11 Things You Should NOT Say To A Woman In Labour (If You Value Your Life)

11 Things You Should NOT Say To A Woman In Labour (If You Value Your Life)

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned… by men saying idiotic things during childbirth.

In an ideal world, this list wouldn’t need writing.

But alas, sadly it does.

Unfortunately there are some epic horror stories out there about what partners have said to labouring women.

While you’re giving birth, you probably won’t be able to articulate your feelings very well, and you may struggle to explain the insensitivity of what you’ve just heard.

You will, however, probably be able to think up some pretty awesome swear combinations, should any of the following statements pass your ears on the day.

In the hope that they won’t, however, please share this article with your birth partner:

What Not To Say #1: “You Look Exhausted!”

Oh, do I? Thanks so much for letting me know. That’s really kind of you. I wonder why they don’t put more mirrors on the walls of birth wards? Strange that. Say, could you fetch me my make up bag? it’s probably time I reapplied my eyeliner, because all this PUSHING YOUR BABY OUT has undoubtedly led to some smudging.

[Spoiler alert: If you actually try to pass me my make up bag, you will regret it].

What Not To Say #2: “How Long Will This Take?”

Good question. Hold on for a second while I holler up my currently dilating cervix and ask our as yet unborn child for an ETA. Gee, you know what? No answer. I guess we’ll just have to assume, it will happen when it happens. And, not naming any names, if anyone happens to check the time and SIGH yet again, they are going to find themselves in the dog house.

What Not To Say To #3: “I’m Exhausted”

Are you? You poor thing. I remember once when I had to sit on a chair for hours, boy, I thought I was tired then too. But you know what? Since I’ve experienced contractions, and labour, and hours of trying to push a baby out, I’ve just realised what an absolute idiot I was before. Sitting on a chair is beyond easy. Please don’t talk to me about exhaustion, ok? In fact, just don’t talk to me.

What Not To Say #4: “My Back/Head/Whatever Is Killing Me”

Sorry. Were you talking to me? Seriously? You were moaning about your mediocre pain to the woman in the midst of labour? My giant uterus is putting me through some serious contractions. My lower back is aching like never before. I am exhausted. I feel like I might be able to poo. And all of this is merely the crescendo leading up to the grand finale of me pushing our baby through my vagina. You and your back/head/whatever can seriously sod off.

What Not To Say #5: “Is It Ok If I Quickly Check The Score?”

I am going to say this v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y. If, whilst I am trying to bring our child into the world, you so much as step near a television, glance at your phone or, God forbid, reach for your headphones, I. WILL. MAKE. SURE. YOU. CAN’T. HAVE. ANY. MORE. CHILDREN. Understood?

What Not To Say #6: “Shhhh – You’re Being A Bit Loud”

I’m sorry, are the sounds I am making during labour putting you off DOING NOTHING? Are my groans and cries a bit much for you to handle? Well, I’m afraid I can’t turn the volume down. I’m not making these noises on purpose, they’re just pouring out of me. To give you a bit of a break though, I’m going to stop groaning for a few minutes and focus all of my energy on telling you what an absolutely insensitive bum you are.

What Not To Say #7: “How About A Labour Selfie?!”

What the hell are you doing with that camera? Put it away. Do I look like someone who wants to be photographed? Does this look like a memory I want to capture forever, Instagram and share with strangers on the internet? Didn’t think so.

What Not To Say #8: “You’re Hurting My Hand!”

Yes. That’s the idea.

If your hand needs a rest, feel free to stick a different body part in my tightly gripping claw. I can already think of one I wouldn’t mind sharing this pain with.

What Not To Say #9: “I’m Just Going For A Lie Down”

No, you’re not. I know we talked about that at prenatal class, and I know that at the time I agreed it was best for you to be well rested so you could provide proper support during labour. But, you know what, this really hurts, and you’re not going anywhere. You think you’re tired? You don’t know the meaning of tired. Every inch of my body is exhausted beyond belief, there is no way in hell I am permitting you to go and take a nap right now.

What Not To Say #10: “Ha, You Just Did A Poo!”

You know how the midwives all stayed quiet when that happened? And how they whisked it away without me noticing? Yeah, that’s because they’re not swines. I don’t need to know what just happened. Your job, your one job, was to come out of the delivery room saying, “No, honey, you didn’t poo. You were great.”

And now you’ve ruined it.

What Not To Say #11: “OMG, Gross…”


Of course my vagina looks huge – IT IS HEAD-SIZED. I didn’t realise you were going down to that end of the bed so that you could offer a critique on the aesthetics of my vagina. I assumed you were going to visit the miracle of birth. Sorry that my vagina ruined that for you.

Other Unacceptable Comments Include:

  • “Does it really hurt?”
  • “Can I try the gas too?!”
  • “Why don’t you just have an epidural, then we can all get some rest?”
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  1. How about “Hahahahaha! You sound like you’re having sex! That’s so funny!”? I had that said to me over and over again by my mother, aunt, and cousin while I was laboring with my oldest. I didn’t want them there to begin with and their laughing and making fun of me made for a very stressful and irritating labor.

    1. Haha, My husband told me that while I was giving birth to our first born son. I wanted to tell him to shut up but I couldnot talk lead enough for him to hear while I was trying to push the baby out.

  2. my brother told my sister in law “honey, you could of shaved before Doing this.” She went off… I was there it was hilarious.

  3. Um how about, “you ready to have another one?” I thought about flying off the handle, but kindly looked up and said “whenever you are baby,” instead.

  4. How about the crap nurses say yeah…. I ripped one apart and then my husband took it to my ob first moment he had me ok enough to pop out for a moment. Don’t pressure someone to take drugs when they just need a fan! And don’t tell them threats to get the nurses’ way to shut have someone do what you want or thinks needs doing… we’re having the babies! Only one was nasty with me suddenly when I was having our full term stillborn son and I just lost it. I was going through enough with my husband!

  5. Or support people who yap constantly about bs when you want quiet and calm but you’re in the heat of labour and can’t talk, just breathe. And when you give clues and they miss the obvious and keep irritating you, yapping. Never again, just hubby and me were fine! Pulled in extra support last minute because I was scared of dying too as our son did in utero and everything seemed fine with him and then he was just gone… (later found out placental insufficiency)

  6. People kept saying “you must have low tolerance to pain…” Family and the nurses there. My husband was the only one supportive enough. Love him!

  7. Husband says too me after the fact that if “i just tried harder it wouldn’t have taken so long” and my mother agreed! Funny how this time i am just hope they are at work and i don’t have too tell them till after the birth. Sad thing is they think they are helping

  8. My husband was there from the first contraction until the last! Had a very difficult time with the midwife considering she never delivered placenta for me but he was great! If I needed something- Ice chips/repositioning he did it. The only support I needed was him

  9. Mine said is it suppose to look like that as she was coming out lol. I also told both our mothers and the doctor and nurses off cuz they kept asking if I wanted to touch her head.

  10. I got “tutted” at several times while I was having contractions while he was asleep next to me in our bed, not long after labour sex. I was expected at hospital the following morning for an induction but gave birth at home (as I wanted) through the night. He is still paying for it 10 months later in deathly glares. He blames it on not being awake enough to know what was going on.

  11. My husband is a farmer so during labour he thought it was a good time to compare me to sheep and cows his exact words were..
    “Honey you are going from a maiden to a ewe, from a heifer to a cow” (what they call sheep and cows after they have had babies)
    My midwife froze Haha waiting for me to lose it lol lucky for him the drugs had kicked in and I thought it was funny.

  12. My husband actually said that he would have rather been at work while I was in labor. He said that it was taking so long & he could have been at work. I was in labor for 9 hours start to finish. He thought that he could leave work & get to the hospital just before our son was born. I told him heck no he’s staying here as long as I am.

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