What does the hospital do to prevent things going wrong with me (or how we prepare to act if something does go wrong). If complications during labor is the #1 fear of pregnant women, how can we address that?
Today’s guest is Tina B. She is a labor and delivery nurse of 10 years and a mom of 4 of her own. She’s started a TikTok platform and YouTube channel to educate and empower parents with the ability to have their best birthing experience. Find her on Youtube: www.YouTube.com/@mammanursetina
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples if you’re looking to feel more prepared about your hospital stay, it’s the class for you!
In this episode
How hospital staff is prepared for something going wrong with mom, including the entire hospital.
Producer: Drew Erickson
[00:00:00.120] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on Episode 187, we are talking about the fear of something going wrong with you. We are talking about enduring labor, but I think this episode might actually be helpful if you’re just afraid of a medical event in general. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:24.700] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the curly head behind the Pulling Curls Podcast: pregnancy and parenting untangled. There’s no right answer for every family, but on this show, we hope to give you some ideas to make life simpler at your house. Life’s tangled just like my hair.
[00:00:46.600] – Hilary Erickson
Today’s guest I met on the Tik-ety Tok. She has been a labor and delivery nurse for 10 years. She has four kids of her own. I want to introduce today’s guest, Tina from Mama Nurse Tina.
[00:00:59.520] – Hilary Erickson
Do you feel prepared for your delivery? In just three short hours, you can be prepared for the confident, collaborative delivery you want. You’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your health care team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor stories from my 20 years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from bump to bassinet. Join the online prenatal class for couples today. You can save 15 % with coupon code UNTANGLED. You can find the link in the show notes.
[00:01:34.820] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, Tina. Welcome to the Pulling Curls podcast.
[00:01:37.370] – Tina
Hey, so excited.
[00:01:38.570] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, it’s so fun to be here with you. I’m another fellow labor nurse. You have been a nurse, a labor nurse for 10 years? Or a nurse nurse for 10 years.
[00:01:46.750] – Tina
Yeah, I have. I was emergency. No, so I was emergency nurse before that, and now I’m a labor nurse. Okay, so how long? It’s like going from the basement to the third floor, baby. It works. We have a.
[00:01:58.050] – Hilary Erickson
Lot of nurses who work ER that I’ve worked with. I think probably because it’s a similar intensity maybe.
[00:02:04.280] – Tina
It is similar intensity. I think it’s a good place to get a lot of skills, too. You’re like a jack of all trades, master of none. You’re like, yes, I’m going to the top.
[00:02:12.860] – Hilary Erickson
Quick reminder to everyone, labor and delivery is the ER for pregnant people. 100 %. Now, obviously, if you’re in the middle of a cardiac arrest, hopefully they don’t bring you to labor and delivery.
[00:02:22.630] – Tina
Please don’t come. We don’t have it.
[00:02:24.070] – Hilary Erickson
We’ll do it. The ER would direct them to.
[00:02:27.700] – Tina
Labor and delivery. They prefer that. The ER does not like delivering babies. People that deliver babies don’t like doing CPR.
[00:02:34.620] – Hilary Erickson
No, none of these things we like.
[00:02:37.300] – Tina
To do. Just stay in your lane, okay? Yeah.
[00:02:40.120] – Hilary Erickson
But today we are talking about going out of our lane, I was actually just reading a study before I got on here that complications with labor were the number one fear of the pregnant women in the study. I believe it. Which I think is true. And I think a lot of people don’t talk about it because they’re like, well, there’s nothing we can do about it. And as much as that is true, there are things that happen in labor that really there isn’t anything you can do about, which is probably one of the scarier parts of being in labor and delivery.
[00:03:08.390] – Tina
There’s no roadmap.
[00:03:09.850] – Hilary Erickson
Tina and I are here to tell you that in labor and delivery, we think of all of those things even when we’re not talking about them.
[00:03:16.450] – Tina
We overthink those things. We never want them to happen. And then if they do, we want to know what we’re doing.
[00:03:21.790] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, probably to the extreme, we overthink them because when people complain about what hospitals do on social media, I’m like, but if you’ve ever been in a situation where you need all that stupid health history we get at the very beginning, that’s why we get it. Right?
[00:03:38.260] – Tina
So we’re in the know.
[00:03:39.640] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So today I have a few things that we do in labor and delivery that hopefully will just give you guys some calming feelings about how we’re prepared in case something goes wrong because…
[00:03:49.880] – Tina
Yeah, we got you.
[00:03:51.620] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And I will say the last hospital I worked at was super prepared. So I would say that the first two I worked at were less prepared. So it’s been an interesting dynamic.
[00:04:04.330] – Tina
It totally seems to differ. Yeah. It’s like, we don’t… We like to be mostly prepared, but I think some places, yeah, definitely go above and beyond in the training process.
[00:04:12.260] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So the first one I want to talk about is ACLS. So that stands for Advanced Care Life Support.
[00:04:19.200] – Tina
Cardiac. Oh, cardiac. That’s care. Cardiac, advanced care. This is a labor and delivery nurse. Advanced something. If you ask me what APCAR stands for, I’m all over it. But ACR.
[00:04:28.420] – Hilary Erickson
What is APCAR?
[00:04:29.840] – Tina
Advanced Care, it’s activity and Pulse. Don’t ask me.
[00:04:37.920] – Hilary Erickson
Pulse, r emits.
[00:04:39.790] – Tina
[00:04:40.990] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, so it stands for the things you check for. I don’t even think about that.
[00:04:45.460] – Tina
That’s right. I only know because I just did a TikTok video on it. Okay. I know what I’m looking for in the moment of birth, but if you asked me what the letters were before my video, I probably couldn’t tell you. But advanced cardiac life support?
[00:04:57.190] – Hilary Erickson
Probably care. It makes more sense because really, ACLS is all about the heart because if the heart stops, the rest of the body is just like, All right, I’m out. Everyone else clocks out. Peace. When I first took it back in 2001, I was with the EMTs and the ER nurses, and we looked real dumb. Although the way the nurses looked real dumb because I remember being like, I’m so sorry, but I don’t know what that word means consistently. And they’d all just silence and stare at us.
[00:05:34.680] – Tina
What is Epinephrine?
[00:05:36.950] – Hilary Erickson
What is that medication? They were all like a stemmy. And I was like, I have… Which is the thing, that’s a heart attack, basically. But again, labor and delivery, we’re like, Well, that has great variability.
[00:05:49.400] – Tina
We don’t do that. Yeah, we don’t do that. And see, in labor and delivery, because I was an emergency nurse and did a lot of this stuff, everybody that has to do an ECG comes to me and is like, What is this? Is this good?
[00:06:00.930] – Hilary Erickson
No, it just prints out on the report.
[00:06:03.160] – Tina
I’m like, It looks good. But again, analyzing that is above my pay grade, so please take it to the person in charge. But it looks good. But even.
[00:06:11.450] – Hilary Erickson
The OB’s wouldn’t read an ECG. I mean, we all are like, Okay, there’s the first wave, the bigger metal one, and then a last one. Congratulations.
[00:06:21.490] – Tina
A, B, C, D, P, Q, R, S, T. Got it. And the obesity will be like, Do you want an ECG? Oh, well, yeah.
[00:06:31.030] – Hilary Erickson
[00:06:31.200] – Tina
Guess. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Yeah, sure.
[00:06:35.970] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Again, this isn’t stuff that we think about all the time. We do monitor your ECG, especially when you’re in a C section or certain meds that we put you on. But we, again, know exactly what a normal thing looks like. And then when it’s not normal, we’re like, totally pushing down the leads to make sure that it’s not the leads because.
[00:06:53.490] – Tina
Usually that’s the best. Is that artifact? Tell me that’s artifact.
[00:06:56.720] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So the.
[00:06:57.740] – Tina
First time those meds, we don’t want to put those meds people on those meds because we know those meds. Absolutely not.
[00:07:02.860] – Hilary Erickson
So the first time we took it, nobody knew. And then I was like, Well, would we actually shock a pregnant woman? Again, in 2001, and everyone was like, I don’t know. All the instructors were like, I’m definitely not going to tell you to shock a pregnant woman.
[00:07:16.450] – Tina
Right. No one wants to think about that.
[00:07:18.260] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So at my new hospital, our educators are one of the training team for OBACLS, which means it’s just ACLS for obstetric patients.
[00:07:27.830] – Tina
Oh, that would be.
[00:07:28.720] – Hilary Erickson
So good. Yeah, it’s pretty interesting. It’s starting to roll out. They were like A1 big wigs. So in there, they tell us that, of course, you’re going to shock her because if the mom is dead, there’s literally no way the baby is going to survive, right? That’s correct. Yeah. But in your mind, you’re like, wouldn’t that shock go through the water? Am I going to kill the baby? Well, it doesn’t matter because currently everyone in front of you is dead, right?
[00:07:51.240] – Tina
True story. You’re like the superman. Get it. Get it.
[00:07:54.800] – Hilary Erickson
[00:07:55.540] – Tina
[00:07:56.970] – Hilary Erickson
Go through all the things like how to know when you need to just get the baby out in the room because mom supporting herself and the baby is not the way to get mom back. We need to get the baby out in order to help both of them.
[00:08:11.650] – Tina
Agreed. Agreed. That’s a life over limb thing. I mean, if the shock goes to the baby, is that worse or better than the baby not being here?
[00:08:19.940] – Hilary Erickson
Right. And they say that it actually…
[00:08:22.120] – Tina
Yeah, we don’t.
[00:08:23.770] – Hilary Erickson
Do ACL. And it looks like it’s 50 50 when I talk to nurses. But we had to do it. And I wonder also if it’s a West Coast thing versus an East Coast, and you’re in Canada. I’ve worked California and Arizona, both places, it was required by our malpractice insurance on the unit, so they said. Then I hear people on the East Coast are like, Why would you take that?
[00:08:47.890] – Tina
Interesting. I did travel nursing, but as an Emerge nurse, and the mandatory thing was PALS, so Pediatric advanced life support. So interesting that each area has their own thing that they have to be responsible for.
[00:09:01.500] – Hilary Erickson
[00:09:01.860] – Tina
We don’t do it as a whole. But I love the idea of an OB, a CLS.
[00:09:06.850] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, it was really, really helpful because it really helps you to know what you’re looking for. And also what we’re looking for in OB is so different than what they’re looking for in the ER. We aren’t even on the same wavelength, right?
[00:09:20.370] – Tina
Not even close. Not even close. And I wonder, too, I must think that emergency needs you to do A CLS more often because adult morbidity is so much more common in emergency. Whereas for us, adult morbidity is so low that when it happens, it’s like, what is happening? You’re almost out of body.
[00:09:38.670] – Hilary Erickson
What is happening? Right. And I should say that as a labor nurse, doing resuscitations on a baby becomes very routine. You’re like, I’m just doing compressions, but I’m also making a phone call. Whereas I would not be making a phone call if I was doing compressions on a mom. Also, it’s easier to do compressions.
[00:09:56.290] – Tina
And in our site, we certify for babies, the stuff that we do for babies way more often than we do for ACLS because it is used.
[00:10:06.230] – Hilary Erickson
So much more often.
[00:10:07.660] – Tina
Thank goodness. Thank goodness. And also not thank goodness, those babies, don’t come out flat babies. Don’t do that to us. Don’t do that. Come out happy and crying. They pink up.
[00:10:17.500] – Hilary Erickson
So much better.
[00:10:18.080] – Tina
They’re stinkers. They’re stinkers so fast, right? Flexible little people. Give them a little air and they come. And at my site, too, it is our ICU. I have also worked ICU. And it’s our ICU team that comes to the codes. So for us, I wonder if maybe A CLS isn’t a priority at my site because we know that if somebody codes or if somebody loses their heartbeat, we’re going to be calling ICU and they come stampeding in real quick. And they also have a rapid response team. So if we have an admitted patient that goes downhill, we call rapid response and they come flying in and they basically take over and we’re like, Hands off.
[00:10:53.020] – Hilary Erickson
We’re good. That’s funny. We have an ICU that comes.
[00:10:56.620] – Tina
[00:10:57.130] – Hilary Erickson
Then they stare at us like, do you need an alcohol?
[00:11:01.770] – Tina
They come in the room and we all just step back. We’re like, we’re good.
[00:11:04.770] – Hilary Erickson
[00:11:05.230] – Tina
We kept them here.
[00:11:06.010] – Hilary Erickson
For this long. I’m like, I will take care of the fundus and the uterus. You are going to take care of everything else. Totally.
[00:11:12.550] – Tina
And that is the beauty of it. I’m going to give her some apple juice, okay?
[00:11:15.100] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. I’m going to ready her nipples for when we need to latch this baby on.
[00:11:20.350] – Tina
How about some perineal massage? Do you need that? Is that going to help in this moment?
[00:11:25.430] – Hilary Erickson
Cardiac, perineal. It’s all the same.
[00:11:28.280] – Tina
It’s PCLS, perineal cardiac.
[00:11:31.410] – Hilary Erickson
Life support. That’s the doula’s job. Dang it, not ours.
[00:11:35.580] – Tina
Yeah, we don’t.
[00:11:40.040] – Hilary Erickson
Do it. The other thing I thought of was we do mock codes. We’re supposed to do four a year. Do you guys do those?
[00:11:45.570] – Tina
Yeah, we do. But you know what? Our mock codes are not really around CPAP. They’re more specialized skills of things that can go wrong with mom. We’ll do a shoulder dystocia code or we’ll do a malignant hyperthermia code because no one wants to see that happen. That would be a frightening thing. So those are the things that we do. But I don’t feel like we do them often enough. I think that in nursing education, I think this is something that has to get a bit better because it’s that muscle memory. It’s not just knowing what’s going to happen and knowing what you should do, but that muscle memory of knowing what to do and being confident. You and I could probably put in an IV or check a cervix, blind folded because it’s that muscle memory. You’re confident because you do it all the time. But then if somebody crashes, like a mum crashes, or let’s say, malignant hypothermia. So this is when a mum can react to anesthetic and can have this sudden awful reaction of this really high temp and really high heart rate. But you have to give certain meds really quickly and do things in a quick process.
[00:12:47.100] – Tina
But my muscle memory wouldn’t be there for a code like malignant hypothermia. I’d be like, Oh, where do I even get that blue medication? I don’t even know. You have to get a special meds. So I think that they need to be done more often for sure, because you need that muscle memory. You need to know what to do quickly with your hands as well as your head. It’s not just in your head.
[00:13:06.950] – Hilary Erickson
Two thoughts on that. First one is, this is one of the beauties of giving birth in the hospital because a lot of people are like, Well, if you’re in a birth center or at home, you can easily transfer to the hospital.
[00:13:17.850] – Tina
In the hospital… Time is money, baby.
[00:13:19.660] – Hilary Erickson
We have so much support. You have no idea. Also when they call code in labor and delivery, the entire world comes because everyone pictures their mom. Everyone pictures their sister that just had a baby. Everyone pictures that baby that desperately needs a mom or that dad who’s just holding… There’s so much emotion involved in an OB actual emergency that we… I mean, there’s just…
[00:13:43.310] – Tina
It’s totally relatable, right?
[00:13:44.480] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Whereas in a birth center, you’re still going to be waiting for the ambulance and then loading into the ambulance and then coming to the hospital and us looking at you. It’s a different… I’m not saying you shouldn’t give birth at a birth center. I mean, maybe I am, but I just think people don’t understand how much support… I have this ICU nurse that has done it since she was born. I don’t know. They’re so good at running all these different things that it’s amazing. I don’t think people realize how diversified nurses are. It’s muscle memory, right? Yeah. In COVID when they were like, so we’re going to float you guys to ICU. I was like, no, you’re not.
[00:14:20.070] – Tina
Oh, my God.
[00:14:20.690] – Hilary Erickson
This body doesn’t go to ICU.
[00:14:22.000] – Tina
You don’t want me there? Yeah. You don’t want me then. As much as we don’t want you here.
[00:14:27.510] – Hilary Erickson
They would never come to labor and delivery to.
[00:14:30.420] – Tina
Deliver a baby. And our nurses, when they followed the ICU, it was very much like you would mix the medication. You weren’t the person. I don’t really want to do that. Because, again, I’ve worked ICU. It’s like a whole different ball game up there. Those nurses are a different type of nurse. You walk in, the lines are perfect, and the patient just looks beautiful, and they are able to take so much care and pride in their work. I feel like it’s just a different ball game of nursing.
[00:14:55.230] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. But the beauty is I can call ICU nurse Jamie, and she immediately reacts like an ICU nurse, and I react like a labor nurse. And together, we 100 % have got your back, right? Totally. So I think the other good thing about labor and delivery is that we go over the scenarios that happen frequently that probably other people would think of as an emergency enough that I don’t think of them as an emergency anymore, like postpartum hemorrhage.
[00:15:21.610] – Tina
Yes. Muscle memory, baby. You do it enough, it becomes really common, right?
[00:15:26.970] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Well, you’re just like, crap. Instead of like, oh, crap.
[00:15:31.080] – Tina
It’s different. Oh, boy, I got to get some more blue pads. Oh, boy.
[00:15:37.250] – Hilary Erickson
Right. Oh, bring in the scale.
[00:15:38.480] – Tina
I only freak out if it’s like… Yeah, if I’m right, oh, boy. I’m checking their tummy and a uterus shaped clot comes out. You’re like, Oh, that’s going to be… I’m going to need some extra help here.
[00:15:49.780] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, now I.
[00:15:50.470] – Tina
Need a doctor. When you ask for help, right? When you ask for help, I find that the team dynamic and labor and delivery is incredible. In Emerge, it wasn’t always that way. You’d pull a call bell and you would wait and you’d then wait. You’re like, Could I get help? But I find like, labor and delivery, you call, you’re like, I need help, and people just come flooding in. It’s awesome.
[00:16:08.970] – Hilary Erickson
Yes. And I think that scares a lot of patients because we’ll be like, Hey, can I… They’ll see a heart rate going down and they’ll just filter into the room and everyone’s like, Why are there so many nurses here? And that’s the beauty of the team because we don’t know if that heart rate is going to come back up. We don’t know what else is necessary. And we know that if we were Hillary in that room, we would want all the extra hands.
[00:16:30.010] – Tina
I love the extra hands. And that’s the skill, I think. When I first started, I was almost afraid to ask for help or to ask for help too soon. It’s like, you want to be this great nurse and you don’t want to be the person to call. And then they’re like, it’s fine. When you first start, you’re like, They’re fully dilated. And they’re fully diluted. And they’re like, they’re two. What are you talking? You don’t want to be that person. But now I’m just like, you know what? More hands is just better. Just come. And if it’s nothing, then you can just go.
[00:16:52.690] – Hilary Erickson
[00:16:53.460] – Tina
But it’s so good. Everyone just comes, right?
[00:16:55.640] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. So I just want to be really clear that we go through a lot of these different scenarios just in our free time. And yes, we do giggle while we do it because sometimes you pull back the sheet and she’s placed like Jell o in between her legs and you’re like, Oh, I guess she’s bleeding. I love it.
[00:17:13.090] – Tina
I’m going to assess the scene. Looks like there’s some bleeding.
[00:17:17.510] – Hilary Erickson
Are there any down wires, right? Like BLS? Yeah.
[00:17:20.860] – Tina
The scene is safe. Are you okay? Are you okay? But all good.
[00:17:25.250] – Hilary Erickson
Things to do. There is always a chance that the cord falls out, right? And we practice getting on the bed with a mannequin, riding to the back with them with our hand up the mannequins. We do.
[00:17:37.210] – Tina
All those things. Not what you want to feel when you put your hand in a cervix.
[00:17:41.110] – Hilary Erickson
Right. But I will say as a new nurse who felt it, I was like, we’ve done this before, right?
[00:17:46.440] – Tina
Right. And then you’re like, right on all fours, keep your hand.
[00:17:49.910] – Hilary Erickson
In there. And keep your hand in there.
[00:17:52.050] – Tina
Right. Yes. Which, though, would be really, really, I think, scary for the patient when you’re like, get on your all fours, we’re just going to ride down the hallway.
[00:18:00.240] – Hilary Erickson
On all fours with you. I’m going to hold this sheet on your phone. Luckily, it all happens very quickly. And we also try and clear the hallway of anyone while you’re on your parade.
[00:18:09.360] – Tina
Yeah, we’re going to go yesterday to the OR. Totally to your parade.
[00:18:14.330] – Hilary Erickson
So one other thing we all have to certify in or not everybody certifies in it, but fetal monitoring, we take tons of classes on watching the baby’s heart.
[00:18:24.280] – Tina
Too many. Just finish my refresher.
[00:18:28.210] – Hilary Erickson
So much fun. So there’s a few different sources that people can either certify or I don’t think A1 is a certification, but I have to take a test. I don’t know what it is, but that’s what I had.
[00:18:37.310] – Tina
To do. Ours is big. We do ours out of the University of BC. It’s an online course and it goes over everything. And you think, oh, I’m going to do this refresher because you look at fetal heart rates all day, every day, right? And sometimes you watch them and they’re scary and sometimes you watch them and they’re lovely. But then you take this test and it’s like the physiology of the circulation of baby and all of these different things and you’re like, Oh, right. So it’s a really nice refresher. But what I think is really interesting about fetal heart rates is that you could have somebody look at a fetal heart rate and it can be like you’ll analyze it one way. And if you give that person the same fetal heart rate, like six months down the road, they could analyze it different because there’s so many different pieces to look at on a fetal heart tracing. And then everybody has, I think, their thresholds for what’s a scary fetal heart rate tracing and what’s a great fetal heart rate tracing. Some people are so much more comfortable to watch them for a longer period of time just knowing that it’s going to be okay for some reason.
[00:19:31.060] – Tina
Some people have that incredible just intuition on what’s great and what’s not great. And sometimes you’re a new nurse and you’re like, I don’t like this one.
[00:19:38.950] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And doctors will also vary. Sometimes they’ve had a poor outcome, they will not tolerate anything the next day. And sometimes they just sit there and watch it and you’re like, we’re just going to watch this all day? What’s our life plan here? Oh, my gosh.
[00:19:53.990] – Tina
And it’s so stressful as a nurse sometimes, though, the whole shift you’re watching it, you’re like, oh, like you’ve done. We do so many things to try to fix it, right? Because a lot of times you can fix it. And man, sometimes just watching it all shift is like, oh God.
[00:20:09.070] – Hilary Erickson
And then baby comes out and just cries and is a beautiful baby.
[00:20:13.730] – Tina
Smiles at you like winks. I got you. You’re like, Oh, my God. But it could be stressful, right?
[00:20:20.740] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And I know fetal monitoring gets a lot of crap on it, which I have labeled my own crap on fetal monitoring. But there are babies that we have saved through fetal monitoring. And even if you think it’s horrible, it is still very effective in order to know which babies have labored too long.
[00:20:39.650] – Tina
Yeah, totally. I do think, though, that we could do a little bit better with these healthy moms that come in in early labor. I don’t really know if we need to strap them to a monitor as much as we do. But again, I think it’s like we just feel more comfortable being able to see baby all the time, right? Yeah. But a lot of times you put that Doppler on and they sound lovely and happy. And so I personally think that that’s something that can change in the early stages of labor with healthy moms for sure. I think we could do better. I don’t think we need to be wrapped onto it. But once you’re rocking and rolling, I don’t know. I felt better having it when I was delivering. I felt better having it on and seeing my baby. I always felt better seeing my baby. Personal preference, right?
[00:21:22.690] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I agree.
[00:21:23.760] – Tina
But I think definitely knowing what to look for is important, too. If you’re going to put the fetal heart rate monitor on, you better know what you’re looking for, right? Yeah.
[00:21:32.050] – Hilary Erickson
I wrote a post, apparently Google, a lot of people search for at home fetal monitors. And my first paragraph is, that’s so fun to have a fetal monitor at home, but you literally have no idea what you’re watching for. And if you saw something bad, your only recourse is to call 911, who’s going to be like, what’s wrong with your baby? And you’re going to be like, well, this fetal monitor I got on Amazon.
[00:21:54.950] – Tina
Even like Doppler’s in early pregnancy, it’s hard to pick up a fetal heart rate before… I mean, even I have a hard time picking it up after 12 weeks. I’m able to do it really well. But those early Dopplers, too, can be a little bit scary at home because you don’t know what you’re looking for. I think half the time you’ll probably pick up your own heart rate and then think your baby’s heart rate is in the toilet and then it’s panic city, right?
[00:22:16.380] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, it’s confusing. So mostly I want people to understand that we really are… You don’t see this because obviously we’re not running down the hallway with our mannequin with other patients in the hallway because we would clear the hallway so people don’t watch our parade. But we really are training for all these different scenarios. And it may make the hospital too aggressive or too worried. And I can definitely see that part. But on the times where something crazy happens and we’re able to get it together, it feels like that was.
[00:22:49.970] – Tina
Probably worth it. And I think, too, when you talk to hospital staff, I think a lot of obstetric hospital staff, I think they always come across like that they despise home births. And I don’t think that that’s it. I think what it is is even though you know it’s not the norm for moms to pass or for babies to pass, that’s really not the norm. But if you see it, it sticks with you. It’s like when I worked in emergency, I would deal with a lot of people that were having early miscarriages. And so when I was pregnant, I was really worried. But you have to think in your mind, this is not the norm. This is the exception to the norm. And so you have to keep your head on your shoulders. But I think we also know that when things go badly, they can go badly very quickly. And so I think that’s why we’re always on guard and we’re maybe not really pro home birth because we know that if you are that one… And I was looking up some stats, 2018 stats, there was 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the US.
[00:23:46.970] – Tina
And in Canada, it’s lower. It’s 8.6 of every 100,000. So it’s really not the norm by any means. And when you think of how many people have babies in this country and in this world every day, it’s not a huge number. But it only takes that one for you to see it for you to want to be so prepared for your patient that if something were to happen on a fluke or on a whim, that you could be the best nurse for them to be able to get them through it and to be able to snuggle that baby on the other side.
[00:24:11.170] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And having worked geriatrics at the beginning of my, you don’t have that pressure.
[00:24:18.680] – Tina
[00:24:19.020] – Hilary Erickson
Totally not. You’re afraid of a fall. You’re afraid of them needing how doll or something like that. But you’re not as afraid of something could go wrong at any minute and it t’s a huge life impact.
[00:24:32.460] – Tina
Yeah, totally. And I mean, it’s sad but I think this mom has the rest of her life in front of her. And the maternal deaths that we’ve had in our hospital, they happen so seldomly. But when they happen, it just rocks the whole unit. And usually you hear about… I think there’s four major hospitals in our city and three of them do deliveries. And even when a maternal death happens at another site, you can feel it in your own unit. It’s like nobody wants it to happen. Usually, each unit will send each other flowers because we’re thinking of them because we know that that’s hard on a nurse, but it’s hard on that family. It’s just awful. And so yeah, I think being as prepared as you possibly can be if it’s like yearly certifications or at our site, we do something called Lunch and learns where our nursing educators, we have two of them, they’re amazing. They’ll come in while you’re having lunch and they’ll just do quick inservices on how to set up a fluid warmer.
[00:25:26.880] – Hilary Erickson
I was just going to say the blood warmer.
[00:25:29.230] – Tina
Yeah, blood warmer or how to make sure your pressure bag is attached properly so you don’t smash yourself in the face, stuff like that where you can just have these quick moments that you can practice, quick moments that you can refresh your brain and just be like, Oh, yeah. If this happens, this is the next thing. This is the next thing. Because we just want to be there. No one wants to see any patient pass away, but somebody who’s young with a brand new life to take part in is.
[00:25:53.700] – Hilary Erickson
Just awful. Yeah. So hopefully that gave you guys some idea of what we’re doing in the hospital to prevent this, that it’s not just something we shove to… Because I really think when you’re pregnant, you do have to just shove it to the back of your… Because there’s nothing you can do about it. In general, you can take your blood pressure meds if you have high blood pressure. You can go to your prenatal visits. That’s so important. But a lot of it, you just can’t. There’s nothing you can do.
[00:26:15.040] – Tina
About it. It’s a dice roll, right? It’s a dice roll. And I think people forget that, right? And there’s a lot of stuff that coming up like, let’s not medicalize birth. It’s not a condition and that thing. But it’s something that is happening in your body that can drastically affect the rest of your life. So hopefully and 99 % of the time it’s affecting your life in a great positive way. But we have to be aware that things can happen. And if they do, we need to be on it.
[00:26:39.130] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. And your hospital team really is. So hopefully that you guys feel like we take this all very seriously, possibly too serious. But if you’re the one that needs to have it taken seriously, you’re glad we took it so serious.
[00:26:53.190] – Tina
Totally. Except that mannequin. That mannequin is scary. I have opened the door to that mannequin forgetting it’s in there. That mannequin. Can’t they make it look more pleasant and less robotic looking? We have.
[00:27:04.310] – Hilary Erickson
Ones in our hospital that blink and talk to us. Do you have those?
[00:27:07.390] – Tina
Those are the ones. Yes, those are the ones. T hey store it in a room in our antipartum unit, and I forget about it, and I’ll walk in and it’s dark and it’s right in the front of it.
[00:27:18.590] – Hilary Erickson
Good morning, ma’am. Good morning. Ours lives in a bed in an education center.
[00:27:22.700] – Tina
[00:27:23.170] – Hilary Erickson
That’s the whole time it’s talking. We are all laughing.
[00:27:27.050] – Tina
Oh, man. I love it because the person that’s running it gets to connect to the speaker and like, Hello, good morning. I don’t feel so good. And then they’re like, Oh, hold on. Hold on. I have to set the monitors. Hold on. Hold on. And then, oh, okay, I guess we’re doing this now. Awesome. I’m so pleased I could be here today.
[00:27:47.040] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, thanks for coming on, Tina.
[00:27:49.240] – Tina
Awesome. Anyway, M amas, we got you. We got you.
[00:27:51.270] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, where can people find you?
[00:27:52.650] – Tina
They can find me on TikTok. I am Mama Nurse, MAMMA Nurse, and I just started a live stream little baby YouTube channel. I’m trying to follow in Hillary’s amazing footsteps, but I just started a baby YouTube channel, and that is Mama Nurse Tina. Yeah, and.
[00:28:08.230] – Hilary Erickson
She has great content, lots of information, so definitely give her a follow and watch her over on the TikTok. P robably by the time this airs, you will be a huge YouTube star.
[00:28:17.930] – Tina
Oh, one could only hope.
[00:28:19.650] – Hilary Erickson
So many subscribers. All right, we’ll chat with you later.
[00:28:23.250] – Tina
Right. Thanks for having me.
[00:28:24.300] – Hilary Erickson
I hope you guys enjoyed that episode. I worried that you guys would be like, Wow, stuff goes wrong frequently. But you have to remember that stuff does not go wrong all that frequently. But when it does, it sticks with us. And nurses, it’s imprinted on our memory. So I just want you guys to know that we really are prepared for it. And if you’re not pregnant, I want you to know how trained the hospital staff is for emergencies. I think we all worry that people won’t be prepared for it because we as a patient are not prepared for it. But that is not true. The hospitals are really prepared for it.
[00:28:54.470] – Hilary Erickson
So hopefully that helps you guys out. Come join me in the online prenatal class for couples where we can help you feel more confident about what’s going to happen in your labor. We also even talk about the interventions that labor and delivery nurses will do when we all run in the room. So you just know what to expect because that does happen, I mean, somewhat frequently.
[00:29:12.300] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, stay tuned because next week we are talking about the girl bosses supporting each other on the internet. Although I don’t call myself a girl boss, I hate that I just said that, but I just wonder why women don’t support each other well enough. So stay tuned for that. And then the week after that, we’re heading back to pregnancy and we are talking about the language of labor. So stay tuned.
[00:29:29.770] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. The Pulling Curls Podcast grows when you share us on social media or leave a review. If you do, please tag us so that we can share and send you a virtual hug, which, frankly, is my favorite hugging. Until next time, we hope you have a.
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