Honestly, I can't help but feel as though us moms just can't win. No matter what we do, someone will tell us we're doing it wrong or criticize our choices. Some of us, myself included, were "lucky" enough to find this out right away, too — hearing rude, insensitive, and critical things literally right after childbirth. It hurt, and made me lose confidence in my ability to parent from the start. In talking to other moms, I learned I’m sadly not alone. In fact, when the following moms shared the lowkey evil things people said to them after birth, I was bombarded with a sudden urge to just burn the world down.
After all three of my babies were born, I heard rude comments about everything from needing to supplement with formula and the name I picked for my baby, to my level of postpartum pain, which the nurses thought I was making up. Apparently I needed to "suck it up" and get out of bed myself and avoid taking the medications my doctor prescribed. Then, despite the fact that I was treated for preeclampsia before I delivered, a postpartum nurse ignored my complaints of blurred vision and a racing heart, refused to check my blood pressure, and tried to give me a sedative to "calm my nerves," telling me I was having a panic attack. It turned out that I had postpartum preeclampsia, and if she had delayed care any longer things could have took a turn toward serious. It was not just nurses. I heard rude comments from my now ex-husband, family members, my in-laws, and strangers, too.
This has to stop. Being a new mom is hard enough without hearing rude comments when you’re tired and trying to recover from childbirth. These comments have the potential to shatter your confidence and make you feel like a terrible mom, too, which is entirely unacceptable and sets a mom up for things like postpartum depression and anxiety in the future. Read on for the worst of the worst evil comments people actually said to these moms after birth. I'm warning you, though: it might make you want to burn it all down.
"I was told that I was faking my pain by nurses and the doctor, because there was no way I had an infection so soon after my C-section (one day after). They sent me home. I had to go back two days later because the infection was so bad I needed IV antibiotics for three days."
"I suffered from postpartum anxiety and depression after my baby was born. My husband was sent out of town two days after his birth, I had a uterine infection, and my oldest was doing intense outpatient treatment every day for four hours. My grandmother couldn't fathom how I could be feeling so horrid, because she had four kids, and she was perfectly fine carrying on with life. I just needed to 'get myself together.'"
"After my third and surprise baby, nearly everyone asked me if I got my tubes tied while 'the doctor was in there.' I had, but why was my reproductive status any of their business?"
"I had an emergency C-section for my twins at 34-weeks gestation, due to multiple suspected blood clots in my lungs. I was very sick. A few hours after the surgery my mom, sisters, and step-dad were allowed to come into recovery, because I was in such bad shape, and the doctor warned them I might not make it. The entire time anyone said anything about the situation being serious my then-husband would blow it off and say I was being dramatic. He basically insinuated that I made up all my symptoms, and my kids were born early because I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore.
I couldn’t stop shaking after the anesthesia and they wouldn’t bring me to meet the babies until I did. It had been about three hours, and a nurse asked if I wanted a breast pump to try to pump for them. Frankly, I felt like sh*t and wanted meet my babies, so I said no. This sent my ex-husband over the edge. He leaned down and in front of my family whispered in my ear, 'You are already a terrible mom and you haven’t even met them yet.' I couldn’t even react, because I didn’t want my family to know."
"You need to start those exercises to tighten back up for your husband."
"After my 30-hour labor, I was told to start breastfeeding. I remember being so exhausted and felt so physically drained that I just wanted a nap. That probably makes me sound bad, but it is true."
"My boys both gained weight quickly in the weeks after birth, and my father-in-law mentioned to me (and other people) multiple times how I’m such a great milk producer. Awkward."
"I had an emergency C-section after more than 30 hours of labor. The cord was wrapped around the baby’s feet. The midwife couldn’t move him, and my water had broken the day before. It was the only safe way to get him out. My mother-in-law told me about the ways she got her babies to move into position so she didn’t 'need a C-section.' Like that is even relevant? What am I even supposed to say? 'Cool, next time my baby could die, I’ll move a flashlight around my belly to get them to move.'"
"I gave birth to two stillborn babies, and everyone told me it was part of a 'plan.' Then, after adopting my son, they told me that was the plan. 'If you hadn't lost your sons you may have never adopted him.' So, my babies had to die, so I could adopt a different baby?"
"'Next time you’ll be able to do it properly,' after two days of labor and a C-section. Thanks, worst midwife ever. Really needed that."
"I exclusively formula-feed. My nurse was amazing and had a bottle ready for my son as soon as he was born. I had experienced a three-day induction and two failed epidurals, while on Pitocin, so I had gotten about four hours of sleep in three days. As I was finally sleeping, a pediatrician came loudly bursting in, turned the light on, and wanted to check the baby. Her barging in woke my son up, and he was hungry, so I fed him a bottle while she did her thing.
She asked, 'Why aren’t you breastfeeding?'
I wish I had said something to stand up for myself, but I was tired.
She said, 'Well, it was definitely a choice. It’s too bad you made that decision.'
After we were discharged I was forced to go to that pediatrician’s office to get my son’s bilirubin rechecked. She made a special point to keep asking feeding-related questions, then would giggle and say, 'Oh, I keep forgetting you’re not breastfeeding.'”
"After the premature birth of my son, a fellow mom asked if I’d had an epidural. When told her I hadn’t, she said I probably didn’t need it, because I only had to 'push out a raisin,' whereas she had to 'push out a watermelon.'"
"When my son was born he ended up needing some extra care in the NICU. He's my first baby, and all I wanted was to be able to hold him and be his mom. I seriously had a nurse tell me to enjoy it because there weren't going to be any nurses at home."
"I heard, 'Should have had them do a tummy tuck while they were in there.'" From my mother, literally right after they wheeled me out of the operating room from the C-section I needed after 43 hours of traumatic labor."
“Hey girl. I saw that you just had a baby. Congratulations, he is so cute. Anyway, I know it’s hard to get your body back after having a child. I run a fitness group for moms where we support each other, exchange recipes, and have fun. Have you ever heard of Beachbody?”
"I had a lady ask me when the baby was due, while I was holding my newborn."
"I had a c-section to deliver my son. When my sister-in-law visited us later that day, she asked how I was feeling. I told her I was exhausted. She retorted, 'Why? You didn't do any pushing.'"
"Well done. Luck really it was 'cut guts' in the end, 'cause then you can sit down properly. I call it the cheat's way out."
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