The last thing a new mom needs, especially right after giving birth, is to feel attacked. So unless you can guarantee, 100 percent, that whatever it is you're about to say is uplifting, empowering, and encouraging, keep it to yourself. I asked moms to share the worst thing they heard one month after giving birth, and all I can say is that, unfortunately, some people are ruthless. Like next-level inappropriate. Can't a new mom enjoy her brand new baby without being judged?
I still remember pushing my grocery cart back into the corral, my partner by my side holding our newborn, when a grocery bagger I'd seen and been friendly with all throughout my pregnancy asked when I was due. Um, the baby was right there, dude. Then there were the snide comments about my issues with breastfeeding, or the unsolicited advice on what's best for my baby. The worst, by far, was hearing that, because I was having a hard time adjusting to life as a new mom (which later turned out to be postpartum depression), I shouldn't entertain the idea of having more children in the future.
As a new mom, I needed people to give me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe people had the best intentions, and maybe they didn't realize they were being hurtful, but mindfulness and self-realization can go a long, long way. So, you know, maybe think about what you're going to say before you say it. As new moms we're sleep deprived, overwhelmed, healing from childbirth, and need to be supported during one of the happiest, challenging, most complicated time of our lives. So with that in mind, get ready to rage as you read what these other moms heard just a month after giving birth (then silently promise you won't say anything remotely related to another mom):
“'Your husband is just really tired and needs a break.' Except it wasn’t a month after birth — it was five days."
“'C-section? That’s great for you dad! Wink wink.' I had major surgery and awful awful recovery and pain. And the comments I got were towards my husband and it being a bonus for him."
"My mother-in-law told me that if I had really wanted to breastfeed, I would have given up caffeine. I must not have really wanted it because I wasn't trying hard enough."
"Well-meaning people offering sympathy when I told them I had a C-section. Like, yes, it was an emergency C-section, but it really took the wind out of my sails because I had a great birth experience and would have appreciated space to sort of celebrate that. Instead I was basically defending my experience.
Pro-tip: Women can feel any number of ways about any kind of birth, so wait until they tell you how they feel about it before you presume anything."
"The worst for me was a FB message from some random 'old friend' asking if I was interested in a new program she was hawking to lose my baby weight."
"When are you due (said by a cashier despite having the newborn in the stroller with me)?"
"Wow, you smell like spit-up. Have you even showered today?"
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.