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Kind Words for the Mom-to-Be

Understand pregnancy for what it is: A wonderful and beautiful experience, wrapped up in a colossal shift in hormones! Not only is the mom-to-be dealing with the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, but also with anxieties and fears of motherhood. Expecting moms need a tremendous amount of compassion and support throughout the nine months of her pregnancy, and beyond. Here are a few things to keep in mind when offering advice, support or suggestions to a mom-to-be:

On the Issue of Pregnancy and Postpartum Weight

What to Say (With Sincerity)

  • Honey, you look terrific!
  • Pregnancy becomes you.
  • You need to gain weight, our baby's well-being depends on it!
  • Honey, you just had a baby! You look great for just having a baby!
  • You're having our baby! That automatically makes you beautiful!

What NOT to Say

  • Wow, you're BIG for____months!
  • Well, at least people know you're pregnant!
  • Should you be eating that? You don't want to gain too much weight.
  • Hey, try breastfeeding! That should take the weight off!
  • Oh, I didn't realize you already had your baby!

On the Issue of Bottle Feeding vs. Breastfeeding

What to Say

  • Whatever you decide to do. The baby will be healthy either way.
  • Let's take a breastfeeding class together.
  • I know a friend who's breastfeeding her child. I'll put you in touch with her.
  • There are lots of great formulas out there for you to choose from.
  • Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience to enjoy with your baby.

What NOT to Say

  • Breastfeeding is for mothers who are too cheap to buy formula.
  • I wouldn't breastfeed if I were you. I tried for three months and gave up because it was too hard.
  • Formula is unhealthy for babies. He'll be sick all the time.
  • Mothers who love their babies breastfeed their babies.
  • Breastfeeding is "dirty" and perverted, especially if done in public.

On the Issue of Child Rearing

What to Say

  • I would love to give you advice on anything you need. Just let me know.
  • I've got some great books on parenting. Would you like to borrow them?
  • Let's take a parenting class together. That way, we can be prepared.
  • Parenthood is challenging, but I know you'll be great at it!
  • Follow your heart. You know what's best for your child.

What NOT to Say

  • Well, here is what I (my mother, Aunt Mabel, Dr. So-and-So, etc.) think/thinks is best for your baby.
  • This is the only book worth reading on parenting!
  • Just you wait when this baby is born; you'll see how difficult parenting is!
  • Always/Never pamper your children, give them time outs, etc. (In fact, eradicate the words "always" and "never" from your vocabulary when discussing parenting!)
  • Well, if I were you...

 

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