Saturday, 4 April 2015

Things people should never say to a new mother!

I was having a chat with my mothers group the other day and the conversation turned to those things that people say to us that we just don't want to hear!

When I had my baby, people said some things to me that were pretty hurtful, laughable or just plain stupid. Sometimes people just didn't think at how their statements could affect a new mother who was already going through waves of emotion. Next time you see a mother to a newborn or small baby, please avoid the following!


  1. 'Was she planned?' Seriously? I find this one really rude. A mother may volunteer this information, but often the choice to conceive a child is very personal. Whether is was an accident or they have been going through years of IVF, unless they offer up the information, don't pry!
  2. 'Your babies so small was she a prem?' I get this one every now and then, although strangely I also get 'wow she's so big'. No she isn't big, yes she is rather small. No she wasn't prem, she is just small, so am I!
  3. 'Tiny baby, are you feeding it enough?' Like the above statement, a mother doesn't want to be made to feel her baby is undernourished or that you think she neglectful! A lot of mothers struggle with breastfeeding or even bottle feeding. Some babies are really hard to feed or struggle to put on weight and it might be a really sensitive for the mother. 
  4. 'What a huge baby! you must overfeed it'. Firstly, if you are breastfeeding, you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. Secondly, you feed a baby when it's hungry! Breast or bottle fed, if you're baby is screaming out of hunger, you feed it. Some babies grow faster than others. Its a baby, its meant to have BABY FAT. Please don't call my baby fat.
  5. 'Wow, you're so big, are you sure it isn't twins?' or 'You're so small are you sure there's a baby in there?' A throwback to pregnancy, I personally got the latter. Either way, every woman carries differently and we are very sensitive about our changing pregnant bodies! I was waiting for my belly to pop. To finally look pregnant. I think I told my husband everyday that I didn't look big enough, and it played on my mind. To make it worse, I also had doctors telling me my baby wasn't growing well. Talk about emotionally distressing! Never comment on a pregnant woman's appearance! Ever! Unless you are saying how great she looks! 
  6. 'So you still haven't lost the baby weight.' Thanks for calling me fat. Enough said.
  7. 'You'll lose the baby weight through breastfeeding'. No, I won't. Six months later and I still haven't loss much more than when I first had her. Thanks for calling me fat again.
  8. 'You look tired'. But I actually showered and brushed my hair this morning and put some makeup on. Why can't you tell me I look good? It take a lot to manage to leave the house with clean hair and make up one while still managing a baby. Please don't tell me I look bad.
  9. 'Is your baby sleeping through yet?' Do you want a slap? My baby still wakes on average 3 times a night, sometimes 5 or 6. She's 6 months old. Before I had her I was often told that babies sleep through from 6 weeks. This one just makes me feel like I'm not a good enough mother. 
  10. 'Sleep when the baby sleeps'. Easier said than done. It sounds like good advice but then who is going to scrub the poo out of bub's outfit? Put the washing on? Do the dishes? Fix dinner? Tidy the house? Especially given she only sleeps for 10 minutes at a time. Whats the point!
  11. '[from random stranger] can I hold her?' No! I'm not handing my baby over to someone I don't know. Just because you're someones grandma doesn't mean you can hold my baby. While I'm at it, don't then make me feel guilty for it. She's my baby! Furthermore, don't touch my baby with your grubby hands that reak of cigarettes and especially DON'T PUT THEM IN HER MOUTH! 
  12. '[when baby grizzling] oh she must be hungry.' No she's not! I just fed her shes crying because a stranger keep prodding her!
  13. [from parent on similar aged baby] oh your baby isn't crawling/talking/rolling yet? Don't ever make a mum feel like their baby is slow. Babies develop at different rates. Some crawl early, some don't. This isn't a sign that your baby is superior. Chances are a mother is aware their baby isn't doing these things and is tracking their progress. If there is a problem they don't want it pointed out.
  14. 'Lucky you having a short labour'. A short labour is certainly not an easy labour. Yes, it was only 2 and a half hours from contractions to baby but imagine the pain of that 40 hour labour compounded into 2 hours! Imagine full on contractions just starting with a bang, no warm up, not building up letting your body release those pain dulling Oxytocin hormones. A short labours means a drug free labour. No pain relief at all. Now imagine going into shock after the labour because your body couldn't handle it and then having to have your uterus manually contracted afterwards because you didn't contract enough. Did I mention the massive tear because your body didn't have time to stretch properly?
  15. 'She looks like her dad, I don't really see you in her'. I know this, a mother who endured 9 (or so) months of pregnancy and hours of painful labour doesn't want to be told her babies don't look like her.
  16. 'What do you even do at home all day?' Well I obviously spend the day watching hours of daytime tv and sipping champagne. Between feeding every couple of hours, constant nappy changes, bathing the baby, putting on loads of washing and hanging them out, entertaining a cranky baby, trying to get the baby to sleep for the 5th time, cleaning up the carrot smeared all over the highchair from lunch.
  17. 'What a cute baby, is it a boy or a girl?'. What the bow doesn't give it away?
  18. 'I'd feed her but I don't have breasts.' I get this from my husband a lot when I've been up 5 times the night before feeding the koala and she's having a particularly clingy day. After 2 hours sleep and I'm barely holding myself up. He likes to tell me how easy it is and he would do it if he could. I think he'd be singing a different tune if he was up all night with a baby attached to his sore cracked nipples.

16 comments:

  1. My daughter once attempted to latch on to my husband's nipple when he was holding her and had no shirt on. He tells me it was agony and had a new respect for me ever since. ;)

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    1. Haha that'd teach him! Hope she had teeth when she did it too ;)

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  2. Great post, Lu!! Can def relate!! My fave is when they look at my baby/toddler and say, 'boy or girl?', and I'm like seriously? The child is dressed in a pink onesie, surely you can take a guess?!?

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    1. Really? How do people not understand pink for girls? hehe maybe if they are unsure they should ask her name first and not embarrass themselves :)

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  3. People can be so rude & thoughtless!!

    People used to call my son a girl all the time, regardless of how much blue I had him in... just too pretty I guess ;)

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    1. Haha, yep take that as a compliment I suppose! I swear filters are off when people talk to mums sometimes!

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  4. Yes to all! Some people just do NOT think!

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    1. They really dont! Some things like 'was he/she planned?' is so rude! Why would anyone ask that!

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  5. Oh number fourteen THANK YOU! I hate the assumption that short = easy! My second bub was a 3 hour labour and it was so bad it turned me off having more EVER. #3 was an accidental miracle and (thank god) came into the world a bit more gently.

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    1. I'm hoping my next is not quite so swift, but my midwife told me I might want to camp in the hospital carpark. Totally putting me off having more kids because I cant bear the idea of going through labour again!

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  6. Yes - why do people say things like this? And the comparison game - OMG, nothing fun about that!

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    1. It seems you talk to anyone else and you think before you speak, you talk to a mum and anything goes... really? Are we not people too? ...Sigh...

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  7. Yep, heard all of them. I have a 4 mth old and the next person that says "he must be hungry" or "he must be teething' when he dares to make a fuss, will get one between the eyes ;) Also, I believe the people that say "sleep when the baby sleeps" are the first people to judge me and comment on me having a nap during the day!!!!!!

    Hello from #teamIBOT

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    1. Haha yes! I'm pretty sure if I slept when bub sleeps I'd then get criticised for being lazy!

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  8. Oh yes Number 14! I get that all the time! 50 min labour with my first. One word. 'horrendous'. My 2nd was 6 hours and for want of a better word it was much 'nicer'. The first was absolute side splitting angony, my husband had to hold me on the bed as my head was nearly on the floor. I couldn't think, talk or hardly breathe! They say it is the same pain but just compacted into a shorter time. I still get number 16 and with my two girls at school, I still find things to do all day. I still have to cook, clean, wash, shop and help out at school. We all have our own battles, we just need to learn to be more thoughtful of others.

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    1. I think I'd rather spread the pain out, a short labour is way too intense! My contractions were on top of each other the whole time, I never get a chance to catch my breath before the next arrived. I wish I could stay at home until my kids are grown up because I'm just not sure how I'll get anything done around the house when I got back to work! We are all doing the best we can arent we :)

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