Childbirth is a wondrous thing, and many dads-to-be want to be right there in the delivery room to experience it. Not only do you get to support your wife but you also get to be there for your son or daughter's first breath. However, no matter how thrilled they are, men can never completely understand all that goes into bringing a life into the world.
For that reason, they can sometimes make comments that their wives are less than thrilled to hear. Here are 12 things men should never say in the delivery room, lest they spend their child's first few years of life in the doghouse.
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1. Your Back Hurts
No matter how uncomfortable you are, the mother of your child has it many times worse. It's not just her back that hurts. It's everything else, too. In fact, childbirth may well be the worst pain she will ever experience. In light of this, it's rather insensitive to complain about your own relatively minuscule pain while she's pushing a small human out of an even smaller place.
2. You Could Really Go For A Burger
Even if you can manage to feel hunger at a time like this, try to refrain from advertising it. Women who are in labor aren't allowed to eat anything, and if your wife currently feels like she's starving, she doesn't want the idea of a big, juicy burger rubbed in her face. Unfortunately, there's also the possibility that she's anything but hungry, which just makes things worse. The mere thought of food just might be enough to send her stomach reeling with nausea. She doesn't want to deal with that on top of everything else.
As miraculous as childbirth can be, there's no denying that it's not the cleanest, most visually appealing event in the world. During this time, things will happen to your wife's body that seem straight out of a sci-fi novel. Not to mention that some of it might actually be rather embarrassing for her, albeit uncontrollable. If there was ever a time to be mature, it's now. Reacting to these perfectly natural occurrences with expressions of disgust doesn't just make you sound like you're seven years old. It could also hurt your wife's feelings.
4. That's Not Supposed To Stretch That Much!
Yes, it is supposed to stretch that much. You've just never seen it happen before. It's normal to be astounded by the capabilities of your wife's body, but pointing it out is most likely just going to annoy her. Besides, she's already acutely aware of how much it's stretching without you giving her the details.
5. When Will This Be Over?
Childbirth isn't something that you can put a time limit on. For some women, it happens almost as soon as the contractions begin. For others, it could take the better part of a day or longer. Rest assured, your baby is going to come into the world when it's good and ready to. Patience is a necessity in times like this. Your wife isn't enjoying how long it's taking any more than you are, and it's poor form to complain about it. Indeed, if she could speed up the process, she almost certainly would. Try not to make her feel like she's on a deadline.
6. Giving A Play-By-Play
It's natural to be excited about meeting your new son or daughter. However, try to avoid announcing a play-by-play of what's happening. The doctors, nurses, and especially your wife all know exactly what's going on. They know when another contraction is coming on, and they know when the baby is crowning, because that's what they're focusing on.
7. I'm Bored
If your wife is spending a lot of time in labor before the big event, it's understandable to start feeling a bit restless. That said, it's something you might want to keep to yourself. Your wife needs you there for love and support, and the last thing she needs to hear at a time like this is that you're bored of sitting there with her.
8. But We Planned A Natural Birth
A lot of couples plan on having a natural childbirth, but once the actual birthing begins, a woman's mind can change quickly and vehemently. Drugs are there to keep her from being in utter, needless misery, and if she wants to take advantage of them, that should be her decision. One of the absolute worst things you can do right now is chastise her for changing the game plan. After all, you're not the one who has to go through the agony of childbirth.
9. Is It A Boy?
These days, advances in technology allow couples to get a glimpse of their baby before it's even born through scans. These can also help determine a baby's gender with surprising accuracy. However, if your baby's gender has already been discovered, try to refrain from asking hopefully if it's a boy once it's born.
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It's normal for fathers to hope for a son, but would you be less happy if it was a girl? All that matters is that your wife and child are healthy and happy.
10. That Seems Easy Enough
When you're standing on the sidelines, giving birth can look like a simple affair. However, as any mom will tell you, it's anything but. Unfortunately, many dads-to-be make the mistake of stating how easy childbirth looks, even if the statement was meant to be supportive. In reality, you're likely to be met with glares from everyone in the room.
11. When Can We Have Sex Again?
There is a time and place for everything, but the delivery room is not it for this question. Furthermore, it's not something your wife, who is busy giving birth, even wants to think about again any time soon. There's a good reason why many women yell, "you're never touching me again" while they're delivering. She doesn't mean it, of course, but understand that she doesn't want the reminder of what sex can do to her while she's experiencing the results of it.
12. Will That Shrink Back To Normal Size?
Whatever you do, avoid asking this question. Pregnancy and childbirth change a woman's body, and many times, things don't completely go back to their normal shape or size afterward. Expressing your concern over her physical image can be hurtful, no matter how much mindful pregnancy she engaged in before the birth. Instead, try telling her how much you love her and how beautiful she is to you. It'll do wonders for her self-esteem, especially when she feels like a mess after the delivery.
Being there for your laboring wife means more than just being present. It also means considering her feelings and offering your love and support. One of the best ways you can do this is to think carefully before you speak. It's all too easy for even the most innocent-sounding comment to come across as insensitive or inappropriate, which is the last thing a woman wants to hear when she's having your baby.
While I like the idea of this article I feel that it paints an exceptionally negative view of the birthing process. All the talk of pain and delivery (pizzas are delivered - babies are BIRTHED!!!). Also women are absolutely allowed to eat during labour if they wish. No-one has the right to deny a woman in labour the nourishment that she needs!
I highly recommend that couples check out www.hypnobirthingaustralia.com.au for a great way to plan for a positive birth, together. During the course you will learn about birth physiology, the power of language and the mind, relaxation techniques, and how to plan a beautiful and positive birth experience - no matter what turn your birthing journey takes.
Please stop telling women that they are going to be in the worse pain of their lives in labour as you are just adding to the propaganda that society throws at women so that when labour day comes they are anxious and afraid. It is this anxiety and fear that causes all the pain! Adrenalin is the worse hormone to secrete when you are in labour. www.painfreelabour.blogspot.co.uk
Men certainly do need to watch their Ps and Qs when attending the birth of their children. In fact, rather than risk embarrassing or upsetting the about-to-be mother, I think they should stay away from the birth room altogether. In fact, they should have a good deal of thought about actually having sex with a female or marrying one. There is a need it would seem for men to make sure that their partner definitely WANTS to cease taking contraception (and if she does want to, that she understand the basics of giving birth).
The tone of this article seems to suggest that a lot of mothers were alarmed at the fact that they ended up pregnant, as a result of sexual intercourse. That it was the man's fault that they ended up in this painful state, giving birth to an unexpected or unplanned baby.