What NOT to say to a new mum in the first six weeks!

Our blogger, The Honest Mum, knows what is guaranteed to trigger tears with a brand new mama

Practical Parenting / August 09 2019

'You look tired...'

Yes, you do. You look shattered but then again you have just probably spent 24-hours in pain and spent a good few of those hours pushing out a baby. If it’s your first, you have tried to grapple with feeding, no sleep and all the weight of responsibility that comes with a brand new baby. So yes, you do look tired but nobody actually ever wants to hear that about themselves even though the woman in the mirror is barely recognisable. 

What to say instead:

'Look at everything you've done! You're bloody amazing!'


'That’s not how you do it, give me the baby and I’ll show you...'

From nappy changing to bathing, looking after a new born is one steep learning curve and yes, if you’ve already had a baby you will have some beautiful words of wisdom to hand out, but it’s important not to take over too much (unless the new mum is begging you, and then go for your life!). When my daughter was two weeks old, my mother-in-law wouldn’t let me do anything and kept telling me to watch and learn her take care of her with apparent ease. She's a grandmother of six, and made everything look effortless while I looked like an elephant trying to juggle bone china. But part of life/the fun/the journey of having your own baby is to explore this journey and learn techniques and ways of doing things that work for both you and bub. While my mother-in-law meant so well, it made me feel like I couldn’t accomplish the basics.

What to say instead: 

'You're doing so well, I know it's hard but you'll find a way for both of you to do this!'


'Have you eaten?'

What to say instead: 

'Here's a lasagne I made for you. Shall I heat it up now?'

'Cherish every moment!'

OK, so we all know you should make every second count of these fleeting years, but when you haven’t slept in days and the witching hour is approaching AND you’ve run out of nappies, you’re not going to cherish, you just need to survive.

I’ve found that now, with kids who are out of nappies, you do look back and cherish those 3am feeds but at the time, it was a concept as alien as a night out with Barnaby Joyce. A friend once told me that breastfeeding would get easier and I should just give it six weeks or so. When she said that I burst into tears because six weeks seemed like a lifetime and it was all so hard! If she had added in the guilt that I wasn’t cherishing every moment, I may have screamed.

What to say instead: 

'These first few weeks will pass. This bit is hard but you are doing great. Can I do anything?'