Let's face it mamas. There are some topics that get brought up in our every day lives as mothers that strike a cord. We have put together a list of 10 common "taboo topics" that frequently come up for new moms including advice on how to avoid hurt feelings. This journey is full of joy and bumps in the road. Let's come together as a community of women and support each other in our choices.
Breastfeeding vs. Bottlefeeding: This can be a very touchy subject for some. Some mamas breastfeed for years, others do it for months or weeks, some don't try nursing at all for personal reasons and there are those who simply cannot breastfeed — and that's all okay. Breastfeeding has great health benefits for babies, but pediatricians still say formula-feeding is a fine alternative. If feeding preferences comes up in conversation, be open to everyone's point of view and personal experience.
Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers: In the past few years, cloth diapers have made a huge comeback. There are so many options! For some families this is the way to go but for others it can feel like a higher maintenance option. Disposable diapers can be much more convenient for busy families. Or you can do both! Either way, try and avoid voicing strong opinions on how someone else should cover their baby's bum.
Circumcision: The word alone can start an argument these days! There are many respected organizations to help inform you on making this decision. The American Academy of Pediatrics, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, maintains that there is not enough data to medically recommend or oppose circumcision. This is a very personal decision for families to make on their own.
Baby's Name: Parents put months into choosing a baby name. This new little person has this name forever! It is a huge decision. Some families chose to share the name ahead of time, some don't. It can be good to wait if you can because it is unlikely for someone to comment negatively once they see your sweet one! If a friend shares her list of baby name ideas and asks for your advice, let her know your favorites, but keep any negative comments to yourself.
Birth Experience: Moms often feel a little defensive about their birth choices because everyone seems to have an opinion about it. Whether it is at a birth center, hospital or at home, every mama has the right to choose. Some mothers are more comfortable the natural route while others want an epidural. There is no reason to feel guilty about your choices. Birth is a beautiful experience either way. Lend an ear to your friend and be sensitive to her wishes.
Working Mom or Stay at Home Mom: Either route you take is has it's own challenges. Working after baby for some comes as a relief and families find good balance doing this. Other moms are passionate about staying at home with their child. There is no right way or wrong way. On either side of the fence, at the end of the day, moms need support during this journey of motherhood.
Sleep: Sleep deprivation is a very real scenario in the first few weeks of having a newborn. Some get lucky and have a baby that loves to sleep and wakes only to be fed in the night. Other parents struggle with long sleepless hours in the night. This can be very hard. People love to give advice in this area. This again is a personal journey. There are many methods to helping your baby sleep, take time to find the right option for your family.
Conception and Fertility: It isn't polite to ask about a baby's conception. Some people are not at all afraid to ask questions that are personal and this can be offensive. "Was it planned? Was it a surprise? How long did it take to get pregnant?'" Or if there are twins, "Were they natural?" or "Did you have fertility treatment?" Just be happy for the parents and congratulate them. If they would like to share their journey of conception they will.
Parenting Style: No two mothers have the same exact parenting style. You will find there are many different labeled styles and methods. Some families may stick to one or find a balance with a couple. The important piece is finding what fits your family best. All moms seek advice and wisdom from others but try and avoid commenting on another mom's methods, like saying she coddles too much.
Baby's Size and Development: All babies grow and reach certain milestones at their own pace. Comments on a baby's size and questions about whether she's sitting up, crawling, walking, or talking can be wearing on a mom, especially if her baby is way ahead of or behind the curve. It is one thing if it is a conversation between friends but in passing, try to avoid doing this.
The most important thing to remember is this: We are all in this together mamas. Let's support each other the best that we can.