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Lancaster and Fleetwood MP left ‘startled’ by pregnancy debate

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith with her partner Ben Soffa
Fleetwood MP Cat Smith with her partner Ben Soffa

A Labour MP has reassured a pregnant colleague about “terrifying” changes to a woman’s body after giving birth.

Jess Phillips told the Commons she “thought my internal organs were falling out”, prompting a startled look on the face of party colleague Cat Smith.

Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Ms Smith, who was sitting one row in front of Ms Phillips in the debate, is expecting her first child this summer.

“Some of the things that happen to a woman’s body immediately after she has a baby are terrifying, and you don’t expect it,” said Ms Phillips.

“I thought my internal organs were falling out. The thought that I would have to get up and get to a meeting...”

With MPs across the chamber laughing, Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle intervened, saying: “Can I just say it’s not me that’s worried, but I am very worried about the member for Lancaster.”

Birmingham Yardley MP Ms Phillips went on: “Forewarned is forearmed, is what I think in these situations.

“You’re not dying, is what I would say to my friend, but we all thought that we were.

“The idea that I would have had to get up at that moment, terrified, suffering fear, real fear, for the first time, and have to go to a constituency members’ meeting is absolutely horrifying.”

Ms Phillips also spoke out about the attitude of some male MPs to pregnancy, saying they should be ashamed of bragging.

“I think some of the men in this building, and some of the backtalk I’ve heard when I’ve talked about this, should be ashamed of bragging about being here, moments when their babies were born.