web analytics

A Wife’s List: 10 Rules for Husbands in Labor & Delivery


Having gone through Labor & Delivery three times now, I am obviously an expert on what the rules should be for husbands while they are in the presence of a laboring mom. My husband had to learn these rules the hard and painful way seeing as how all the tips that the “books” gave for the dads were generic and pretty dumb. I mean, really? Telling the dad to be supportive is not descriptive enough. These are men that we’re talking about, they need specific and detailed instructions on how not to anger their laboring wives. Something more like the rules I’m going to share today. I deeply regret that Matt did not have these rules written out for him prior to the birth of our first child. He regrets it too. Because fingernail scars are forever, people.

Today’s list is written in honor of my friend, Allie, who is due to give birth to her first child any day now. She has been instructed to give this list to her husband, Jim. Allie, you’re welcome. And on a side note- I think Delia is a beautiful name for a baby girl….just sayin’.

10 Rules for Husbands while their Wives are in Labor

1. Do not touch the thermostat. I do not care if you are shivering in the corner underneath 4 blankets with a winter coat, hats and mittens. Do not touch the thermostat. Labor is hard work and if she wants it cold then it shall be cold. Knock the snotcicles off your face and deal with it.

2. Do not ask to change the channel on the TV. There is a reason she controls the remote from the hospital bed. Allow her to be distracted by whatever stupid movie or 80’s rerun that she finds. If you ask to change the channel to watch “The Big Game” you might need your own hospital bed.

3. Do not eat in front of a laboring woman. Most hospitals will not let a mom in labor eat anything in case she needs an emergency C-Section. She will be starving. Starving women in labor tend to be testy. If you ask the nurse for a fudgcicle you are putting your life in danger.

4. Do not faint. If you are the squeamish sort then please stay North of the Mason-Dixon line. There is no need for you to take a quick peek and end up on the floor with a nurse holding smelling salts under your nose. You will never live it down.

5. Do not express an opinion about her choice of pain relief. Unless you have pushed an 8lb ham out of your butt (bonus points for getting that movie reference), you have no opinion. Do you hear me? No opinion.


 6. Do not complain. About anything. But especially not about the uncomfortable couch/bed that you are resting on. If your legs are not splayed apart and propped up in stirrups then you have nothing to complain about.

 7. Do not ask her if “She’s got this” and then promptly fall asleep. I can’t express to you how bad of a decision this is because while you’re sleeping she is plotting all the different ways she could maim and/or murder you. There is no time in which you snoring on the couch while she is in pain is appropriate.

 8. Do not make any comments questioning how she is handling the pain. Ever. Please see #5 for further clarification.

9. Do not disagree with her. About anything. If she insists that she wants to name your new baby daughter Adolf- just agree with her that it’s a beautiful name. She will not even remember saying it later.

10. Do not make any comments regarding “the carnage down below” that is the result of childbirth. Believe me, she knows about it but she does not need the commentary from the peanut gallery. Keep your opinions and facial expressions to yourself. Or that might very well be the last time you see that part of her anatomy. Ever.


 And here’s a bonus for you that even creeped me out because…well, you’ll see…


 Told you. So….good luck with the whole childbirth thing. Hope you’re not too traumatized…


Share This


  1. I saw this doll before somewhere and it totally freaked me out!! Could you imagine some granny crocheting that on her front porch?!

  2. Why do so many men do #6??? It seems SO OBVIOUS. Gah. Also, thanks bunches for the image of that knit nightmare. Can’t unsee that.

  3. My son (second child) came too fast for me to get an epidural. I barely made the hospital. My husband was AWESOME. One of the nurses, when they FINALLY let me push, largely because my body was pushing anyway without my help, said “now, your husband is going to hold your shoulder….”

    And I said, “He’s not going to TOUCH me.”

    My husband, of course, who knows not to touch me when I’m in pain, was standing just behind my head, carefully not looking South (squeamish and he knows it), and being very quiet. Smart man. Wise man. Still married to that man.

  4. This is hysterical!

  5. That list was so funny!!!!!

  6. This list was fantastic!!

  7. Perfect list. I lucked out by having my mom at my births. She was awesome and kept my husband in line. That doll should consider a little bikini waxing. Just sayin’

  8. Great list. So funny! I’ll have to educate hubby for next time!!

  9. Love it. I think you’ve inspired me to brainstorm my own list as I have been through this adventure three times. On a serious note, I think more of us should talk about our experiences with each other so people who have not yet had kids can manage their expectations. Oh, and thanks for the smile.

    Aidan Donnelley Rowley

  10. OH. MY. God. This is sheer perfection! It needs to be printed and handed to every man as they enter the hospital. Except for that doll. No one, man or woman, needs to see that thing.

  11. My cousin has 5 trillion people on her list of “when it’s time to push.” I’ve never attended a birth. Se emailed us all a long letter telling us what we can and can’t do in the room, after the baby is born and when we visit them at home. I cried it was so funny, because people are really that stupid that they need to be told not to announce the sex of the baby just before Chris gets to tell her. Can I have that doll?

  12. OK I thought I had seen pretty much all weird things but that crochet doll? OMG. OMG! hahaha
    creepy and hilarious all in one.
    Great post 🙂

  13. SNOTCICLES. AND THE SNORING. my husband wants to know why i’m clutching my stomach. AWESOME.

  14. Ahhhhhhh! That picture will be in my nightmares for years to come… The one due in September will be my second C-section. At first I was like, “No, I’ll pass on the c-section”, and after reading your post, I’ve just finished my, “I love c-sections” t-shirt….:)

  15. Bahhhaaha! I wasn’t traumatized until I reached the picture at the end! Eeek!

  16. The doll is creepy. I have to give my ex credit because he was pretty supportive both times.

  17. Great advice and I am also even more terrified of labor. I will hand this out to the future Mr. Pish Posh if we ever have little Poshlings.

  18. Oh my gosh, so hilarious!!! Excellent advice. And that doll…well that’s just…um…I feel violated.

  19. So funny! If my husband hadn’t already been thru this labor thing I would give him that list before I deliver in the next few weeks. Luckily he is pretty good during labor… now if only I could get him over him “dying” (ie a cold) right now! Seriously he has slept and played video games ALL DAY while his prego wife dealt with the 2 year old alone Ugh!

  20. So funny! I got lucky in that I had a Doula, thinking my hubby would be useless, he actually did great! I had an emergency C-section after 36 hours of labor. They induced the labor and the pain was out of this world… and he was with me every step of the way. And if that wasn’t enough, right after they handed him our son, they told him he has Down syndrome. But you’d never have known that. (I did not get told until the next morning). I’ll stop there! Not funny… But we still have a sense of humor! It has saved our marriage many-a-time! Glad you still have your sense of humor after three births!

  21. I couldn’t stop laughing… The list, the thoughts, the pictures…except for,the last one…some things you can’t unsee!


  22. Hilarious list, Delilah. I’m glad that we had a scheduled C-Section and will repeat that next time around. #7 really made me laugh. 

    I’m wondering how Matt progressed from the first time to the third. 

  23. Shiftless Husband said absolutely NOTHING the entire labor process, both times. He was perfect.

    I’m giving this list to anyone whose lady is expecting. Particularly the “no complaining” part. That’s just not going to go well under any circumstances.

    Oh and that doll photo cannot be unseen. What is the purpose of that?

  24. Can I add two sub-rules to the “don’t question her pain” rules?

    1. Don’t look at the contraction-monitoring strip and announce, “That one wasn’t so bad!” (I divorced THAT guy less than a year later. Can you blame me?)

    2. Never, no NEVER, say: “Well, you KNEW this was going to hurt.” Because if you say that, somebody is going to be hurting. I’m just sayin’.

  25. I was at the birth of my youngest niece. The husband did a good job as far as the wife/mother was concerned which is all that matters. Though he drove me and the nurses bonkers with his constant cooing to his wife. But, hey, she was fine with it. This was hilarious. I loved “the carnage down below.” Laugh out loud funny. Except for the doll, yes, creepy.

  26. DelilahLove says

    You’re a smart woman. I wish I had set some hard and fast rules for mine. He had to learn the hard way. Haha!

  27. Amanda Imbery says

    That was great!! 

    It’s true, husband’s don’t always get the “being supportive” thing.  I had to spell it out for mine before my first labour

  28. Mine ate during my last labor. Arby’s. See? 4 years later and I can picture him sitting there EATING. Meanwhile, I’d missed dinner and was starving. My doctor told me I could eat but that it would all come up or out very quickly. I was tempted to say that I didn’t care. LOL

    Mine knew not to argue with me during labor… which is why I saved the “what do we name this baby” discussion for labor. 😉

  29. DelilahLove says

    Haha! Men can be so dumb. You’re a better woman than me, he’d have needed the epidural by the time I was done with him! Haha!

  30. theplacesyouwillgo says

    My husband broke many of those rules during my labor.  He complained that I woke him up to go to the hospital, and then he said I should just get the epidural then so he could go back to sleep.  I almost slapped him.  Luckily, when it came time to push he did great.  

  31. Please tell me that not one of the voodoo dolls found at your neighbor’s garage sale…

  32. That. Was. Greatness! I still hold a grudge about the eating thing. Here’s my version: I pushed the firstborn child/grandchild/niece out into the world and all I got to eat was a dry turkey sandwich while they all went out to dinner! (My hospital was not yet renovated so there was no room for the husbands to spend the night. Yeah. They actually got kicked out. My practical side still picked this place because of the level III nursery.)

    I got a meal fit for a queen after the birth of our second child, yet the grudge is still there. Must be due to the hormones.

    Oh and if you go out in the hallway to eat, husbands, do not eat anything that will give you any TRACE of bad breath. You will need to gargle with sulfuric acid to adequately rid yourself of the smell. Eating a piece of Wonder Bread is really your only viable choice.

    Your list was PERFECT, but I could have gone a lifetime without seeing that doll. They should hand that out to middle schoolers as birth control. Ellen

  33. DelilahLove says

    Thanks! I hope the trophy is made of chocolate. Yummmm…..

  34. Awesome list…I did a similar one then saw yours and had to come check it out. May need to send boyfriend over your way 🙂

  35. Lady in Red says

    Winner of today’s funny post competition goes to: Delilah! This was pure genius lol… A great post, bot entertaining and educational! All men should read this lol…

    When the first of my girlfriend’s had a baby we all (eight of us) crammed into the room and video recorded her labour.  She laughed her way through it – but maybe if her husband had done the same thing it would have ended with murder.