Having choices during birth, especially around pain relief, is every woman’s right. But what if your husband reveals he simply ‘won’t allow’ you to have an epidural?

A first-time-mum says her husband is putting his foot down, refusing to let her consider getting an epidural during the birth of their baby.

“I am beyond angry,” the expecting mum said. “My husband has mum friends and family who have had issues after epidurals like continuous back pain and stuff. He told me he won’t allow me to get an epidural, period. I tried to explain to him it’s my body and I’m the one delivering our baby but he didn’t budge and doesn’t understand.”

Her husband, who has a child from a previous relationships, says he thinks everyone who gets an epidural will have ongoing issues.

“I told him I’m going to go over ALL the options with my doctor. I want to cry because of how angry I am, what do I say to him? Help!”

The woman’s cry for help was met with more anger from women who were furious that her husband thinks he has a say in her birth.

“Why does he think he can put his foot down on this? No one on your medical team will give a singular hoot about his opinion. Is this out of character for him? Because this is patently ridiculous,” one person replied.

“Hook him up to a labour simulator for 8 hours. Watch him change his mind so quickly! After all 8 hours is a short labour compared to mine. This should be doable for an oh so tough macho man with the balls to tell his lady how to handle labour,” commented one mum.

An anaesthesiologist even stepped in and offered a medical viewpoint.

“There’s no evidence in our literature that shows epidurals cause back pain. The delivery of the baby changes the positioning of your spine – over 9 months the change in centre of gravity pulls the spine to increase the lower spine curvature (lumbar lordosis). This changes when the baby is delivered. All these shifts are likely the cause of back pain, not a tiny fishing line-thick catheter placed for 1 day in an area that is not touching bone or nerves.

“Data aside, literally nobody can prevent you from getting an epidural. I have removed family members against their wishes to place epidurals on patients because the patient says they want one. Just be ready to ask for what you need. It’s your body, your delivery, and your experience of physical pain.”

Did your partner have any say in your birth pain relief? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Not really up to him. He might need to go and seek some help about that.


  • I wouldn’t make a big deal about it now, wouldn’t say anything more about it either way. On the day when you’re in labour, if you want it, ask for it and insist it’s what you want. If hubby doesn’t like it too bad. He’s not the one in pain and the medical professionals will be there to back you up.


  • Oh dear. He is creating friction about something that isn’t about him. It’s her body, her pain etc.


  • When he gets a medical degree he can decide. Should take about seven years, so you pop out a few kids in the meantime, any way you choose.


  • Sounds like he is very concerned and probably needs reassurance from a medical professional. She may not need one anyway, however her delivery team may intervene without his approval (not needed) if it’s the best thing for her and baby


  • I had one. Never had any issues after. Not his choice I’d say.


  • Wow, I only needed to read the headline to think no way straight away. Only one person giving birth, only one person has a say on how that birth goes


  • I get where he is coming from, but ultimately if you are in too much pain you should have the final say. Don’t let that be the only thought because you might breeze through the labour. So keep all options open and enjoy your pregnancy stress free.


  • It’s not up to him. Unless he’s the one giving birth he doesn’t get to choose .. end of story..


  • Good! At least one parent cares about the well-being of the baby. They are so dangerous and we just think or yeah of course why would I experience the joy of natural labour. My husband was the best support when I thought I could t do it anymore. He reminded me what I really wanted and didn’t let me waiver in the hardest moments.


  • How ridiculous! My partner let me do what ever I wanted in that labour room as long as I was ok and the baby was ok.


  • I am so sorry this lady is experiencing this situation, it sounds horrible and very stressful. I think telling to her doctor and getting all the information and making her own decision on what she should do with her body is the right call. Her husband is allowed to express his views but in the end it is her body so her choice.


  • Has anyone thought he is trying to stop pain and agony ongoing down the track after an epidural? My husband had one during an operation and was unable to walk for almost 3 months. He wouldn’t recommend anyone to have one unless absolutely necessary. I also know many nurses/midwives who have seen this procedure go wrong so many times that they refused it during giving birth to their own children. There are two sides to most stories. Do hope it all works out well for you, no matter what is finally decided, expectant mum!


  • I didn’t need an epidural but I am concerned how this husband thinks he can dictate what his wife can and can’t have for pain relief? It should be up to her as she will be the one in pain and be able to decide what she thinks she needs.


  • I suffered 4 months of postnatal pain due to epidural


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