Things NOT to Say During Childbirth

— Gosh, you’re lucky. I sure wish men could experience the miracle of childbirth.

— Do you think the baby will come before Monday Night Football starts?

— I hope you’re ready. The Glamour Shot photographer will be here in fifteen minutes.

— If you think this hurts, I should tell you about the time I twisted my ankle playing basketball.

— That was the kids on the phone. Did you have anything planned for dinner?

— When you lie on your back, you look like a python that swallowed a wild boar.

— You don’t need an epidural. Just relax and enjoy this beautiful moment.

— This whole experience kind of reminds me of an episode from I Love Lucy.

— Oops! Which cord was I supposed to cut?

— Stop your swearing and just breathe.

— Remember what we learned in Lamaze class! HEE HEE HOO HOO.

–You’re not using the right words.

— Your stomach still looks like there’s another one in there.

Or my PERSONAL favorite, spoken by my dear husband with our first child…In labor, still at home, “Honey, do you mind getting lunch ready before we go? And if it’s OK, I’m going to grab a shower.” We made it just a few hours before delivery. He’s learned a lot since then 😉

79 Responses to “Things NOT to Say During Childbirth”

  1. Lisa says:

    LOL I’m hoping to get pregnant in the next few months. Think I’ll print these out and give them to my husband.

    If you think this hurts, I should tell you about the time I twisted my ankle playing basketball.

    Alas for me, my husband has had a couple of kidney stones, and his nurse told him she’d had a baby and a kidney stone, and the kidney stone hurt worse. So, even though he’s promised not to mention this when I’m in labor, I know he’ll be sitting there thinking about how much worse it hurt for him to pass that kidney stone. I don’t really like that nurse very much. 😉

    • I’ve had a kidney stone and 4 children and child birth is way more painful. Maybe his nurse had an epidural?

    • Aimee P. says:

      I have had three kidney stones and the doctors told me the same thing so I thought I would be ok in labor…..WRONG. Labor pains are worse.

      • Jennifer says:

        I’m guessing it really depends on the case and the person. I’ve had terrible menstrual cramps, terrifying spasms in my leg and twice awful bizarre pain in three lower regions that left comfort impossible. I would have picked one of the cramping times as the worst pain I could feel. Then I got a needle injected in my finger six times for rabies and found I was wrong.

  2. Bethany Hudson says:

    I think the one that gets on my nerves the most is when a male doctor or nurse (or husband!) tells a woman in labor, “I know how you feel.” NO YOU DON’T! I had a natural childbirth with my first (planning the same with my second) and my husband was my birth coach. I am infinitely grateful that not a single insensitive or idiotic phrase passed his lips during labor or delivery.
    ~Bethany

  3. Melissa says:

    My friend was having a home birth this last June and her air went out. So her husband, thinking that what she would want is to have it fixed, call the repair guy. What do you not want to hear during labor…”Honey the repair man is hear to fix the air.”

  4. Beth M. says:

    I have another one to add to your list. My husband likes to joke that he wants a legion (50) of kids. So right after our daughter (first baby) was born, he said “One down, 49 to go!”

    The last thing I wanted to think about right then was going through it all again, never mind 49 more times! Now I’m pregnant again, and quite optimistic that this time will be easier.

  5. Bria the world traveler says:

    These are so funny mom! I will definately give this list to my future husband, especially since I will be having home births!

  6. Gombojav Tribe says:

    I think my husband (or was it my mom?) said something like “Just enjoy the moment.” But actually that was exactly what I needed to hear!

    I know I’m not the only woman out there who can say that they’ve enjoyed their labors. 🙂

    (Still working on that natural childbirth post for you, Kelly!) 😉

  7. Phamilyof6 says:

    I had one nurse with my second child who kept saying, “Push like you have a big poopy. Push like you have a big poopy.” She must’ve said it like 10 times and then my husband started saying it. Finally I think I yelled “STOP! Stop saying that.”

    LOL!!! This is definitely not a good thing to say to a mom in labor.

    Jessica in Peru

  8. Word Warrior says:

    GT,

    I know it’s cheating if I say I really enjoy childbirth too 😉 You know, the euphoria that the epidural brings? I’m really trying, Daja, to want to go natural!

  9. Word Warrior says:

    Phamilyof6,

    That’s hilarious! I had a nurse during one of my labors that repeated Pooooosh, pooooosh, poooooosh–really fast like 30 times each time, and it nearly drove me crazy! We still laugh about it and imitate her.

  10. SarahF says:

    Your husband’s comment is THE best! Hahaha!

  11. Mrs. Anna T says:

    LOL! I gave birth for the first time (no epidural or any drugs) almost 3 weeks ago. And while I can honestly say there WERE things that hurt worse (such as for example my migraines during pregnancy), I would NOT appreciate hearing this during labor.

    “Push like you have a big poopy”…

    Ohh hahahahaha… I’m wiping my tears here from laughing so much.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Immediately, like *one second* after giving birth, my husband told me, “Now, wasn’t that worth it?”
    I yelled, “Don’t ask me now, ask me three years from now!” To which the midwife cracked up and said, “A very honest answer.” 🙂

    At one point, DH was supposed to be “coaching” me through the contractions (natural childbirth.) He was really helping, until he got distracted by the TV and said, “Wait, Ann Colter’s on Bill O’Reilly! Let me watch this segment.”

  13. Kim M. says:

    Tears are streaming I am laughing so hard! (especially about the poopy comment)!!!!

    I actually felt sorry for my husband during my labor because he just had this helpless look on his face. He kept wiping my forehead and he looked terrified.

    The nurse made me angry asking me INSURANCE QUESTIONS and filling out forms. I had already pre-registered!!! So I **HISSED** at her…
    “COULD YOU PLEASE ASK MY HUSBAND!!!!!”

    My sister in law’s baby came close to opening day of bow season (deer hunting). Whew, that was a close one!

  14. Lady Jen says:

    Hee Hee! I love them. My husband is great during labor, but he does like to tease before the fact.

    Would someone please tell me why the hospital nurses ask a ton of insignificant questions like your address while you’re in labor when your husband is standing right there? This happened during my first natural childbirth (third baby) last time. After the baby was born, she found my pre-registration papers which had ALL these answers on it (and which my husband had reminded her of several times). Grrr!

    • Cindy says:

      I’m guessing they ask you because there is a large contingent of “liberated” women who show up with a baby-daddy who doesn’t know the answers to those questions, or women who feel insulted if you behave as if they might need their men for anything at all ever. Would YOU want to be the nurse that gets yelled at for that? No. Best to ask the mother directly until you have permission to speak to her man-thing. 😉

  15. Word Warrior says:

    Speaking of nurses asking questions during labor (admittedly I probably didn’t pre-register, bu still)…

    During one of my labors the nurse asked me–and I’m NOT kidding–

    “OK, would you consider yourself an auditory learner, kinesthetic learner, or visual learner?”

    I just looked at her and said, “You’re, kidding, right?”

    • Jennifer says:

      My response: I hope you’re an auditory learner maam, because listen closely; either help get this baby out or LEAVE!

      • Word Warrior says:

        That would have been clever, Jennifer. Too bad I didn’t think of that.

        • Jennifer says:

          Thanks 😛 In reality, if I were working on getting a baby out in the world like you, I probably wouldn’t have said it either. Just yelled something. How much breath do you even get between contractions? Ouch.

  16. Michelle says:

    ROFL!!!!! I hadn’t heard many of those.

    I’ll be honest, my husband usually sucks as a labor coach but my last birth in a birthing center with gentle midwives with him behind me in the birthing pool was the best birth experience I ever had. No more epi’s for me if I can avoid it!

  17. Rachel says:

    With the birth of my second, after I was checked in, my husband and sister left for Taco Bell. The nurse asked where they were going, and he replied “I have plenty of time, these things take awhile.” (My first took 20 hours)
    When he walked back in the room 20 min. later he was shocked that I was ready to push and asked “Can I finish my taco first?” Thankfully he was kidding.

  18. Bethany Hudson says:

    GT- I agree; I actually did enjoy childbirth–and without pain meds. Oh, sure, there was about an hour there where I thought, “How can I possibly do this?” But that’s what transition’s about, right? Besides which, I had been induced for medical reasons, so I have been told that my experience was much more exhausting and painful than it’s actually supposed to be.
    ~Bethany

  19. Quinn says:

    My dad was the trouble maker when he popped in during my first two labors. During the first one, he kept getting shouting about how high the “richter scale”. Very irritating. During the second one, he showed up with my husbands favorite snack – Arby’s jalapeno poppers. Very bad labor coach breath!

    My favorite moment was during my last birth, I was ready to push and my midwife was 2 miles up the road, when the classical radio station I was listening to started playing the William Tell Overture and my husband was riding the bench at the foot of our bed like a cowboy. Clearly, he didn’t realize that he was 2 seconds from delivering his own child!

    • 6 arrows says:

      This one really made me laugh! The richter scale (sorry!), the William Tell Overture (I’m a classical music fan), and especially the jalapeno pepper bit. I’m glad my husband can’t stand jalapenos, as I snapped at him during my first labor, “Don’t breathe in my face!” Jalapeno breath would have been even worse, LOL!

  20. Civilla says:

    My mother-in-law’s (male) doctor told her, “Oh, it doesn’t hurt that bad,” and said it again when he stitched her up without anesthetic! (Don’t ask why the old days are better than this, the book of Ecclesiastes tells us!)

  21. Herding Grasshoppers says:

    “Well, honey, this is gonna take awhile, so I thought I’d run over to Circuit City.”

    Yes, he did.

  22. Sarah D. says:

    This post is hilarious! =D Thankfully, my husband was perfect during the labor. He just kept telling me how good I was doing. =) I had wanted to go natural for the birth, but, after about 60 hours of labor, I decided on an epidural (thank the Lord for the doctor who invented that!). After the birth, Danny told me that if I hadn’t said “yes” to the drugs, he would have for me! =D Who says it doesn’t hurt the guy? 😉

  23. Jeanette in WA says:

    Thanks for the laugh Kelly!!

    Undoubtedly the most insensitive thing that has ever happened to me (and forgive me this is not lighthearted) was after I delivered my first children (twin daughters) stillborn (at 24 weeks.) The nurse comes in before we are about to go home and says that my bloodwork shows that I was not immune to Rubella and wanted to give me that shot right then and there, AND SHE DID even though I asked her not to. I have learned a lot since then. (No one can do anything without your consent.)
    All that being said, I can honestly say that (even though nurses can be stinkers, and yet many are very wonderful) home birth would not be an option I would choose willingly. I am very grateful for all the medical advances and options available at a hospital.
    But whether at home or in the hospital we can all rest in the fact that the lives of our children are ultimately in His gracious and loving hands.

  24. Lori says:

    “Kate! Please don’t get in the helicopter!” (Re: last night’s LOST. Don’t worry. Sawyer kept his mouth shut)

  25. Lori says:

    Jeanette – I am so sorry for your loss. And I quite agree with you – esp about conventional medicine, homebirthing, and nurses. My main interest in homebirthing is to avoid the OB/nurse craps-shoot. Even if your midwife brings an assistant, I guess you can the the person go get the (expletive) out if they get on your nerves. (If you have the presense of mind while pushing.)

  26. Lori says:

    Oops – “tell the person”

  27. Kelly says:

    Those are hysterical! My favorite comment was by the doctor who was “subbing” (badly) for my real doctor. My husband was in the waiting room (he cannot take me in ANY pain…seriously) and my mom, who looks pretty young, was with me in the delivery room. My mom said something and I answered with a not so loving “I AM MOM!!!!” The doctor looked at us and said, “Oh, she’s your MOM?” Apparantly, she thought we were a couple. Nice.

  28. Veronica Boulden says:

    I love the fact your husband wanted you to make lunch. I am laughing so hard at that. My husband and I got married young… I guess we are still young. But, when we recall some the stupid things we have both said and done over the years, we laugh a lot.

  29. Peggie says:

    How about “I am going to work, call me when you are 3 minutes apart”. My response “I AM!”

    Explanation: Baby was due Dec. 5th, I told everyone the 26th since I carry 3 weeks late. Husband knew right date. It was now the AM of the 26th and I got up at 5 AM in labor, he got up to go to work and it took me an hour to convince him to take me to the hospital! We just made it in time!

  30. Kim C. says:

    One of my daughters asked me if I was sure I wasn’t having twins because it sure looked like there was another in there.

    And one of my brothers-in-law, who would probably prefer to remain nameless, asked his weak, thirsty, hungry wife just a few hours after a very tough homebirth:

    “So…um…should I just get my own lunch today?” Legend has it he *did* have sense enough to beat a hasty retreat when he saw the look she gave him.

  31. Mrs says:

    Hysterical!

    I have heard that the nurses ask a lot of questions when you come in because that’s one way of finding out how far along you are in labor. If you’re unable to speak easily, you’re definitely in labor!

    With my third, they started asking me all the questions (we were pre-registered). One nurse finally said, “We’ll skip the check room. She’s obviously in labor.” I was already to 7!

  32. Ellen says:

    Can I borrow these? They are hilarious!

    And, I was in a hospital elevator when some guy said the last comment about still looking pregnant to his wife. If I hadn’t been in there with them or she hadn’t been so tired, she probably would have knocked him into next week! :o)

  33. Shawna says:

    These are so funny. Thanks for the laugh!

    Our doc and my husband are good friends. They talked incessantly about fly fishing while I went through transition. Finally, I’d had enough and nearly yelled “will you two please be quiet!” My husband said, “oh, sorry, do you want us to go out in the hall? Just then, with one huge contraction, my birth coach, who is also an OB nurse AND my dear friend, delivered my daughter…my dh and wide-eyed doctor came rushing over for the assist. Ah-hem.

  34. Organizing Mommy says:

    Too funny. I was in transition and my DH told me we could go to the hospital AFTER he got down mowing the lawn. ???

  35. Lori says:

    Shawna – the nurses do almost all the work anyway (no, not always, just almost always). Finally, one gets the fun and the recognition of being the one “deliver” the baby (in quotes because we know yo did it)! 🙂

  36. The Bohmans says:

    After I went into pre-term labor with my second I was complaining about already not sleeping well and now I have to wake up every 3 hours day and night to take a pill. He lovingly put his arm around me and smiling said it’s ok baby it’s only 9 months. The delivery didn’t go any better.

  37. Donna says:

    Um I got ” Go for the Gold” when pushing… I seriously almost stopped pushing to go smack that nurse… I still can’t believe they were cheering me on like it was a football game.

  38. heidi says:

    A male OB told my mom, when she screamed out while pushing out my ten pound brother, “Oh come on, no need to scream, it’s just like flexing a muscle”. To which the labor nurse (a mother of several children) told her, “Don’t listen to him, you go ahead and scream if you want to” Yay for that nurse!

  39. Hey, I DO think and say, “Relax and enjoy the moment!” LOL! Believe it or not, I actually do enjoy giving birth–most of the time. 🙂

    To add to your list….when I was in labor with my third I started labor in the middle of the night. I poked my husband, “It’s time.” He rolled over and said, “Can we do it later?” LOL!!!!! That got him an elbow in the ribs.

  40. Christine L says:

    My nurse was from Nigeria. She said, “In my country, they don’t have this thing called pain medication…..” Guess I was too much of a whiner baby with my 9lb 12 oz daughter.

  41. Eva says:

    My labors tend to progress quickly, so you could imagine how dumbfounded I was when I went into labor with my 4th, and my husband (a call of duty fan who was playing at the moment) asked if he had time for one more game (which are about 10 minutes each) and then proceeded to play about 4 more….
    As my contractions increased, so did my temper, and he soon got the message.

  42. lol – this one sounds so simple, but it was absolutely the worst thing my dear sweet husband could have said. It was our first baby, and I had no idea what back labor was or that you could have something like it – I learned real quick, like, within 20 minutes of labor starting on it’s own. He spent A LOT of time rubbing my lower back during labor, and I couldn’t see what was going on behind me. So when his hands disappeared, and the rubbing stopped, I didn’t know why (come to find out later he was taking his watch off so it wouldn’t scratch me) so I excitedly started waving him back to continue rubbing my back. That’s when he told me to “chill for a minute”. Yehap – WRONG thing to say! And I, though not normally one to pop off at him, yelled “YOU CHILL”. Yeah…. it was bad…. so for the four babies after that, we learned that it was just not a good idea to assume anything from anyone. 🙂

  43. Whittney says:

    I was horrible during my first labor (28 hours). If I moved out of one position I would have back labor. That position happened to be leaning on my husband. Instead of breathing like my mid-wife, nurses & husband kept telling me to do I screamed. I guess one time I screamed a little differently than I had been and my dh asked “what’s wrong?” I looked at him and said “I’m in labor, what do you think is wrong?”. He thought that maybe he had shifted positions or was stepping on my foot. I have to say he was a real trooper with that labor. He didn’t leave me or stop trying to comfort me even after being throw up on twice… Since then my labors have gotten much better. He no longer really says anything besides “Can I get you anything?”.

  44. Misty says:

    When I went into labor with our first, every contraction my husband said “what’s wrong?” And my little sis (16) said “are you in labor?” I was ready to scream at them!!

  45. Julia says:

    My husband called and asked me to bring the tractor to pull him/his truck/trailer out of the ditch when I was in labor with our 2nd. I pulled up (with our 1 yr old!) in the tractor a little later and was laughing so hard. It’s even funnier looking back on it now. 😉
    I’m 39+1 weeks today – hopefully no crazy stories to tell in the near future?!

  46. Word Warrior says:

    Loving reading everyone’s experiences and comments–y’all are funny gals! It’s helping to pass the time as I eagerly await for childbirth 😉

  47. 6 arrows says:

    Funny post and comments! But how did this get so much attention today…is it reposted somewhere? Did I miss something? (Not unusual for me!) 😉

  48. Jennifer says:

    Glad you guys enjoy these memories 🙂 Hope I didn’t sound too aggressive in response to a few; I just often feel very defensive of women giving birth because they’re in such vulnerable positions, and when in that kind of position (and pain) I feel little patience for people who are insensitive, especially if they’re in the medical field and should know better. But mostly these made me smile 🙂

    • 6 arrows says:

      You didn’t sound too aggressive, Jennifer. I wish I could have had you along for an advocate in my first four labors, though. 😉 There were insensitive remarks at all four of those births, and when I went to the hospital for the fifth one, I had a list of all the unhelpful comments that had been made by medical staff in the previous births, and wrote on my birth plan that this was our fifth baby, we knew what we were doing, and if we needed anything, WE would ask!

      We got a sweetheart of a labor nurse who read everything we’d written, and was absolutely perfect! I also had my fastest and easiest labor that time (a little over four hours when my first three had each been over twenty hours!). It really helps when you get a caregiver who understands he/she is a servant, not a boss.

      Rant over, LOL!

      • Jennifer says:

        Thanks Arrows, that’s a great compliment to me 🙂 There is truly nothing like true disrespect to myself or especially a loved one, especially if there’s vulnerability involved, that brings out the Momzilla in me. Five kids, wow! And twenty hours, bless you. So glad everything got better for you 🙂

        • 6 arrows says:

          Thank you, Jennifer. 🙂 With my sixth baby (my youngest), things also went reasonably well. There were some difficult circumstances that were beyond anyone’s control, but, like with my fifth baby, the staff were very kind, encouraging, and helpful — a real blessing! 🙂

  49. Eileen says:

    This is such a great list!

    I once heard a story of two paramedics working together who had not yet delivered a baby in the field. On their first emergency birth call, one of the medics exclaimed, right in front of the parents-to-be “Dude! Do you remember how to do this?!”

    Fortunately, all went well.

    • Amber says:

      ACK! I believe it! I had my last in an ambulance. One paramedic was telling me not to push, the other was saying it was okay to push. When she was born in there they got the scalpel out while the ambulance was still moving. Steadying themselves while it weaved they cut my babies cord… ugh… still makes me shiver!

  50. […] Things Not to Say During Childbirth […]

  51. My husband used to manage an outdoor power equipment shop. When I was in labor with our 5th (no meds for this birth) my hubby and my midwife (awesome lady!) were discussing chain saws. I know. Odd. She had a lot of land at her grandma’s to clear, hubby was asking her about it and they were discussing which type of chain saw would be best. I made sure that he knew with the last two babies she delivered that the words “chain” and “saw” were not going to be spoken. We all get a good laugh about it still. Just saw her a few weeks ago and we were still joking about it (that all happened 9 years ago!). 🙂

  52. Amber says:

    I can’t remember much silly things my hubby has said while in labor, but he has fallen asleep a couple times :P. After our third baby he made sure to tell me, “Man, I am SO tired!” HA!

  53. Megan says:

    My husband played angry birds on his tablet right up until I was ready to push #7 out. The ‘aaarrrggghhhsss’ we’re driving me bonkers and I threatened to throw his tablet out the window if he didn’t shut that thing off. Pregnant with #9 and I can still hear that same noise in my head. He no longer plays angry birds now

    • Megan,

      LOL–that’s too funny. When I was having one of my babies naturally, the nurse decided laughter would “cut the pain.” So my husband and mom and the nurses were watching Bill Cosby’s childbirth bit and I didn’t think it was very funny at all. They were all tuned in to the tv while I was dying.

  54. Katie says:

    My husband was a champ during all 5 deliveries but the one question I was asked by a nurse sticks with me clear as day. As she was getting me all settled in the room and pecking away at her computer she asks me “Are you sexually active?” Seriously lady? You do realize how babies are made, right???? (That’s not what I said, but I wanted to!)

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