Insider Tips From a Labor and Delivery Nurse, with Mandy Irby

During a hospital birth, labor and delivery nurses are an essential part of your birth team, even though you may have never met them before. In this episode, Mandy Irby and I talk about ways to foster that connection. We also discuss why nurses may love and hate birth plans, how to navigate triage, the difference between hospital rules and body rules, why IV sticks can be so tricky, the poorly named fundal massage, and oh, so much more. Check it out.


Listen directly through our website player, or however you usually listen to podcasts.


What we talked about:

  • What do L&D nurses really think of birth plans?
  • Is there a type of plan that is preferred?
  • What’s the best time to hand it to your nurse?
  • Facility rules vs. body rules
  • What to expect during triage? What’s your goal as a nurse?
  • Navigating an IV stick, and why not to hold it against your nurse
  • Do people have to do all the things that are part of hospital protocol, and if they don’t want to, what’s the best way to convey that?
  • Ways to figure out the protocols followed in your facility?
  • The value of the hospital tour and when is the best time to do it
  • The poorly named “fundal massage” and its protocol
  • Is it better to come in before or after shift change?
  • What if you come in too early?
  • “Curb walking.”
  • One of Mandy’s favorite tools: peanut balls! (And a link to her video about how to use them)
  • Her favorite part of birth
  • The most challenging part of her job
  • Are treats for L&D nurses appreciated? If so, when should they be given? (And we also talk about what those treats could be)
  • What Mandy wished everyone knew about her job


Related and helpful videos by Mandy, and other resources:


Related Birthful episodes:


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About Mandy Irby

Courtesy of Mandy Irby

Mandy Irby, The Birth Nurse, is a trauma-sensitive labor and delivery nurse and educator supporting bolder births everywhere. She’s been a labor nurse for over eleven years and holds both advanced certifications in OB nursing. Mandy is also a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Authorized Peanut Ball Trainer, Director of Education at [M]otherboard Birth, and a passionate childbirth educator and teacher of labor nurse support skills classes in-person, online, and on her popular YouTube channel @MandyIrby. Most recently, she completed the Spinning Babies Parent Educator training and is excited to bring pregnancy comfort and labor ease to parents in her gorgeous little town of Roanoke, Virginia. Mandy believes that our bodies are powerful, and with the right support, we are unstoppable!

Find out more at and check out for online childbirth education classes.





Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

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