Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

The Role of an OB Nurse

This post is sponsored by Mercy Medical Center -- Des Moines

OB nurse labor and delivery Mercy Des MoinesAs the director of a very busy OB department, I have the privilege of working with some of the finest nurses. OB nurses have chosen this calling as their life long profession. They display compassion every day. Whether they are working antepartum and trying to prevent a baby from coming too early or they are in the delivery room coaching the mother’s progress, I am in awe of the work they do.

Patients often think it’s the doctor who “runs the show” during a delivery. They are definitely there when you need them, but in reality it’s the OB nurse who spends a 12-hour shift coaching, encouraging, and caring for everyone in the room – including family members.

OB nurse labor and delivery Mercy Des MoinesFor moms who are getting ready to deliver, here are a few things of the things your OB nurse will do for you:

  1. She will provide comfort measures and help you experience the kind of labor you want to experience. When you ask, she will inform you of all your pain relief options, and she will make sure you get them as soon as possible.
  2. She will listen to you and your family members’ questions. Your desired plan of care is important to her, and she will do what is in her power to fulfill your expectations. She will be at your bedside throughout the experience making sure your needs are met.
  3. Her ultimate goal is that you have a positive and memorable experience. She wants to be a part of that and will hope you deliver by the end of her shift. And when things don’t go as expected, she’ll explain plan B and get you to a positive outcome and healthy baby.
  4. If you need Pitocin, she will regulate it and “get the party going.” She is an expert in starting IVs and will administer medications following safe practices.
  5. The baby’s heartbeat and contractions will be monitored throughout the labor. Your OB nurse has been trained to know when a fetal heart rate tracing is reassuring and when there needs to be some intervention.
  6. Breast-feeding may be a challenge, but leave it to your nurse to keep you relaxed and maneuver you in a way that your baby will latch on.

Your OB nurse is highly specialized. She is knowledgeable and can take care of you and your baby in many areas of maternal child nursing. She is your labor nurse, baby nurse, postpartum nurse, operating room nurse, recovery room nurse, and medical surgical nurse. An OB nurse is a jack-of-all-trades.   

As a mom, you probably remember your experience with your OB nurse more than your doctor. Here’s one mom’s account of her experience with nurse Katie at Mercy Medical Center

Every day is different, and every patient is different; but that is what makes it exciting. We hope our patients choose to deliver at Mercy Medical Center because they know we are really good at what we do. We want to make sure their experience with us is exceptional.

Patti Anderson Mercy Des MoinesPatti Anderson, MSN, RNC-OB, is the unit nursing director for Mercy’s Labor and Delivery Unit and OB Emergency and Antepartum Unit. Patti has been a labor and delivery nurse for 33 years.






Connect with Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines 


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The post is part of a series of sponsored post by Mercy Clinics. 

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Tips for Potty Training Toddlers

How to Prepare for Having a Baby

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