Nurse makes insensitive remarks about mothers in the delivery room: "You should have done a better job"

Aabha Gopan

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

Giving birth to a child is physically and emotionally exhausting, and it’s one of the most vulnerable moments a woman will ever find herself in. She completely relies on the nurses, doctors, and other professionals to save her and her baby’s lives while enduring unbearable pain.

Everyone who has been through a delivery knows what a mother on the bed needs - support. And those in the labor room with her are well aware of that. Consequently, when a mother is with a team who cares and understands her, the delivery becomes less stressful - which is a win for both the mother and the medical team. A medical team that criticizes or makes insensitive remarks will mostly make the mother uncomfortable and guilty and scar her for life.

I came across a Reddit post about a ruthless and unprofessional nurse and couldn’t help but feel sorry for the mothers who met her. The author, 26, has a sister, 29, who became an L&D nurse after she felt it was her calling. Since the author hasn’t mentioned names, we’ll call her sister Hannah.

The author and Hannah got into an argument, and the entire family was divided. The issue is that Hannah has been making disparaging remarks about the mothers she has been caring for lately. She would make fun of her patients, including one she referred to as a "white whale," laughing at the sounds she made during labor and criticizing her husband's appearance.

Another patient had defecated during delivery, and her sister remarked that the woman's husband might divorce her for being "so nasty."

Hannah also gave a teenage girl in labor a ‘nurse dose’ (a higher dose than prescribed by a doctor) of pain meds so that she would shut up. She also gave the girl inappropriate advice and refused to give her a blanket, claiming she deserved to be treated like an adult for not ‘keeping her legs closed.’

The author had enough when Hannah admitted to having told a mother of a premature baby that ‘you could have done better’ if she didn’t want a baby at 29 weeks.

When the woman confronted her sister about her behavior, her sister defended herself, saying that she had the right to vent about "stupid mothers" who didn't know how to handle their bodies.

How did others react?

The author was horrified by her sister's callous attitude, especially since she was pregnant herself. She worried about the care she might receive during labor and delivery.

When she spoke to her family about it, they were divided. Her husband and some members agreed that her sister's behavior was unacceptable, while others believed that her sister shouldn't have to cater to her patients to do her job well.

The author couldn't condone Hannah’s behavior. She decided to report her sister's behavior to the hospital where she worked. She was unsure what would happen next but hoped that her sister would realize the error of her ways. But now she wonders if she was in the wrong for confronting her sister.

What do other Redditors think?

Most Redditors sided with the author, saying that her sister was out of line and was harassing her patients.

“Not going to fault a nurse for blowing off steam, but this goes way beyond that and is unprofessional, inappropriate, and potentially injurious to patients,” wrote one.
“I will say stupid things off the clock or to colleagues about patients who are annoying, but I'd never mistreat them or give sub care,” added another.

Unfortunately, nurses talking poorly about mothers isn’t new. Recently, a few nurses at Emory Healthcare in Georgia made TikTok videos mocking their patients. The video went viral and gained nationwide attention. Mothers who had delivered in Emory came forth with their terrible experiences with the nurses, leaving everyone baffled at how unkind the nurses were.

Having said that, what do you think the author should have done? How to handle such nurses who make fun of their patients at their vulnerable moments? Share your thoughts below.

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