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5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Someone in Labor


Updated July 02, 2014

Pregnant woman in labor on hospital bed
Cultura RM/Charles Gullung/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Let’s face it, there are some things you shouldn’t say to someone in labor. Labor is all about hard work. When you find yourself at a labor and birth with someone, as a husband, a friend, a family member, nurse, practitioner or doula there are some things you shouldn’t say. Here’s a list of things I’ve heard at births that shouldn’t have been said by those around the laboring woman:


  1. "This is taking so long…"
    If you are feeling tired, achy, hungry and annoyed, just think how she’s feeling? Yes, labor can take a long time, but in the grand scheme of life, it’s really not that long. Just remember that all of the births you’ve seen on TV are edited to make them fit into 30-60 minute time frames, life doesn’t work that way.


  2. "That’s going to be one big a** baby!"
    A doctor said this as he walked into a mom’s room as she was pushing. Now, in his defense, the baby was over 9 pounds, but the mom did a beautiful job of pushing her baby out in a timely fashion. She says that it shook her when she heard it because she hadn’t given it any thought before then. She wondered, for the first time, if she couldn’t do it because of this comment. Besides, you can't really tell how big baby will be.


  3. "Here comes a contraction!"
    While you have the fetal monitor to look at, mom can actually feel it before the contraction shows on the monitor. She’s likely to throw you some dirty looks if you utter this one.


  4. "That was a big one!"
    While the monitor gives you a graphical representation of what a contraction is like in terms of length, it does not show you how much it hurts. Be careful talking about contractions at all.


  5. "This is why men don’t have babies."
    While this may be the punch line to many a joke, it’s not really that funny in labor and delivery.

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