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What Not to Say to a Woman in Labor

I spent most of my first pregnancy in denial. I bought cute maternity clothes, reveled in prenatal yoga, and spent literally hours at Babies "R" Us, trying to decide on the perfect stroller. Then, sometime midway through my ninth month, it hit me—there was no good way out of this. Either I would have to push this baby into the world, and it would hurt, or the doc would cut me open, or even, if my labor stalled, both. I didn't feel up to any of the options, but there was no turning back anymore. And so I waited, terrified. When the day arrived, and I woke up to my water breaking and a contraction snapping across my belly, I was, to say the least, not in a good mood. I've given birth now to three healthy babies, and even though I did one birth drug-free by choice, at no point in any of the three labors would I describe myself as Zen. The littlest things could set me off—and often did. Turns out, I'm not the only one. People, remember: When your partner or patient or daughter or sister or friend is in labor, she is not at her best. Tread carefully. Extra carefully. Here are seven stories illustrating exactly what shouldn't be said to someone in labor.

What Not to Say to a Woman in Labor:

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