The Real Heroes of the Maternity Ward Aren’t the Doctor’s, It’s the Nurses

The Real Heroes of the Maternity Ward Aren't the Doctor's, It's the Nurses
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Nurses: The Angels and Heroes of the Maternity Ward

Giving birth to a child is one of the most painful, challenging, and exhausting feats any woman could ever endure. It is also widely considered to be perhaps the most powerful, miraculous, and beautiful events in the human experience.

While there is undeniable beauty in the giving of new life, many new mothers might struggle to feel beautiful in the aftermath of their delivery. They are weak and drained from hours of labor. Their bodies are stretched, torn, and sore from the most important pushes of their lives. Covered with sweat, often bleary with tears, physically and mentally spent, these incredible women may have never been in a more vulnerable position. That is where their heroes come in.

The doctor was essential in delivering the baby, but the nurses are essential to everything that comes after. They stay behind once the doctor leaves, making sure the mother is okay and has everything she needs. After the battle of childbirth, mothers can be so exhausted mentally that they might not even know what she needs. These nurses, however, have been the champions of countless women. They are not daunted by the after-mess of the birth, or the otherwise embarrassing condition of the mother. From knowing just the right thing to say, being the one to snap the first family photo, or helping mom make the long first trek to the bathroom, nurses can save the day.

Jill Krause of the blog Baby Rabies posted on facebook about her own experiences with the delivery nurses in her life. “I’ll never forget the faces of the nurses who followed me into the bathroom after delivering each baby,” she said. “That moment when I was so vulnerable, so tired, scared, shaky. My swollen belly deflating, and my modesty long gone. They treated me with such kindness and dignity.”

With more than 40,000 shares and well over 4,000 comments agreeing with her words, it’s safe to say that she isn’t the only woman who would like to thank her nurses for their heroics and tenderness.  

I remember my mother telling me about my own delivery. Her labor was rushed because the ultrasound had picked up an abnormality in my heart beat. The doctor commanded my mother to lay on her back while he prepped for the birth, frightening her with his urgent concern for my life. The nurse attending her tried to comfort her, and suggested that she try lying on her side to see what happened. The nurse helped my mom turn, and immediately my heart beat became strong and steady. The doctor returned, and ordered my mom onto her back once again, an action which they later realized tightened the umbilical cord around my neck in the womb. While he prepared further, the nurse again urged my mom to turn onto her side, freeing me from the constricting cord and again outraging the the doctor. The nurse quickly explained her discovery to him, pointing out my regulated heart beat. Because of her vigilance and dedication to my mother’s (and my) well being, the delivery proceeded smoothly and without incident.

It just goes to show, whether at the bedside during birth or the toilet-side after, a nurse is a guardian angel to every mother in the delivery room.

By Zoe Freeman

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