Birth Wisdom for Labor & Delivery with Courtney Hart, LDRP Nurse & Certified LC

Show Notes:

[1:12] Our reviewer of the week is Hailey987416, and she said, “These ladies give you ALL the details - tips and tricks, the real truth about everything! So grateful! I am living abroad in Germany for my first birth and I am so happy my sister-in-law told me about you two! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

I’m excited you’re here! I have another amazing woman on with me today so if you’re looking for more tips and trips, I hope you’ll get that out of today’s episode! 💜

[1:42] I want to tell you how Courtney and I connected! 😅 She reached out to me about the GBS podcast episode because she saw some discrepancies and had evidence to back it up! I loved how passionate she is about what she does and how much she cares about women. I responded to her email and asked her to be on the podcast! 🎙

[3:32] I ask Courtney to introduce herself. 💁🏼‍♀️ She emphasized that we’re all here for the same reason, which is to get evidenced-based info into the hands of all our mamas so they can make the best decisions for themselves. 🙌🏼 She is a Labor & Delivery nurse, a certified breastfeeding counselor, and she works in the Labor Delivery Recovery Postpartum (LDRP) unit at the hospital. 🏥

[5:40] I ask Courtney to share what it’s like to be a childbirth educator working with other women, while pregnant herself. 🤰🏼

[7:29] Courtney talks about the hospital where she works and the options women can have for their birth space. She feels that hospitals have been “demonized” when it comes to giving birth. 🙅🏼‍♀️ She doesn’t want moms who have to have a hospital birth to feel like they have to be on the defensive. There are national initiatives for better obstetric care being put into place. 🎉

[9:05] She wants to get the message out that there are good hospitals out there! She talks about finding a hospital with a low NTSV (Nulliparous, Term, Singleton, Vertex) Cesarean rate. 📉

[13:05] Let’s talk about birth plans! We have created a visual birth plan, and you can download that here. We will also include the Birth Bag Checklist here too. From a nurse’s perspective, how can mamas get their birth plan across that will be respected, received, and supported? 🗒

[15:34] Courtney encourages mamas to have a clear, concise plan and for mamas to know what the norm is for the hospital. (For example, if the hospital is “baby friendly,” you don’t need to put the Golden Hour on your birth plan because it’s a given.) 👍🏼

[16:46] Courtney mentions having a backup plan and that if it becomes necessary to use it, the details can be discussed with your birth team. 💬 I talk about how mamas should absolutely have a Cesarean back up birth plan just in case! 

[17:50] Even for moms who are planning to have a home birth, they should also tour the hospital and have a back up plan in case they are transferred. 🚑 In her experience, most moms who are transferred are already on the defensive when they don’t necessarily have to be! Mamas need to be aware of what to expect should their birth plans shift to a hospital birth and what that entails.

[22:03] What are some of the most important questions that you can ask during a hospital tour from a nurse’s perspective? 🤔 Courtney suggests that mamas schedule a tour to ask what questions and not feel rushed. Ask about the NTSV, ask if there are birthing tools to support your goals, request to speak with a nurse or nursing management about hospital policies. 👩🏻‍⚕️

[26:55] Hospital Policies. If a mom chooses to do something against the hospital policy (i.e. refusing medication), the nursing staff just needs to document it, and they will plan the rest of their care accordingly. ✍🏼

[27:58] Here are some questions to ask on your hospital tour:

  •  Are nurses and staff trained for unmedicated births? 
  •  Are they able to give tools and support needed? 
  •  Are nurses trained in hands-on labor support?
  •  Are the trained in spinning babies? 
  •  What are the staff to patient ratios at the hospital?

[29:50] As a nurse, Courtney shares what she has seen that makes vaginal birth successful and what hinders it. She shares the #1 thing you can do to increase your chances of a vaginal birth and having a satisfactory experience. 🥗

[31:06] In Courtney’s opinion, one of the #1 hindrances to a normal, progressing labor. She also refers to it as the bane of her existence! 😳😅

[33:14] We talk about continuous fetal monitoring and the difficulties it presents when it comes to labor. Continuous fetal monitoring does lead to a higher rate of medical intervention. 💉

[36:44] What are realistic expectations when it comes to induction? You can ask how it will change your birth plan. 😕

[40:22] “Are your legs gonna move after an epidural?” If you’re asking this question, you need to take a birth course. 😉 I’d love to suggest the My Essential Birth course.

[41:41] Here’s some important information for birth partners. ⚠️ Nurses want Dad to be hands on and involved! Get off your phone. Be present! And don’t smoke in the bathroom or bring coolers full of beer! You’d think that would be a given, but apparently it’s not! 🤦🏻‍♀️

[44:30] I ask Courtney about something that has stood out to her working as a Labor & Delivery nurse. She shares about how empowering birth can be. 💪🏼

To Leave a Review ⭐️

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ALL the best,


Links Mentioned:

My Essential Birth Course

My Essential Birth Instagram  

Birth Plan Template

Birth Bag Checklist

Hospital Tour Questions


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