A new mom! A new baby! Nothing is more exciting. Both will be experiencing lots of visitors, gifts, and advice from baby experts (everyone). In my experience, there are a few things you probably shouldn’t say to a new mom. Gifts are great (aka food or these for breastfeeding moms), but some comments are not.
#1 Is your stomach back to normal?
No, it’s not back to normal. Thanks for rubbing it in. Breastfeeding helped me lose weight, and eventually I weighed less than when I got pregnant; however, it took almost a year to get to that point. I think it’s pretty common knowledge that you don’t instantly shrink down to “normal” size after having a baby, so why do people ask? I mean, I guess it’s better than flat-out saying, “you still have a belly” at 1 month out…yeah, people said that. You don’t really forget that sort of thing.
#2 Let me take the baby as far away from you as possible.
I know you are trying to be helpful, but I don’t really want you to take away my baby. I would be happy to let you hold him in my company, but it’s really not necessary to take him out of my sight. It’s not going to help me “feel better.” In fact, I’ll probably be able to have a more intelligible conversation with my baby around. He sleeps all day, so I don’t think he’ll interrupt *wink*. Come back at 3 am!
#3 Are you sure he needs _____?
Yeah, I’m sure. Why? I don’t know, because I’m his mom! I don’t know how this happens when you have a baby, but you miraculously know what to do. I believe God designed women this way, but how it happens, I’m not exactly sure. Suddenly, you have ESP with this tiny human who you are still trying to decide if you want in or out of your belly. So ironic. Dads can get pretty good at figuring out what babies need, but mamas just have that extra something. So don’t question that!
#4 He’s so cuuuuute…
Don’t say it if you don’t actually mean it. Seriously, we can tell.
#5 Did it hurt?
I feel like this is related to #1. It’s pretty common knowledge that yes, childbirth is painful to some degree. This mom just went through one of the most challenging, painful, beautiful, possibly traumatic, and personal moments of her life. If she wants to talk about it, great, but if not don’t force it. She is probably still in pain. You may have seen the YouTube videos of women giving birth looking like they’re asleep/getting a facial, but even with a birth like that there is discomfort involved–either during or after the birth. Instead of asking if it hurt then, ask what you can do to help alleviate pain now.
#6 Do you like being a new mom?
It’s hard to say after a few days, weeks, or even months…It’s a huge change going from a “woman” to a “mom.” No, you’re not instantly “_____’s mom,” but you have a completely different life with different priorities. You have a different sense of current self and future self that will be changing (possibly daily) from here on out. Do I like it? Maybe. Do I have an answer right now? No. Ask if they like being a mom in about 6-9 months–everything will be perfected by then…
So there you have it. Six things NOT to say to a new mom! If you’re guilty of one of the above, don’t feel bad–moms are notorious for developing memory problems! What are some things you were asked as a new mom (good or bad)?