Damn Hell Study


Go Ahead, Swear in Labor
Monday July 13, 2009

There are a lot of things that you could say in labor to help ease the pain. I spend some time in childbirth class telling my students that vocalization in labor is really good for helping to ease pain and feel “on top” of a contraction. In my practice as a doula, there are always some women who swear in labor. Usually you will hear a simple expletive here and there. According to a study, swearing may actually help increase your pain tolerance. So before you think you need to chant the F bomb to get any benefit, the good news is that any word that you choose as your swear word seems to work.

I know that in one of my labors I chanted the words “60 seconds” over and over. But I do know that with my 7th baby, she was in a funny position and it hurt a lot more than I had remembered and it was a fast labor. I said a choice word. I opened my eyes and looked up and thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t say that word.” Next contraction, said it again. Maybe it was working for me. Thankfully the baby was born a contraction or two later. Think it would work for you?

From the About.com Guide to Pregnancy