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Frustrations of Motherhood
Saved 2/01/10 to A Place to Vent

The Don'ts of Visiting a New Baby in the Hospital


The first few days after a baby's birth are like living in a bubble so hospital visitors shouldn't burst it. Doting mothers stare at their new bundles of joy in awe and focus on if and when their babies are eating, sleeping and pooping. The following is a list of off-limit topics and behaviors for those heading to the maternity ward.

  • Don't snap mad photos without permission — especially if the mama has a visible catheter bag or stained sheets.
  • Don't stare or ask to touch her brand-new Dolly Parton boobs. News flash: engorged breasts hurt!
  • Don't ask if she had her tubes tied or if her hubby is getting a vasectomy.
  • Don't discuss the family's carbon footprint.
  • Don't ask if there's any way the baby's conehead can be molded.
  • No matter how big the baby's head is, don't speculate about the size of her pelvis or hips.
  • Don't refer to the child as having "elf ears."
  • Don't attribute every baby smile to gas.
  • Don't mention that you think today's parents don't have a clue.
  • Don't ask when they are going to try for another one!
  • Don't question if the husband is really the father since the baby looks nothing like him!
  • Don't try to persuade the parents to change the baby's name by coming up with all the awful nicknames you think the child faces.
  • Don't talk about everything that is wrong with the world.
  • Unless she offers, don't ask the degree of her tear.
  • Don't exclaim, "Oh, I love your mom pooch!" It's not like she can speed up a contracting uterus.

Add your additions to this list below!

3 years 42 weeks
When I had my last baby (August 2010), it was an unmedicated, homebirth. About two weeks before my due date, my husband and i had phone calls from both mothers about when they were to 'arrive to help with the children', (we also have 2 sets of twins) and our response was "We'll tell you when you can come to visit". It was a solid week before we let pretty much anyone into our place. When I was in labour, my bff and husband were there for me and two friends of ours took care of the older kids. It was amazing. For that first week of just us, we got to sort of figure out how we were going to work as a family, not to mention it gave me time to get to know my new daughter.
Jasmineleilani Jasmineleilani 4 years 31 weeks
How about don't visit unless you ask.  I was in labour for 40 hours (enduced cause of high blood pressure.) After 40 hours of being laid up in bed, cathiter and magnesium, no food and a ton of gained water weight PLUS a last min. Csection...  I was not ready for visitors. I went straight to recovery, because of the preclampsia, and yet people showed up to visit. I felt drained, overwhelmed, itchy (morphine), bloated, in pain and not very pretty. (not to mention dissapointed I didn't get my natural birth.) One even brought their 4 year old! Please people,  unless a DIRECT relative or you are asked... Just WAIT until mom and baby are hone and ready.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 4 years 32 weeks
The picture thing especially! My mother snapped about 10000000000 terrible photos of me 20 minutes after baby was born, my hair was a mess and I hadn't washed my face or brushed my teeth. Now I get to remember, "Wow, I really looked like hell that day!"
4 years 33 weeks
I totally agree with not attributing baby smiles to gas. Yes, the new mother probably knows that it's gas but it's annoying to be repeatedly told so. Gas or not, the baby looks cute smiling and saying, "Oh it's just gas" makes it sound like it's less cute.
Advah Advah 4 years 33 weeks
Agreed about the cold thing, don't go visit a baby if you're coming down with a cold!
4 years 33 weeks
We personally find the father jokes funny, and make them ourselves. We always joke about my husband not being the father, and about him fathering other kids. However, it's only something joked about with those close to us and not something we'd EVER say outside that circle.
MissSushi MissSushi 4 years 33 weeks
lol, yeah.. sorry i got several of these comments while i was in the hospital. Most often we got the is he really the father comments. People think its funny, but what you're really asking me is if I not only violated my marriage by cheating on my husband, but i'm having someone elses child and lying to my husband by saying its his.. Uh.. yeah. what should i say to that? why yes, it's actually my coworkers kid, but shh don't tell my husband.. jeez
carolynz carolynz 4 years 33 weeks
As someone who was told less than 36 hrs after giving birth that I still looked pregnant by an in-law, I think that this list should be printed out and hung in hospitals and shouldn't just apply to while a mom and baby are in the hospital, but for the 6 week post-partum period at a minimum.
4 years 33 weeks
Believe me, waaaaaaaaaaay more than .5% of the population are dumb enough to say these things. Seeing a pregnant woman or a woman who's just given birth brings out major stupidity.
FrankiLee FrankiLee 4 years 33 weeks
Yeah, I think I'm clever enough to figure out on my own to not comment on a child's "elf ears." Unfortunately though, I have had some of these things said to me while I was in the hospital and after I had gotten out. Some people truly don't think about what is coming out of their mouths!
4 years 33 weeks
dumb article. Only about .5% of the population is dumb enough to say these things. yes, it happens, but rarely. Write something more informative please
4 years 33 weeks
Don't come to the hospital if you have ANY illness. Or bring your children if they do. Don't comment on Mom's feeding choice, whether it's to say she should've breastfed or to say the baby's the lucky one for getting the boob. Don't hang out and chat all the live long day. Twenty minutes is a good visit.
4 years 33 weeks
...And here I am thinking the list would like: Don't come to the hospital if you have a cold. Who knew!
runningesq runningesq 4 years 33 weeks
I really really really hope people don't need to be told not to touch boobs ! Yeesh !