Fourth Trimester

4 lies they tell new moms

May 10, 2023

Motherhood is not one size fits all, it's custom fit. Make it fun, learn as you go, and defy the lies that do not make sense to you!

I am a new mom, and although it has not been very long since I could claim the title, I have come to learn a lot about the lies of motherhood in these short weeks. I wanted to provide a raw report of my postpartum experience, because truth be told, what we see and what we hear from other people are far from what actually goes down. 

First of all I would like to get off my chest that I have showered every day since my child was born, yes you will have the time, you just have to make it. It all comes down to what is most important to you. In fact, everything you do from the moment your child is born and thereafter will always come down to this principle. We do what we prioritize, plain and simple; whether it’s laundry, sleep, a shower, cleaning, you get it, pick your player. So if you're an expecting mom and you are scared of what you will and won’t have time for, well it’s up to you. Use your resources and your time wisely. When I finally left my house after being in recovery for a month, the first thing I did was get my nails done. I remember someone asking me how I even had the time to have a fresh manicure with a newborn. Well, my friend, I made the time. When I was cleared to workout again I started incorporating yoga or pilates 3 times a week and my nails, well they look like shit again. Why? Because my priorities shifted from using those hours to myself from getting a mani/pedi to working out. Will I get my nails done again? Yes, when I prioritize them over pilates this week. I know we all have different levels of support, so I am simply sharing my experience. I feel fortunate to have a partner that is just as good as me with our baby, and I do not have to worry about anything when I am away from my baby. The point is however that people like to scare new moms into thinking we won't have time for anything and that’s a  lie. A cold hard lie that causes new moms to believe it and then start living up to that lie and what happens when we find out it’s a lie? We feel guilt! I swear mom guilt is simply what we feel when we do things that society has told us or “warned us”are not possible as moms. 

Now, let’s talk about all these gadgets and toys we are legit conned into buying. You do not need a $200 glorified garbage can for diapers, a bassinet that cooks and cleans for you, or a million Montessori toys so that your child can take over the world one day. If you have the space, you can afford it, and you simply must have it, do you boo. However, if you don’t see the point, chances are there is none. That goes for all baby products. I did not need half the stuff on my registry, but for some reason (and I blame instagram) I felt that I needed it all. I ended up with four different baby carriers, when in the end my baby hated all of them. I had all these “montessori” newborn toys that made zero sense because babies do not need flashcards, ball pits, or baby gyms. You know what research has shown to help with baby development the most? Talking to them! It’s that easy (and free). Talk to your baby, read to them, sing to them, dance for them, and as they grow older they can join in. Babies are born minimalists, requiring basic human needs, zero bullshit, and even play time can be kept simple. So as I pack this baby gym up and return it because my baby actually hates it. I promise you, if you just take the time to share the simple pleasures in life like words, movement, and music, you too can save yourself money and space. Babies actually hate clutter so there’s that for a sweet little oxymoron on how cluttered their rooms become with unnecessary toys. Don’t even get me started on all the tech gadgets because trust me you did not need 24/7 monitoring and data collection on your sleep to survive, nor did your parents, and you are just fine (I hope).  Just because it’s available to your baby now, it does not mean they need it to survive. There are zero studies that show how attaching some bluetooth device to your baby's foot or bassinet will affect them. These companies just want to sell their expensive tech to you, but when it comes down to knowing how this tech affects babies, nobody knows. Also, who’s benefiting from all this data collection on your baby anyways? Call me paranoid but to be honest I just have zero desire for  any tech company to be collecting all this info on my baby so early on. 

Don’t even get me  started on breastfeeding, the biggest lie of all! I remember thinking I would have all these options to feed my baby but the truth is that it’s more like, “you get what you get and you don't get upset”. I wish I had asked more moms about their breastfeeding journeys, but to be honest I had no idea how every mom experienced such different feeding journeys, I really and truly thought feeding a baby was more black and white, than the huge gray area that it is. People like to say “fed is best” like it’s some novel advice to tell you that your baby needs to eat. You know what’s best, moms mental health and babies health, both equally as important. My baby was not gaining weight so I hired a lactation consultant that put me on this whole feeding routine that was the toughest job I have ever had to be quite honest. I would breastfeed my baby, then I would pump and feed that milk through a tiny tube, then (because I was not producing enough milk) I would feed him formula through that tiny tube. I did this every two hours and at night I was allowed to give the formula to him straight from the bottle. Doing this alone is no easy feat, eventually I would find my stride and what worked for me. She also recommended all of these supplements, products, and teas to “increase my supply”. Let me tell you, anything that claims to increase your supply is a straight up scam! The only thing that will increase your supply is supply and demand. The more you feed and pump, the more your body produces. Consistency and commitment to the process is everything. I have tried it all (in terms of products, and I also stopped wasting my money on all that BS, and the only thing that increased my supply cost me zero dollars! Making moms feel like there is a shortcut to increasing your supply is such a lie, do not fall for these traps! I still breastfeed, pump, and give my baby formula; I know someone that produces so much milk and still gives their baby formula at night because it’s easier to do during night feeds, I know someone that exclusively breastfeeds and also exclusively gives formula, someone who breastfeed until their kids were three and someone who stopped at 2 months. My list goes on of the many ways moms feed their babies, and guess what the common denominator was that all moms made sure to not only feed their babies but also prioritize their mental health while doing so. So please, if you are a new mom, please know about the complexities of feeding your baby and how many lies we are fed about the process. If you want to drink the tea and eat the cookies do it, but do it because you enjoy it not because you think you have to. Trust your intuition because not only do you know your body the best, you also know your baby the best. 

Last but not least I would like to share the worst lie of all, the fact that people go around telling you that you will somehow be mourning the person you were before you became a mother and that you would be birthing a new version of yourself. I remember I kept waiting for this feeling of rebirth or a moment where I was no longer myself and it never happened. The truth is, you are not gone, you are enhanced. Whatever you were before you became a mother you become a way better version of that. I cannot say this enough, you are not lost you are not gone, YOU ARE ENHANCED! You are the same person you were, but whatever you were before, you are now a version you will not only definitely still recognize, but be extremely impressed by. So let’s stop telling moms that they are born the day their babies are born because that’s a lie. You are not reborn, you are evolved. You are exactly who you were before, just way better. You do not have to mourn anything, you get to celebrate! You are now a version of yourself that will never cease to amaze you. A version of you that is walking proof that when there’s a will, there’s a way, because that’s motherhood, making shit happen. That’s motherhood, a version of you that can and will do it all…if she wants to. You do not have to do anything, you get to do it. You don't have to listen to the lies, you get to stand for your truth. You do not have to let go of the person you were, you get to embrace the superhero that you have now become. With great powers comes great responsibility, and I am now convinced Spiderman was referring to motherhood.  

So these are a few “lies” that I wanted to share with new moms everywhere that I personally disproved. I also wanted to emphasize that everyone is different and this was my unique experience that you may or may not relate to. Purely to entertain or inspire, but either way I hope what you take from this article is that motherhood is not one size fits all, it's custom fit. Make it fun, learn as you go, and defy the lies that do not make sense to you! Focus on what's important to you and your family, and don't let societal expectations make you feel guilty for anything.

Written by: Claudia Sandino

Instagram: @hashtagit

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