Queensland midwives are calling for an overhaul of the words and phrases used during childbirth to ‘remove the pain’ from the delivery room.

Sunrise has shared that medical teams have been asked to say, ‘you’re doing really well’, to women in labour, instead of the old-fashioned term, ‘good girl’.

The research was originally published in a British medical journal highlighting the difference that positive language has during labour.

Other phrases they don’t want people to say include:

Big baby
Good girl

Delivered or High risk is also out.

Instead we should say:

“You’re having a healthy baby”

“You are doing really well”  OR “You are having a slow labour”

midwives banned words midwives do say

Last year we shared how ministers in the UK were ridiculed for trying to ban the term “pregnant women” — as it could offend transgender parents. Read more on that here.

Do you think there needs to be more positive talk during labour?

Share your comments below. 

  • Positive talk is always good.
    I would expect from midwifes/medical staff that they’re sensible and not just blur out what they think


  • When having my two daughters all of the top box were used. Made me feel like a dog. I was told by one midwife I was having a huge baby with a big head. After a change of shifter the next one said it was her shoulders. It scared me so much Instilled myself from displaying. The mind is a powerful tool. Only after being given an epidural to stop me pushing at three centergrade dialted did I relax. Had no choice. My daughter was born six minutes later with little effort. Because of what was being said I had an unnecessary epidural right before delivering. They normally would not do this so close to delivering. Undisputed from three to ten centimetres in minutes and she slipped out a healthy seven and a half pound and not huge at all. I agree that midwife’s she watch what is said. By far the best midwife I had was a male.


  • A big baby is not always a healthy baby. Do all Mums-to-be know what “medically complex” is?


  • I saw this on the morning show and l agree with positive words.


  • Positive is always good but I’d imagine towards the end the mother probably wouldn’t be listening or caring too much anyway!


  • They could have been reading satanic texts while I was in labour for all I knew. My focus was elsewhere and I really wasn’t listening.


  • I think so. It’s such an emotional and complex moment for a woman, that she needs all the support possible. And words do have a lot of impact on how we feel and perceive what’s happening.


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