What to say to a woman in labor?

I always encourage support people to speak from their hearts when being with a woman in birth–your words mean a lot when they are authentic to you! However, I also realize people would like a “head start” on some good things to say. While all women are different and have different preferences, my observation is that praise and love are good sentiments to express–“you’re doing so well, ” “you’re so beautiful,” “you’re so strong,” “I love you,” you’re amazing”–those kinds of things.

I recently came across this section in the Birthing From Within Keepsake Journal that gives some other ideas of phrases to get you started:

  • Soften around the pain (or pressure/contraction/fear)
  • You are stronger than the pain
  • Keep going
  • You ARE doing it
  • I love you
  • Breathe into it
  • See your cervix opening

I prefer “you are so strong” to the “you are stronger than the pain” suggestion. “You ARE doing it” is a very helpful response to the comments women sometimes make during labor such as “I can’t do this.”

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