Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

11 Medical Moments During Pregnancy When Your Partner Just Needs To Back Off

Ad failed to load

While I tried to keep my partners in the loop about what was happening with me, my health, and our baby's health during pregnancy — and most of the time I really did want them to be there with me for exams and ultrasounds — there are quite a few medical moments during pregnancy when a partner just needs to back off, leave the exam room, or at least respect the fact that you are the decision-making authority about what happens to your body, even when that body is carrying their child.

This means they should respect you enough to give you privacy when you ask for it. Pregnancy generally involves having some really frank discussions with your provider about your sexual history, your medical history, your mental health, previous trauma, and whether or not you feel safe at home, which might not be possible (or comfortable) to answer when your partner is present. Not to mention that I needed help with some really gross pregnancy symptoms, like peeing myself, excess discharge and hemorrhoids, which I definitely did't want to talk about in front of my partner. I honestly would rather have these conversations without an audience, even if that audience is made up entirely of people who have seen me naked.

It also means that while you might ask for your partner's input about things related to your pregnancy, like whether or not you want an epidural or want to have your tubes tied after delivery, they don't get to make decisions about what you do with your body. You don't stop being a person with rights to bodily autonomy and privacy when you become pregnant. Your partner, regardless of how involved they are or want to be, doesn't get a say unless you want to hear their input. So, with that in mind, here are just a few more medical moments when the pregnant person should always be in the driver's seat, with little to no back-seat driving from their partner.

Ad failed to load

When You're Considering Terminating Your Pregnancy

You may disagree, but in my opinion no one (but the pregnant person) should get to decide if a pregnant person stays pregnant or terminates their pregnancy.

I didn't tell my now ex-husband when I considered having an abortion. Our marriage was in shambles and I was so ashamed. In the end, I decided to stay with him and to stay pregnant, but I didn't have to involve him in that decision because it is my body and was totally my choice.

When You Need To Share Your Sexual History With Your Provider


I am pretty open about my sexual history, but that doesn't mean I don't want privacy when I need to share details with my providers. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable talking with their OB-GYN, or as comfortable as you can be when you're in a gown with a sheet over your naked lap.

When You Have Concerns About Your Mental Health

In our culture, it is so hard to ask for and get help with your mental health, and even harder to do so when you're pregnant. It feels like an admission of failure to not feel happy during pregnancy and, in my experience, your partner can totally take it personally (which is unfair, because depression and anxiety are no one's fault). Everyone deserves a chance to talk openly about their mental health concerns and without their partner making it about them.

Ad failed to load

When You Ask Them To Leave For An Exam Or Procedure


Just because you've seen me naked, doesn't mean I want you to see me get a pap smear or have my hemorrhoids checked out.  

When You Decide You Don't Want A Painful Or Risky Procedure

When I was pregnant with my first baby, we discovered that my daughter was breech. My midwife gave me the option of having an external cephalic version procedure in order to try to turn her. She told us that the procedure might not work and that it could be painful and risky. My husband and I responded at the exact same time. However, and unfortunately, his response was, "yes," and mine was, "no." Needless to say, I didn't get it done, and in the end our daughter ended up turning on her own.

When You're Embarrassed About Your Weight Gain


As an eating disorder survivor, pregnancy weight gain is really hard for me to manage emotionally. While my providers were super supportive of my decision to not know the number on the scale, my first husband always had a comment about it. Yeah, that's not OK.

Ad failed to load

When You And Your Provider Are On The Same Page About Your Fitness Routine

I was fairly active during most of my last pregnancy. My provider and I were totally on the same page about me staying active until my body or my baby told me to slow down. My husband, on the other hand, thought I should take it easy. I don't think he'll ever forget the look on my face when he asked my OB-GYN if I should stop working out.

When Your Provider Asks You If You Are Planning To Breastfeed Your Baby


This was another time when I wished my husband had just let me respond instead of responding for me. I wanted to say, "I plan to try, but I had challenges last time," rather than what he said, which was "Of course we are." I had to find a way to discuss my real concerns about undersupply with my midwife later on when he was not in the room.  

When You Want To Go To Labor And Delivery To Get Checked Out

My first husband was so concerned about bothering the labor and delivery staff at the hospital, that he actively discouraged me from calling or going in to get checked out. It was so infuriating. The nurses told me that they would rather see a person go in every day, than something bad happening to them or their baby because they didn't feel like they should.

Ad failed to load

When You're Talking To Your Provider About Birth Control Options For After Delivery


No, on-call OB-GYN, my husband doesn't get to decide if I get pregnant again or want to use birth control. You did not just ask him if he was OK with my decision about getting my tubes tied, right? Like, please tell me that didn't just happen. I can't even. How does one even respond to this?

When You Need To Make A Decision About Having An Induction

At the end of my first pregnancy, I was so uncomfortable and my blood pressure kept creeping up. My midwife asked me to strongly consider scheduling an induction for a few days after my due date. My husband totally disagreed because, among other things, he was planning to work that day. As it turned out, my water broke all over the hospital bathroom floor, so I would have gone into labor that day anyway. Regardless, what's safe and medically indicated for my pregnancy should have been more important than his damn work schedule.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Umm, Toys "R" Us Has A BOGO 50 Percent Off Deal So You Better Stock Up

After the holidays, you were probably hoping that your kid's massive toy collection would keep him entertained for a little while, at least. But that was wishful thinking, wasn't it? Because now that a couple of months have passed, all those must-hav…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

A Hot Mess Mom's Guide To Surviving Winter

As I sit here at my home office in Connecticut, it's cold. Damn cold. Winter is a rough season in New England and it's even worse when you're a parent and have to manage cooped up, restless children. It's even worse when you're a hot mess as it is, u…
By Jamie Kenney

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

11 Ways Your Pregnancy Will Be Different If You Have A Boy Vs A Girl

If you've been pregnant before, you might start comparing your previous pregnancies to that of your current pregnancy. A lot of things can change from pregnancy to pregnancy, based on a whole host of different factors (including how well you remember…
By Lauren Schumacker

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

8 Reasons I Let My Toddler Play Outside Unsupervised

I'm not a helicopter mom, but I'm not exactly a free-range parent either. I like to think of myself as safely ensconced somewhere in the middle. I insist on certain safety measures, like car seats and helmets. I prefer to keep my 2-year-old in my sig…
By Kimmie Fink

12 Moms Share How They Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Unfortunately, we're in the middle of the roughest flu seasons in recent memory. And we’re not totally out of the woods, either. People around the country are still getting the flu, and, sadly, some of them are having to be hospitalized due to flu-re…
By Priscilla Blossom

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack