Do's & Dont's

I’m not really the writing type, but I’ll give it a go. What I’d like to touch on for this particular piece is etiquette – the rules and etiquette of visiting a new mother and her baby.

People might question why I have chosen to address this topic in particular, and the answer is fairly simple – because it needs to be done. Its clear that new mums find it hard to voice how they feel for fear of offending, and I say that because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen my wife bite her tongue again and again (literally), so as to not say something that might be interpreted in the wrong way, so I’m going to do it for her. For her and all the other mothers out there who’ve had to hold back how they feel.

Both parents want to spend time with their child – their precious child, barely a few hours old. We want to squeeze them, smell them, feel their hearts beat, hear their breathing, and stare in awe at their perfection. But that can be a bit bloody difficult if we’re not actually able to hold them.


No.1 – Please Be Patient.
Don’t traipse into a hospital room without calling first, especially on the day of the birth. Many people are okay with family visiting, but if you’re not immediate family, it can be a bit over bearing. If you feel that this shouldn’t be the case, take it up with the woman sitting in the pool of blood.

No. 2 – Don’t insist on hearing every detail of the labour story
Some women are comfortable, others aren’t. My wife herself was very happy to share her story, but even for her there were certain questions which crossed the line

No. 3 – Wash your hands and don’t kiss the baby
I don’t think an in-depth explanation would be required for this rule in particular, but asides from the millions of viruses that the baby is not immune to, it’s also simply a bit too close for comfort.

No. 4 – Easy with the lessons
Advice is always appreciated, especially for us first timers. But when you begin to give advice whilst criticizing our parenting decisions, it’s not great. Don’t tell us we’re doing it wrong. We’ll learn, just like you did.

No. 5 – Please call
Please call or message and ask if we’re available for you to pop around. A woman is healing for a long time after giving birth, which is why in the Islamic culture, 40 days are put aside for her to rest. In this period, her and the baby have unlimited bonding time, and she is given her space for the healing process to begin. She is meant to, in an ideal world, be completely at ease so she can get to grips with the whole motherhood thing. When you keep coming and overstaying your welcome, she can’t do that.

No. 6 – Don’t force food on her
She is well aware of the fact that she needs to take care of herself. Remind her gently but please do not pester her and tell her how skinny she looks. It takes a few days for her digestive system to reconfigure, and in those first few days, you probably won’t make her feel too good if you harass her.

No.7 – Stop the selfies
I don’t want pictures up of my child online. It’s just the way it is. I don’t want her face visible for a whole host of reasons, so there’s a strict rule against posting her photos. When you come to visit, remember that you’re there to see mother and baby. So please just stick to congratulating and enjoying each others company. And don’t try to coerce mum into taking pictures, because she really won’t like that.

If these rules are followed, it will make for a very peaceful transition for the family welcoming a new child. And that’s the whole point. Please keep mum and baby’s happiness and comfort as the priority


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