Apr 122013

“I’ve been doing a vaginal exam every 20 minutes for my comfort.”  - L&D nurse to mother after 6 hours of labor in the hospital.

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 April 12, 2013  Cervical exam, cervix, L&D Nurse, labor  Add comments

  19 Responses to ““I’ve Been Doing A Vaginal Exam Every 20 Minutes For My Comfort.””

  1. Wow… TMI honey. What you do for your own… ehem… comfort is really none of my concern. But I’d prefer you not be examming yourself while on duty here at my birth… I’ll be allowing vaginal exams on myself much less often than that. And I’m not sure I want you involved.

  2. Well, so long as you’ve got your back to me that’s ok.

    BUT, if you are talking about performing those vaginal exams on me – that’ll be a NO!

  3. This sounds confrontational to me — like Mom asked why she needs so many VEs and the nurse is being sarcastic saying that she’s doing it for her own comfort.

    Either that, or she really is only comfortable during birth if she’s shoving her fingers into something…

  4. What the heck does this nurse even mean? Either it’s sarcastic (possible) or else this mother has already had 18 cervical exams in six hours? Or maybe the nurse means that she’s been going from patient to patient and since she has six women in labor right now, she needs to do one exam every twenty minutes?

    How about this, then? Mom no longer consents to vaginal exams, the the nurse can find some other method of comforting herself. Or, if the nurse is being sarcastic, then the mother has just generously lightened her load.

    People who don’t like helping laboring moms shouldn’t go into labor and delivery.

    • Thank you! I was wondering if I was the only person confused by this.

    • She meant her own comfort in that I was already at 7 when I came in. She wanted to make sure I didn’t deliver on the bed. In previous births I had missed the doc and the nurses had to catch. She wanted to know if I was dilated fully for her comfort. She also said she kept the monitor on not for me, but for her own comfort.

  5. Yeah, this sounds like the nurse has been doing those checks ON THE MOTHER, not herself (that wouldn’t make any sense).

    For her comfort?

    That is disgusting and sick. Get your hands out of her vagina.

  6. My first thought was to wonder if this was a woman with an epidural who had been sleeping and didn’t even know the exams had been performed. And the “comfort” comment reminded me of the horrible substitute nurse I had, like the nurse had to constantly reassure herself that things were progressing “normally” by checking dilation because she didn’t know any other way she could trust.

    • How much does dilation even change in 20 minutes? If the average is 1cm per hour, can a nurse really tell the difference between 5cm and 5.3cm?

      • Probably not. Either this nurse is talking about going from room to room checking dilation of all the patients for a cumulative one per 20min, or she’s obsessively checking *this* woman’s dilation because she’s not comfortable working with laboring women and doesn’t know what else to do. That’s the part that reminded me of my substitute nurse. (Or, as others have mentioned, it could be a sarcastic exaggeration.)

        • Now that I think about it, that nurse did check me at least 3 times in 40 minutes when I was in transition. She refused to believe I was in labor until I hit transition, at which point I remember her telling me I was at a 3, then a 6, and then complete over the course of one giant, multi-peak 40-minute contraction. And then she ran from the room screaming for help when she realized I was pushing. Yeah, she had no business being in L&D at all, and everything she did that night was about her own comfort level, not mine. Hence, my projecting my own experience onto the quote.

      • I think that’s what my midwives thought and why I was left alone, I arrived at 6cm and 30 min later was holding my son, so he probably just teleported through the cervix lol or since they didn’t see him born, he just skipped the whole birth thing ;)

  7. I was checked when I checked in, when I woke from a demerol nap (i worked a double that day and needed sleep) and when I told them I was hitting transition. 3 times in 8 hours and I felt that was too many

  8. I had exactly one VE during my last labor, for a total of three all pregnancy, and all of them were requested by me. The midwives probably would have suggested the one in labor if I had not requested it. It took placd just after I arrived at the birth center. After thar, they paid attention to *me* and not some assessment. In fact, they noticed I was pushy before I noticed, and gently assured me that it was okay to push now, and the baby was born seven minites later!

  9. I was having my 6th born. I had been sort of in a confrontational situation with this nurse already. She kept checking me, and even was stretching me (6th baby). My two previous babies had been born without a doc present as they came quickly, but this time I was in the hospital 7 hours with an OP baby. I froze with this nurse for some reason. The first VE made my whole day different since baby had a decel (down to 80bpm or lower) and then the nurse put the oxygen on me and stuck the IV. After this, the nurse didn’t want me to leave the bed and kept insisting on VE’s. I was worried my baby would have decels. I felt very violated and very vulnerable, it’s like she didn’t cover me properly. She even HELD the finger in between contractions, tried to “move my cervix” back. She did’t know baby was OP the whole time. I likely had 18-20 VE’s. I am usually strong willed and speak up for myself, but I didn’t. I spent some time weeping after the birth before I realized what had happened, I was violated just like a woman who had been raped. Every time I wanted something (to shower, to go to the bathroom) it was like I had to bargain with her. Sadly, I let her treat me this way. But, I did report her later and I did learn she was let go (maybe not in response to me, not sure). The next time I gave birth, one of the nurses told me she was not there and was not liked by the other nurses. I was told she would not be on L&D again.

    • Oops, I pinked as it was being published. The above is mine.

      • I am so, so sorry you left feeling like you were assaulted and I am so glad to hear that she was fired. Karma is something else, and she will get even more what is coming to her. I know what it feels like to freeze up in those situations, don’t blame yourself. Fight or flight is a finicky business!

  10. This is very confusing, but as long as there not doing it on me, I’ll be fine.

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