Welcome To Motherhood
In addition to bringing in an entirely new person(s) into the world, we mothers also experience various hormonal changes, getting little to no sleep, figuring out feeding, diapering, and overall care for our new baby. Little self care, if any, is done during this time for ourselves. Of course though, we do not hesitate to sacrifice that (and anything else) for our baby.
Something to ask though, does a new mother look “so great” because she’s back in her pre-pregnancy jeans just a few weeks postpartum? Maybe that’s because she has no time or energy to eat and take proper care of herself. When taking care of a newborn becomes all consuming and no one is checking in on or helping the new mother then yes, she might lose that baby weight rather quickly.
She might be asked, “How did you lose it so quickly? You were SO BIG during pregnancy!” focusing in even more on her weight and body. Why does having a baby (beginning with pregnancy) give someone a pass to discuss a new mother’s body and weight?
Why does having a baby give someone a pass to discuss a new mother’s body and weight?
Offering an Alternative
I realize that many mothers work very hard to get back into their pre-pregnancy clothes. There are literally hundreds of postpartum workout videos just on YouTube and equal amounts of diets to get back in those pre-pregnancy jeans. So, I don’t want to discourage those type of compliments altogether. I am, however, suggesting if you don’t know the mother’s story, then avoid discussing her postpartum body.
Let’s change the narrative. As women and mothers, we deserve the focus to be on our new role of motherhood, not on our bodies. So if you see a new mother out with her baby, don’t pay her the loaded compliment, “You look great… for just having a new baby.”
Instead, try some open-ended questions that don’t focus on a mother’s postpartum body, but rather, her new role as a mother:
• How is motherhood?
• What has been the most challenging aspect of it?
• What has been the best aspect of it?
Don’t have time to chat with a new mom? Then simply give your congratulations on her new baby and let the rest be.