When we hear someone had a baby, we are excited to meet the little one and congratulate the mother and the family. Sometimes we do more than that… like give them unsolicited advice or ask uncomfortable questions. While it’s okay to want to know the details about the birth and the delivery process, it’s not okay to give unnecessary advice or pass judgement.
Here are some things you should NOT say to a new mom and some of the thoughts I had while answering those questions. Obviously those responses are in a sarcastic manner and not meant to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
1. Did you have a Normal delivery or a C-Section? (Me: Does it really matter?)
2. C-Section is much easier and painless. (Me: Painless? I don’t think so!)
3. Do you breastfeed? (Me: I make sure my child is fed, breast-milk or formula shouldn’t matter)
4. Do you produce enough milk? (Me: No, just enough to open a dairy farm)
5. Breastfeeding was so easy for me. I had to pump and store some of my milk. (Me: Good for you!)
6. How long do you plan on breastfeeding? (Me: Is there a time or age limit?)
7. How soon did you get ur periods after delivery? (Me: Why? Are you paying for my sanitary wear?)
8. You look so tired. (Me: Thanks, I just had a baby.)
9. The baby doesn’t look like you at all! (Me: Thanks, makes me feel much better.)
10. Any comment regarding how huge or small the baby is. E.g.: “He’s so small, was he premature?” (Me:*Rolling eyes*)
11. I’ve heard losing “the baby weight” is hard. (Me: Uh… okay so?)
12. Your baby hasn’t started sitting, crawling, standing, walking etc yet? (Me: So what? Did little Joey started doing that in his mother’s womb huh?)
13. Now that you have a baby, say bye bye to intimacy with the hubby. You’ll barely get enough time for anything. (Me:*Rolling eyes*)
14. Does he/she sleep all night? (Me: You should come over at night and see for yourself)
15. Do you plan on going back to work? (Me: I just had a baby, haven’t thought about anything else yet)
16. Baby causing troubles already? Just wait, it gets worse as they grow… especially during the teething phase. (Me: Gee… Thanks?)
17. Do you plan on having another baby? (Me: I’ll let you know when I decide)
18. Was he/she planned? (Me: Um why do you ask?)
19. Your baby’s head is too big/too small? (Me: Every baby is different, kinda like fingerprints)
20. Do you miss your old life? All the fun and free time without a baby attached to you all the time? (Me: Uhmm.. Are you serious?)
Some questions are okay to ask,
Some suggestions are okay to suggest,
Some advice are okay to give,
But please be thoughtful about the new mother and her feelings.
She may not have wanted a C-section but had no choice due to some complications. So when you say you had a normal delivery or a C-section and a quick recovery, think about her C-section scar that she’s still healing from while she’s taking care of a newborn baby.
She may not be producing enough milk to breastfeed her baby. So when you say you were overproducing milk and exclusively breastfed your baby till they turned 2, think about how guilty and incomplete she must be feeling for not being able to breastfeed her baby?
Comparisons can create a negative impact on a mother that can affect her health and her mind. Women are beautiful creatures and they must be cherished and respected for all that they do. So next time you visit someone who just had a baby, keep their feelings in mind.
The author of this article Malvika Kansara is a very happy, compassionate and wise person with a quick wit. She is a practical and yet emotional mother of a fast growing toddler.