Editor’s note: The following article is contributed by Skinny Mom Resident Moms. The Resident Mom program gives a voice to our readers, allowing moms across the world to contribute content to Skinny Mom. If you’re interested in becoming a Resident Mom, click here to apply.
“You look great! When are you due?” Asking this seemingly innocent question may have you smacking yourself as the woman behind you in the grocery line lets you know that she’s two weeks postpartum. You’ve probably learned this lesson by now either by hearing a friend’s horror story or by embarrassing yourself the hard way. But what are other touchy subjects for new mamas? To avoid some foot-in-your-mouth moments, check out out Resident Moms’ advice on what you should never say to a new mother.
“Never ask a new mom if she is sleeping yet. It is simply a stupid question because the answer is always no. She will be not sleeping soon, either, because she is waking up every few hours to nurse, she is waking every few minutes to make sure the baby is sleeping or she is not going to bed at all because her baby has his or her days and nights flipped. And if she has more than one kid? Well, just be a good friend and offer to come babysit so she can nap.” — Asra Husain
“’So, when are you going to have another?’ Seriously, I was asked this by just about everyone! I really couldn’t believe it when other moms would ask this. I did end up marrying into another three kids but never had another one, myself. One was just dandy!” — Julia McClelland
“’You know what you SHOULD do is…’ Unless you’re asked, don’t offer!” — Raye Dopson
“‘You look so tired!'” — Alaina Burran
“To a new birth mom? ‘You’ll get rid of that baby fat in no time.’ To a new adopted mom? ‘Oh how cute, but he/she doesn’t favor you.’” — Joi Yeldell
“’Is the baby sleeping through the night?’ Every baby is different. Every parents’ views on schedules and sleeping is different. New babies DO wake up in the middle of the night! Instead just say, ‘Your baby is adorable and you look fantastic!'” — Melissa Koester
“Throughout my third pregnancy, I don’t recall anyone commenting on my weight gain. But after delivery, my nephew asked me why I had a big belly. Thankfully it was while I was still in the hospital post-delivery and he was only seven, otherwise I may have had a different reaction.” — Leslie Guzinski
“Don’t ask when the baby is coming! I was three months postpartum and finally back at the gym when an older lady asked me this. I had to bite my tongue quite hard not to snap at her!” — Jessica Wright
“A woman and her 4-year-old son were shopping. She was dressed adorably in a fitted maxi and obviously looked pregnant. The sales person proceeded to comment how fabulous she looked and asked when she was due. The lady politely replied, ‘His baby sister is 2 weeks old.’ Open mouth, insert foot.” — Ruth Abraham
“Nurturing a new mom and giving advice is the social equivalent to the circle of life. This evolution from new mom to mentor should come with three rules. First, don’t try to cover every topic or piece of advice you have. Pause and remember when you had advice coming from every direction. Second, try to avoid statements that include absolutes like, ‘You will never sleep again.’ Last, don’t say anything that can’t be unsaid. We all have those days when life gets incredibly difficult. If you find yourself with a new mom and are having one of those days, simply sit, let her vent and say, ‘I’m here for you and I understand.’” — Treenah Kight
“’That’s not a mistake! You want to know what I did? [Inserting your horrible story here].’ Parenting mistakes are different for us all, so don’t go measure what someone tells you in your belief system ruler. We live in a world where comparison and competition is everywhere, so competing about who’s worse can quite possibly be as much of a drag as competing about who’s best.” — Megan Robison