and delivery. And I've done antipartum, meaning trying to keep people pregnant for as long as possible. So maybe they're having some complications that are threatening an early delivery. My job was to help them stay pregnant as long as possible while being safe for themselves and the baby. And then I've done some postpartum nursing, but primarily I've been doing labor and delivery nursing. So I'm super excited to talk about top Tips top three tips from a labor and delivery nurses perspective. If you want to know a little bit more in depth information about maybe your experience, what you should expect when coming into the hospital for labor and delivery, especially if you're maybe getting set up for a scheduled induction, which is becoming more popular these days. I do have a full episode with my charge nurse, one of my old charge nurses and supervisors, over on my podcast. And it's all about what to expect, all the things no one tells you about an induction. So if you want to learn a little bit more, you can listen to it over on my podcast called what is my podcast called? You can just type in Milk Diva and it's birth, baby and boo business by Milk Diva. That's the name of the podcast. But I would say to start off with the first most important tip from a labor and delivery nurse's perspective is to come in to the labor room, come into the hospital if that's where you're delivering. I imagine if you're working with a labor nurse and have the posture of your labor and delivery nurse being your ally as opposed to the enemy. Sometimes just because we can come into the room from different perspectives, different backgrounds, maybe you had a bad experience your first delivery and you feel like the nurse was a bad nurse or maybe didn't advocate for you. This is a fresh, brand new person, a fresh brand new baby and birth experience. So I would try to come with the attitude of like, we're going to partner, how can we best partner together to get the best outcome? That is the best way to start off your experience in labor and delivery because it could be really long. So it is really nice to show that respect and just that camaraderie because I don't know, I just really haven't met hardly any labor nurses that I have worked with that ever wake up in the morning or ever walk into a room and want to just make things difficult for their patient. I think sometimes we're oftentimes put in between a rock and a hard place between what the doctor wants but doesn't have the nerve to come and tell the patient and what we have to implement even though we may not agree with it. And so it's kind of lame because then we're putting these really tough spots where we're being made to feel like we are the bad guy, but it's not us. We're just having to follow doctors order sometimes. So, yes, come on in with the posture of like, hey, how can we be comrades? How can we work towards my goals together? Because this is your day and you do have a right to have your goals and have proper consent and ask questions. So that's super important and you don't push that to the side, but you do it with building a relationship of camaraderie and alliance and working together with your, like, labor nurse because they're the ones who are there most of the day, not the doctor or the midwife, at least in my experience. I would also say a second piece of advice would be to come prepared and do your homework. So it is super difficult when a person comes into the labor and delivery room and says, I want to have an all natural birth without an epidural, and I want to exclusively breastfeed, but I have never taken a birth class. I don't have any support. So me and my partner don't know what birth looks like, what labor looks like. We don't have a plan for pain management and we don't know anything about breastfeeding. We just assume that I'll just put the baby on the chest right after and he's going to get all his nutrients properly. That is really very far and few between will that end up turning out the way you expect it to turn out. So please do your homework and come prepared because remember, your labor and delivery nurse is there as a healthcare professional and our job is to keep you safe and your baby safe. So remember, you're not the only patient. Your baby is our patient and we cannot touch that baby and we cannot really hear that baby and we cannot physically go in there and help them when they're in distress. So we're kind of playing part detective and trying to ensure your baby is healthy and well and managing the stress of labor with very, very little interventions that we can do and very little information that we get. So listening to the heart rate tracing on the fetal monitors is really important for us. So another like if I had to give another tip, like tip number two, part B, besides being prepared is please help us keep those monitors on your tummy if that's what your doctors order. The labor nurse doesn't have any power to just take them off or to not have them on. And so for every time that you're flipping around and moving in the bed and the monitors are getting flipped off, we have to come back in a million times and reposition them. And we know it's super annoying to you, but it's also super not convenient for us because we have other patients to take care of. But if it happens, it happens, no worries. But if you can help at all to maybe when you're moving to try to see if we can't get them to stay on, that would be really helpful for both you and your nurse because that is part of our job in keeping your baby safe. We're not trying to strap you in to be mean back to the first part. Coming in with some education as to how you would like your birth to go and ways that you can help contribute to that outcome would be really helpful because your labor nurse is not going to be there every minute while you're in labor, holding your hand, breathing with you, applying counter pressure on your hips or your back. She is supposed to keep you safe, making sure your contraction pattern is adequate to actually get a baby out, monitoring your vital signs, making sure you don't get a temperature, monitoring your baby's heart rate, making sure it's not showing signs of distress. So a lot of clinical, clinical, clinical things, giving you medication, IV fluids, making sure your IV is in good working order and preparing and always being prepared for the worst case scenario. So she's not primarily there to coach you through breathing, rub your back when you're having back pains, and help you manage your pain. Now she is there to do that some of the time and of course we really do wish we could be there to do that with you more often than not. But in reality that's not how it works because the hospital and the charge nurse gives us two patients and each of you gets us for 15 minutes increments and we're just bouncing back and forth. 15 minutes with you and 15 minutes back with the other person and 15 minutes back with you. And then sometimes we get to pee in the middle and maybe eat in a twelve hour shift, but that's kind of about it. So first tip would be to partner and have a great alliance and come in with a great posture when you meet your breast, excuse me, your labor and deliver nurse. The second would be to come in educated with however you would like to have your birth go. And the third tip, I would say, is to be super flexible. Labor and delivery nurses will always we have this running joke, the longer your birth plan, the higher the likelihood you're going to end up in a C section. So that sounds rude, right? But that's what the numbers show. That's what we see at least. I don't know why that is. But if you're flexible, like, it is totally okay to come in with your list of wishes because if everything goes perfectly, we want to grant you all of your wishes. But this is a human body and then it's not just your body, but it's your baby's body. So we have two huge variables. So even if everything was managed perfectly, right, no one was rushing you, no one came in and broke your water prematurely, your contraction patterns were like awesome, you didn't need any pitocin. Even if all of that happened, wonderfully, your baby might have a whole different other plan. I have delivered so many babies who, when they're born, they have their umbilical cord actually in their hand. They're holding it like a purse, and so they squeeze it and then their heart rate will drop. Well, the mom didn't do anything wrong, and there was nothing wrong with the pitocin or the contraction pattern. Just the baby was squeezing the cord and causing his heart rate to drop and make the strip look really ugly or the heart rate strip. And so, man, that's not something we can control. It just is what it is. So, yeah, I would just say to be super flexible and know that totally okay for you to ask questions. Of course, asking questions and getting answers in a crisis, in a moment when there's, like, something acutely going on and we're trying to manage, probably not going to be the best, warm, sweet answer. But in between, once we're not in a critical situation, asking those questions, getting clarity, that is totally fine, totally okay. And we definitely encourage that. But having some flexibility just to know your baby may have a totally different plan than you have. I do want you to also know that if you're like, I want to labor on my hands and knees and I want to not have an IV. And I don't want to have monitoring like the little things on. Your tummy to monitor the baby's heart rate coming into the hospital and demanding that or making that request to your nurse probably not going to go so well because the nurse has no control over that. That is something you should absolutely discuss with your doctor, your delivering provider, before you even get to the hospital, like before you even get to 35 weeks. Those are questions you should absolutely be asking before you select your practice and whoever's going to deliver you. Because if you select a certain practice and they're like a group of twelve doctors, so you basically have a one in twelve chance of your doctor delivering you, if your doctor agrees. But on the day of delivery, your doctor is not there to deliver you, then all your wishes just went down the drain because the other doctor may not agree to those things. If you're like, I don't want to push on my back and your provider is like, great, we won't do that. And they're totally on board on the day of delivery. If they're there, you can hold them accountable to that. But if it's someone else who never made that commitment you see what I'm saying, how that's not really the nurse's fault? So those are, I'm sure, more than three tips, but those are like three and a half or four tips. From a labor and delivery nurses perspective, I will say some people are interested in how I transformed from a labor and delivery nurse into an IBCLC and CEO. And I will say until just two weeks ago, I had not really transitioned and left behind labor and delivery. Like, I still was working in the hospital because I love it so much. Just until two weeks ago, I decided to resign and not do labor. Right now, I do have some kids, and they're older right now, and they're getting ready to go away to college, so I want to spend some time with them. So working every other Saturday probably wasn't I needed to take a break from them. But I will say, interestingly enough, as a labor and delivery nurse, labor nurses are a lot like Er nurses. We're pretty direct to the point. We like fast paced, high acuity type things. One might say you could be an adrenaline junkie. Well, lactation and postpartum care is not at all like adrenaline filled or high paced or fast, right? So most of us never, ever think about doing lactation or postpartum care. It's kind of like, that's too slow for me. So I will say I definitely feel like God really changed my heart all of a sudden out of nowhere. And the way I got into lactation, firstly, was I did end up working for a small hospital where we didn't have access to lactation consultants regularly, so they gave us extra training as labor. We were LDRP nurses, labor delivery, and postpartum. So they gave us extra training so that we could assist our patients with breastfeeding help if a lactation consultant wasn't available. So we were like more highly trained labor and postpartum nurses, but we still by no means were like a CLC or a CBS or anything with any initials. We were just nurses that had some extra lactation knowledge and skills. So that was the beginning of how I even thought that that was a little bit interesting. But then I transitioned to a job in antipartem, and with that high risk antipartum and high risk postpartum, so I got all the postpartum patients who had something go awry and needed a higher level of nursing care. And so I had sick patients who wanted to breastfeed, and I had several different interactions in which the patients would tell me, Naoimi, after being here for two or three days, you're the only person that could actually help my baby latch, actually get milk out, actually make me feel like I can do this. And so it was about two different or three different occasions pretty closely together in the fall, one year. And then I just said, I might should consider I know that's not proper English. I might consider maybe dedicating my life and doing this. There are so many people that need this help. Maybe I should look into it. So that's how it started. And so if I had those two patients over the summer, like August and September, I actually filed for my LLC in November I think it was November 8, so really quickly thereafter. And I sat for my IBCLC exam on April 1 and then started my business in June, so it was less than a year from the patient encouragement to when I actually started Milk Diva. So you as the listener, as a patient, perhaps on a labor and delivery unit or a patient of a lactation consultant or postpartum nurse, your words really do impact us, and your outcomes really impact us. And over the last ten years, I can just remember the faces of some of my patients and the most kind words, and it's a very intimate moment. And really and genuinely, we really want the best for you and your families. Oftentimes we are not remembered. The doctor is remembered, and oftentimes there's pictures of mom and baby and doctor. But my family and my kids will probably never know anything that I do. There'll be never any pictures, never any record of the work that you do, but generally we're the ones getting covered in blood and amniotic fluid and tears, and it does mean a lot, the words that you share with us. So I hope this episode is helpful to you all, and I hope that maybe I can share some more information with you over on our podcast. But if you're ever in Austin, send me a little message or reach out to me on Instagram. I would love to get any ideas for other episodes or other information you would want to learn about. So it was a pleasure to talk with you guys. I hope you have a great day. Bye. Thanks. There you have it. Isn't Naomi so great? Can you believe that she just left the hospital two weeks ago? And honestly, Naomi is a unicorn. I don't know of any other labor and delivery nurse who turned to lactation. Most honestly tell me that they hate having to help with breastfeeding. Honestly, I've been told that by multiple labor and delivery nurses, and they just don't do it. It's not in their will house of knowledge. So I'm so happy and excited that Naomi has turned to lactation, and she's just killing it in this space. If you want to say hi to Naomi, go to Milk Diva on Instagram. If you're in the Austin area and you could use an in person lactation consultation, then Naomi and her team are perfect for you. And she even accepts many of the same insurances that I do, so their help may be free for you. Okay, again, her top three tips were number one treat your labor and delivery nurse as your ally and not your enemy. Number two do your homework and prepare beforehand, especially for pain management and breastfeeding. Tip number three was be flexible, have a birth plan, but keep it short. Then her pro tips were hire a Doula if you want someone to rub your back and hold your hand and be by your side the entire labor. And also, remember that your nurse doesn't have all control, your doctor has more control, and the hospital policies will. Often dictate and large what choices you have. There you have it. I hope you feel more empowered as you go into your next week as you prepare for your own personal labor and delivery experience. I can't wait to come back next week and share with you more tips and tricks. And of course, I'm going to leave you with you are strong, you are smart, you are beautiful, you're a good friend to all. Bye. If you would like more help, check us firstname.lastname@example.org. It's the happy place for boobs and babies where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas, learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work, and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLCs. We meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video. And guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit Breezybabies.com to see if you qualify. Also, connect with us at Breezy Babies on Instagram and YouTube. And last, if you love what we do, please leave us a review on Google or Apple podcasts. Bye.