9 Things You Should Never Say To A Woman In Labour

9 Things Not To Say To A Woman During Labour

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In the early part of my pregnancy last year, I was like many women worried about labour. I think it’s the fear of the unknown is what really got to me. I knew it was going to be painful, as the old-school midwife at the ante-natal class chirpily told us ‘they don’t call it labour for nothing girls!’

Yeah super helpful that!

When you think about it, we’re bombarded with images of what labour will be like. As a self-confessed movie buff, I’d seen hundreds of Hollywood births full of screaming, sweating, roaring and boiled water and fresh sheets for some reason!? We’re also shown images of dads routinely passing out at the sight of blood or saying something really stupid like, they are tired.

While my mind was taken up with thoughts of what labour would be like, I also wondered what my husband would be like during the labour.

It’s a real test of your relationship. I mean you’re there for whatever number of hours it is. Often a bit scared, in pain and pretty helpless. And that’s hard for your other half to see. It’s not nice to see someone you love in distress and I think we forget about how the guys feel in all of this. I think sometimes they feel a bit useless and unwittingly end up saying the wrong thing in attempt to be funny or supportive.

That said, it’s still all very much about the woman and rightly so, I mean we do push a tiny human out of our bodies for God’s sake, or have a huge incision made in our tummies for a c-section. Either, way it’s not a walk in the park. It’s bloody tough. But I did feel for my husband. Turns out, I couldn’t have done it without him; he aced it. He never stopped rubbing my back, arms, giving me the gas and air, sips of water, words of encouragement, held my leg when one was handed to him, never got a bit wobbly at the gore and I’d say to this day his little finger still doesn’t work right after I squeezed the life out of it.

So if your man is worried about what not to say/do during labour, maybe show him this list.

1. My Back Hurts, Can I Sit Down For A Few Minutes?!
No bloody way! Your baby is pressing against my back so much so that I think his/her feet might actually emerge through my spine at any second and you’re complaining about your precious back and wanting a sit down?!

2. Let’s Take A Selfie
This is might be okay during those quiet moments, but when shit gets real that is not time to be taking a selfie and don’t even think about getting some kind of photobomb selfie down there, while the baby’s head is crowning.

3. Spend Time On The Phone Or Sneakily Check The Score Of The Match
It might be tempting guys, but just don’t do it. Yes there will be quiet moments in the labour, but do not, repeat do not attempt to check the score of the Utd match or you’re liable to get the phone hurled out the window.

4. God I’m Starving
Really? Poor you! You might well have a rumble in your tummy, but man up and take it because most likely your partner hasn’t had a morsel in many agonising hours. Also don’t even think about taking her tea and toast when it does arrive… that stuff is not just a rite of passage, it’s downright manna from heaven!

5. It Doesn’t Look That Sore!
Righteo, when I’m back on my feet I’m going to put your balls in a vice while you’re awake and see how you like it? Balls not the same thing as labour you say? Well, I say potato you say potayto!

6. I’m Just Popping Out To The Bathroom
Again this is permitted in the quiet parts, but when the chips are down, just think like Arnie in Kindergarten Cop… ‘There is no bathroom!’

7. I’m Just Going To Grab A Quick Nap
Nope. If I’m not napping you aren’t either! I see any closed lids and I’m going to wallop you.

8. Ouch Don’t Squeeze My Hand So Hard
I may very well break your hand during a really tough contraction… that’s the deal here… when you’re pushing a watermelon out of your neither regions, you can break my hand with a squeeze if you want.

9. See That Wasn’t So Bad Was It?
I’d slap you but I’m too damn tired… rest assured I’m banking this slap for later on when I’m not exhausted and traumatised from labour!

Niamh O'Reilly
Niamh O'Reilly
A full time feature and copy writer, Niamh is a dog-mad, shoe-obsessed, movie-buff, with a curious penchant for politics. Up until her son arrived in December 2016, she’d never changed a nappy, made a bottle or even held a baby for more than 5 minutes without it unleashing what she refers to as ‘the death roar’. Completely unprepared for this momentous change in her life, she’s now trying to navigate the brand new world of motherhood with honesty, grace, love and humour. You can also catch her writing about her journey over at www.themammyblog.ie