If there is one thing a new mom dreads, it is the constant truckload of advice that starts arriving like an avalanche.
It all begins when she announces her pregnancy. Don’t do this, do that. Oh, no, no, no–never do this! And so on.
As the D-day approaches, and the mom-to-be is anxiously waiting to hold her precious bundle of joy in her hands, the flow of advice gets stronger. As it is, she’s already nervous about handling her newborn and doing the right thing, and on top of that, with the advice overload, she becomes even more anxious! Now, she’s just not sure what to follow and what to ignore.
I experienced the same thing as soon as I announced that I was pregnant. Let me give you some examples:
“Add saffron to your glass of milk every day so that your baby’s complexion is fair”.
“Do not eat papaya as that might cause an abortion”.
“Eat whatever you like! Now is the time to enjoy all your favorite foods and indulge in your cravings!”
Of course, I didn’t follow any of that because there’s no logic behind such advice. But close to my due date, things got even more bizarre.
The neighbors had their elderly aunt over for a visit. We invited them for coffee. The first thing she did was touch my stomach, feel it all around, and announce that it was going to be a girl. She actually advised me to go in for a cesarean on a specific date and at a specific time, so that the child’s “horoscope” would be a good one.
Can you imagine? As it happened, I had a baby boy and we still laugh when we think about that incident.
The inflow of support and ‘help’ did not stop after my baby came into the world. I remember that time, soon after my son was born, when some close relatives and well-wishers gave me advice I really wish they hadn’t:
“Do not bathe him every day.”
What, why? I was not comfortable with this at all, because babies need care and hygiene. So, I simply went ahead and gave him a sponge bath the first five days, and then, started regular baths. Oh, how he loved them!
“Give baby a hot oil massage.”
During my baby’s first summer, he developed a rash on his body. We were told to apply oil on it. But when we did, it got much worse! Naturally, I panicked and called the doctor. He sternly told us to leave it alone, and keep the baby cool with a gentle lukewarm water bath. Soon the rash cleared up. Eventually, I preferred to gently give him a coconut oil massage every alternate day – and certainly not with ultra-hot oil.
I’d love to hear your experiences about receiving advice as a new Mom!