Five More Things Not to Say
Are you going back to work soon?
Let the new mom enjoy work-free time with her baby. She'll have plenty of time to worry about returning to work and to deal with the emotions of leaving her baby with child care.
If she's going back to work sooner than later, don't judge her. "'Is your career more important than your family? How can you let someone else raise your children? Who cooks for your kids? Do you have to work?' Each one of these diminishes the new mom's confidence in raising her child and working, and really should never be said," says Sara Sutton Fell, a mother of two and the CEO/Founder of FlexJobs from Boulder, Colorado.
Also, there might be a chance that the new mom has decided not to return to the workforce and to stay at home with her child. "So now the question implies that being at home with the kids isn't work, and strikes at the heart of mommy wars," says Williams says.
Are you ready for another?
New parents hear this question most often when a parent has two or more children of the same sex ("So, are you going to try for a boy/a girl?"). "Please, can I just get my head around the ones I have and figure out how to get two of them in the car at the same time before I go planning the future of our entire family?" says Jennifer Newman Galluzzo, a mom of two from Brewster, New York.
Of course, you can also run the risk of asking this question of a mother who is trying to get pregnant and is having difficulty doing so. Unless she confides in you, it's best not to broach the subject.
He/she doesn't look anything like you!
"Someone told me that my kids don't look anything like me -- they look like their dad -- and then asked, 'Are you sure they're yours?' and then laughed," Galluzzo recalls. "[It was] just not funny. I felt like saying 'Yes, I'm sure they are mine -- I was there during both painful labors. And thanks for pointing out that I get no credit for having them because they look like their dad.'"
The same goes when a baby looks like her mom. Telling a dad that he'd "better ask for a paternity test" might seem funny to you, but not everyone will appreciate the joke. Instead, tell all new parents what they want to hear: Their little one is the cutest baby ever born!
You have to breastfeed.
Breast is best, but many moms struggle with breastfeeding. If a mom has to supplement with formula -- or decides to give up on breastfeeding altogether -- she shouldn't be made to feel badly about her decision.
The same goes for asking a nursing mom how long she plans to breastfeed. Although experts recommend breastfeeding for at least six months, some women choose to nurse for less time and others do so for longer. Whether you agree or disagree with the amount of time she plans to nurse her child, it's best for you to keep your opinion to yourself.
Anything about the new mom's weight!
Galluzzo's most shocking moment came when someone asked her when she was due -- while she was holding her two month-old daughter. "I didn't actually say anything, but held up Gabriella and gave her a look. She suddenly understood and was quite embarrassed."
Refrain from commenting on the new mom's weight before and after birth. This will keep everyone happy.
Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.