One Born Every Minute
Top 10 Things Your Partner Should Never Say While You're in Labor
1. Anything that expresses boredom or impatience. Examples: “This is taking forever!” “How much longer?” “The books all said the average labor went way faster than this!” You get the idea. Don’t do it!
2. Any statement that compares your laboring partner to ANYONE else. “My sister/friend’s wife/co-worker/neighbor didn’t need pain meds!” “Your sister barely gained any weight, huh? She looked great like a couple of weeks later, right?” (Note: Extra points taken off if you compare them to your prior wife or baby mama. Lots of extra points, and maybe extra years off your life, too.)
3. Anything that sounds judgmental. “Pain meds? I thought we agreed you were going to have a non-medicated labor?” “You are going totally against what our birth plan was. WT?” (Note: Making a joke at this time, like calling her a wimp, won’t be met with laughter. Seriously, it won’t.)
4. A suggestion that you might leave for a while. That is NOT an option. So statements like, “You know, it looks like it will be some time still and you don’t really need me, so I am going to go grab a bite/take a walk/go get my computer/call my buddy/watch the game, and come back later,” will never be forgotten or forgiven. So think twice whether getting that burger is worth it.
5. Asking the nurse or doctor if they’ve ever seen a mom who got so big before. We don’t think we even need to explain why this is so wrong. Think about it. Yeah, right?
6. Commenting on any part of your partner’s appearance in anything but a complimentary way. This one’s a bit tricky. It requires not only that you not say anything negative but that you affirmatively say something positive and counter any negative statements she may make. “You look beautiful.” “No one even notices your roots, honey. The only thing that shows is how shiny your hair is.” (Please resist the impulse at a joke about it being shiny because she didn’t wash it since she’s been in labor for days! See #3 above.)
7. Registering any noticeable expression of horror on your face when you look “down there” as she is pushing and realize that you’ve never seen a sight like that before. Avoid that “what the heck is that?!” look. We know it looks bizarre and you may wonder if she will ever look the same again (she will) but keep that fear to yourself.
8. Saying anything “funny” to the doctor or midwife and asking if s/he can “add an extra stitch” down there if they are stitching up an episiotomy. Believe us when we tell you they’ve heard that one before (and many like those). If they were ever funny, they aren’t anymore, and your partner will not appreciate hearing them.
9. Flirt with the hospital staff. You’d think we wouldn’t have to tell you this one but sadly, we feel we do. Many a birth story has been ruined by a partner who thought s/he was being charming by flirting with the nurses or midwives or doctors. It doesn’t make you look charming. It makes you look creepy and makes the staff feel sorry for the new mom. Save the flirting for mom.
10. Show the staff that you know better than they do how to do their jobs. Unless you sincerely believe you should speak up, let them do what they have been trained to do and do well. No one likes a know-it-all so stick to being a supportive and loving partner and keep your “you know, if it were me, I would…” statements to yourself.
Don't miss One Born Every Minute, Tuesdays at 10pm/9c on Lifetime.