There are some things that should never be said at certain times and the postpartum period – a hormonal roller coaster as it is – is definitely one of them. We’ve put together five common phrases that are sure to set any new mother right off.
“Are you breastfeeding?”
Everyone thinks they have the right to ask this question, don’t they? The problem is that it can open a door to making a new mother feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed for whatever reason. It’s important not to forget that not all breastfeeding experiences are positive and this can be a difficult issue for many women.
“Your husband helps out so much!”
Isn’t he supposed to? Changing nappies, waking up several times in the middle of the night… parenting is the responsibility of both and women don’t need to be thankful for any special favours from their partners.
“You look so tired…”
At first glance, we’d say this is normal and nobody needs to point it out. Indeed, new mums don’t just look tired, they actually are! Postpartum is not as magical a period as some like to paint it, and dark circles under the eyes and exhaustion are the norm at this stage. If this is the only thing to say that comes to you, please don’t say anything at all.
“When are you having the next one?”
This is a classic for A-L-L new parents, regardless of whether the birth was a week or a month ago. Having a child is a big step. If you really want to ask about the next baby, you should at least wait until its umbilical stump has fallen off. Even then is still too soon! Don’t badger people about their future plans.
“You’re pampering him too much! Just let him cry a little!”
No, no, no! Now is not the time to give out free parenting advice. Besides, at this stage in a baby’s life, no level of pampering looks like too much. It’s up to parents to decide how they deal with their baby, how much time they spend with him or her on their lap and whether or not they let them “cry a little”.