So, what is this thing called "Maternity Nursing"?!

I am glad you asked! I am, as you have probably surmised by this time, a Labor & Delivery - or "maternity" - nurse.  When people find out what it is that I do, they usually smile knowingly, and then say something inane such as "Oh, how nice!  You get to play with babies all day".  Well, I am here to tell you, that is not what my work is about.  There are neonatal & pediatric nurses who take care of babies (which is no small task, I assure you!).  I take care of MOMMIES.  Yep, I work with women in labor, one of the most exciting & also excrutiating times of their lives.  It isn't "playing" in any sense of the word.  I WORK!

I am a BSN (Bachelor of Science Nurse) who is Certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing. What does all this mean?  It means I worked hard to earn my baccalaureate degree in nursing, and after working in the maternity field for 4 years, I took a nationally standardized test to become "certified" in this field.  I am a specialist!  In most hospitals today, Labor & Delivery is considered a Specialty Care Area - requiring long (6-14 week training & orientation periods for nurses new to the field), and annual/biannual updates & proficiency exams in areas such as fetal monitoring, high-risk OB nursing, & documentation.  (Please see the page entitled "A Short History of My Career" for further info. on my educational background; see the AWHONN page for info. on certification).

OK, now that we have some basics out of the way, you are probably wondering "OK, you don't 'play with babies all day'.. so what DO you do?"  Let me ask you this:  are you a woman who has had a child?  Perhaps a father who has witnessed the birth of his child?  The friend of a woman who has given birth?  What I want to know is, have you ever seen the birth process...?  If you have, then you know how anticipatory, agonizing, and adrenaline-producing it can be!  You have knowledge of the excitement, frustration, pain, and joy that can all be a part of that entire labor.  I am priveleged to be a part of that very thing, on a daily basis.  It's HARD work, especially for that mother-to-be, but also for me as I am not only caring for her but also for her unborn child (or children, if she is carrying twins or triplets!).

---please come back soon to see what new information about my work has been added, and THANK YOU for visiting this page & hopefully taking away with you some insight into what that L&D thing is about...---

And here is one of my favorite babies in the world:   Madelynn Florence!
I helped Miss Matty come into the world at 6:08 a.m. on August 27th, 1998.  As I assisted her mother, Jen, during her almost 24-hour labor, I bonded with her & she is now one of my closest friends.  How lucky I am to have a career in which I not only see the miracle of birth, but also have the opportunity to create new friendships!  Madelynn was born the  morning after Hurricane Bonnie swept through North Carolina's eastern half; she's been a cool breeze ever since!  She has her mom's blue eyes & her dad's smile... They are both great people & I miss this little family a BUNCH since they left NC to return home to their native Ohio in August of 1999.

Madelynn R., May 1999

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Here's how many people are a little more educated on L&D nursing now!  YES!

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