12 Things Not To Say To A New Mom
New moms have plenty to worry about: feeding baby around the clock, dealing with an ungodly number of dirty diapers, figuring out what all that wailing could possibly mean. It’s enough to stress anyone out. What new moms don’t need is to be worrying about what friends, family and random strangers on the street are going to say next about their babies and postpartum bodies. We checked in with moms to learn what comments infuriated them the most and gathered them up into one handy list, ready to be shared with those who may need a reminder on what not to say to a woman who’s just given birth.
1. You still look pregnant!
No kidding. After growing a baby for nine months, things don’t just shrink back to normal in a matter of days—it takes time. Meanwhile, mom doesn’t need to be told that even after giving birth, it doesn’t look like much has changed.
True story: “A friend of my mother’s told me I still looked five months pregnant when I came home from the hospital. I’m not sure what she was thinking or why people think they have a right to comment on your body, but I just laughed it off—even though I was boiling inside,” says Sari D., mom to a 10-month-old. “People need to realize that after giving birth, your body is swollen and healing, and most women are not only physically sensitive, they’re incredibly emotionally sensitive as well. The last thing we want to hear is we still look pregnant, even if it’s true!”
Maybe she has, maybe she hasn’t—either way, it’s none of your business.
True story: “After I had my first child, a very senior-level (and childless) man in my company asked if I had lost all of the baby weight yet, and where all of the extra stomach skin goes after you have a baby,” says Kimberly G., mom to 2- and 3-year old kids.
On the flip side, you may think you’re complimenting mom on her slim figure, but don’t go there. Without knowing how her postpartum experience is going, weight loss can be just as much a taboo topic as weight gain.
True story: “In the few weeks after I delivered, people would comment on how much weight I had lost—all well intended. But I was suffering from postpartum anxiety and depression, wasn’t eating and desperately wanted to have an appetite,” says Amy H., mom to a 7-month-old. “Losing weight was not something I was proud of. Bottom line, commenting on weight loss is akin to commenting on weight gain.”
After giving birth, new moms are sore, exhausted and really don’t want to get hints about hitting the gym.
True story: “Less than 24 hours after I’d given birth, my in-laws came to see the baby. They were looking at my wedding photos and my husband made a comment about how skinny I was back then. Then my mother-in-law chimed in and asked if I don’t like to exercise. She said “it’s not about how you look, we just want you to be healthy,” says N.F., mom to a 19-month-old. “That would be hard enough to hear on any day, but when you’ve just given birth you already feel like a big,…