Rubbing underwear on stretch marks and other myths that postpartum Indian moms will laugh about
What’s App groups are great, especially the hyperlocal ones. Great advice aside, the conversations you have there are gold.
I am part of one such group within the Parsi colony I live in. The other day, we had a hilarious conversation about all the bizarre things we heard as new mothers. It was so comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one who rolled their eyes at these crazy theories. And, by the end of the day we were in contest mode trying to see who had come across the weirdest myths. So without further ado, here are the five funniest ones I came across:
CLOSE YOUR EARS AND COMPLETELY WRAP UP OR YOU WILL BLOAT
I understand that post birth your body has gone through a trauma and you need to stay cozy and rest up. But, how does closing your ears and wrapping up in warm clothes from top to bottom prevent bloating? Sure, you may be more susceptible to an infection thanks to the sleepless nights. But, won’t bundling yourself up and keeping the fan and AC closed mean you pass out from the heat? I pity the mom who gave birth in the Mumbai heat and was then forced to heed this advice. Yes, postpartum moms need to avoid going out for the first couple of months. But it is because you need to rest up and not because you risk becoming a balloon.
KEEP WEARING A SANITARY NAPKIN FOR A YEAR OR YOUR UTERUS WILL BLOAT
Aside from the baby what is one of the biggest perks of preganancy? The fact that you don’t get a period for 15 odd months of your life. Now, imagine stealing this perk and forcing a mom to wear a sanitary napkin for a year whether she is bleeding or not! I am sure a man who has never worn a pad a day in his life came up with this one. Yes, once you give birth you’re going to bleed like no one’s business and its good hygiene to wear a pad. But, if you are not bleeding, why would you wear one? The logic here is that air shouldn’t enter your uterus. Hello, wasn’t that why someone invented underwear?
RUB HUSBANDS UNDIES ON YOUR STRETCH MARKS
I can’t take credit for this one. I read about this tip when doing some more research for this post and wondered if I should laugh or go into a rage. Apparently, rubbing your husbands’ underwear on your stretch marks will make them disappear. I don’t know on how many levels this is wrong. Is rubbing my own underwear not good enough? Did the person who came up with this have any idea about a thing called hygiene? And, lets not even get into the fact that stretch marks are a lovely reminder of the miracle your body achieved. Or that stretch marks don’t disappear no matter what you do. They simply fade away into your skin tone.
YOU MUST KEEP YOUR BREAST COVERED WHEN FEEDING YOUR CHILD TO PREVENT YOUR NAZAR
I have already written about what I truly feel about covering up when breastfeeding. For now though lets address the impracticality of this. Most new mom fantasies end at giving birth and I didn’t have a clue how to breastfeed or make my baby latch. Being able to see whats going on with my baby while I feed him is the first step towards me making sure my child is well-fed. And, I won’t even get into how the mom-child bond strengthens during breastfeeding. Why would my child get the “evil eye” from me looking at him? According to me, it is weirder to cover up as I then feel like some strange object is chomping away at my boobs.
IF YOU DON’T WRAP YOUR BABY THEY WILL BE BOW-LEGGED
So all the kids not from India are running around the world bow-legged? I will agree that swaddling a baby is crucial. The first three months in a baby’s life are often referred to as the fourth tri-mester. This is because your baby is so unprepared for the big bad world. Baby M loved swaddling at night and even now at ten months sleeps in a sleep sack. But, the difference is that I did it to settle him and comfort him to bed rather than to straighten out his legs! Its also important that baby gets time to exercise and learn new skills for which they need to be unwrapped. So, new moms please do swaddle your baby but do it for the right reasons!