pregnancy

"Why is my baby ugly?" OBGYNs share the strangest questions they've ever been asked.

We all have questions that we’re not sure we should ask our doctor, or OBGYN.

For example, what does OBGYN actually even mean? (FYI, it’s a doctor who’s an obstetrician [pregnancy] and a gynaecologist [women].)

Anyone who’s a parent, or considering becoming one, would know that there are a number of questions they’d like to ask, but aren’t sure are appropriate or if they sound silly. One such woman seemed to be ‘testing the waters’ recently when she asked information exchange group Quora the following question:

“As an OBGYN, what’s the most unbelievable question a new mother has asked you?”

One of the first doctors to respond shared a story that will assuage all your nerves about asking questions. Maya Qandeel said:

“A mother came to get advice about contraception. I suggested using an IUD. She refused and told me a story about an IUD which was wrapped tightly around the penis of the husband during intercourse, so the couple was carried together to the hospital to free that penis which was trapped inside the vagina. Ha, ha, ha.”

We’re sure the doctor only included the “ha ha ha” because she was in an informal chat room and wouldn’t have laughed at the patient in real life. She continued the story, saying the patient told her that “doctors suggested killing one of the couple to be able to free them”.

Of course, the story that the patient had heard of turned out to be urban legend, because Dr Qandeel added:

“Surprisingly enough that the same story was repeated to me in Saudi Arabia. It seems that the author was an international one. I explained that it could never be true and showed them the device but they asked me to let them think for some time.”

Nevertheless, the couple didn’t return to Dr Qandeel – but left her with a great story to tell.

You can stop wondering: there's no such thing as a silly question. Image: Getty
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Nurses also shared their experiences of questions they've heard or have had asked of them.

Diana said that once she had the mother-to-be ask her "a million questions about absolutely everything."

"Things most people who have ever been around any babies at all should have known, about diapering, feeding, sleeping, the very basics of babies."

While Diana accepted some of those questions as nerves, she did think two were "odd", perhaps because they were easily Google-able:

"She wanted to know how she would know if the baby was hungry (ummm…they cry?) And she asked when the baby could ride in a car (I don't know how they thought they were going to get home)."

Midwife Frances Joan shared a humorous mid-labour tale. She was assisting in a delivery, and encouragingly said to the mother that she was almost done, because she could see hair. That observation made the mother stop pushing immediately, and she asked:

"Please tell me SHE doesn’t have red hair?”

It was awkward because the father, who was holding her hand, had...red hair. The mother refused to continue until she got an answer - so Frances Joan lied.

“It’s dark, now push so you can see for yourself.”

And what did the mum eventually see in her bundle of joy?

"Not only was it not a girl (which she so obviously wanted) but he was as ginger as Ed Sheeran."

Padma shared a personal tale about her own question when her son was placed on her chest after delivery. The concerned mum asked the doctor:

"Why is his head so cone-shaped?!!”

Her OBGYN laughed and reassured her that it was only because of the birth canal, so he would soon grow out of it soon.

Commenter Zenovia reported that when her OBGYN gave her unexpected pregnancy news, she burst into tears and asked, "How did this happen?"

She then had to stop the doctor from mansplaining/giving her a basic biology lesson, because she hadn't meant the question literally.

Other stories included doctors being asked by new mums "Why is my baby ugly?" (very strange), and "What am I supposed to do with the baby now?" (totally legit).

The best response to a question was given by nurse Gio, who, when an end-stage labouring mum declared she wanted to "go home", responded:

"I assured her that she was at the top of the roller coaster and she could not jump out."

Although Gio was talking about the moment, all parents would know it was also a perfect metaphor for parenthood, making it the perfect answer.

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