Being a mom can be a tough job. However, there is little to no excuse for engaging in behaviors that can seriously put a baby at risk. Living with a baby isn’t always sunshine and roses, because not getting much sleep, or worrying about SIDS can make for a fuzzy mommy brain. If a mom has habits or behaviors that they didn’t give a second thought about before having kids, a baby’s arrival causes a lot of changes very quickly.
Postpartum depression is also a serious issue for some mothers, and professional help is available if needed. No one is an island, and parenting does not come with a manual. Moms and babies both need adequate support when it comes to the parenting thing. Comparing to other mom’s, worrying over body image, and going by what a mom experienced when a child in the past can have a lot of influence with a mother’s decision making.
Even though adults have gone through their ups and downs of life, a little baby is a clean slate. By choosing healthier options, making positive connections, and being forgiving about being a mom, moms and their children can really blossom. Here are some things to raise an eyebrow about, if a mom is caught doing this around their baby.
15 Overlooking Diseases That Can Get Passed To The Baby
Even moms who do their best to maintain their health, or believe they don’t need medical screenings could risk their baby’s health. During pregnancy, most mothers are offered the chance to screen for genetic conditions. If mom passed on the opportunity, their baby could risk developing an incurable condition that needs medical management.
When baby arrives on the scene, baby should get screened for diseases and health ailments at the pediatrician. If mom chooses to avoid getting baby screened for potential health hazards, she may be setting baby up for bigger problems later in life. Many health issues that seriously affect children can be nipped in the bud, only if they are caught early enough in their life. Screenings for babies and mom exist because prevention is indeed the best medicine.
14 Neglecting Prenatal Or Postnatal Care
Neglecting prenatal care is a big no-no for a mom, because a growing baby has a high demand for energy, nutrients, and vitamins to grow healthy and make their development milestones. Additionally, after baby comes into a mom’s life, mom wants to continue postnatal care. If mom chooses to nurse, or simply wants to bounce back from the physical toll of pregnancy, taking vitamins helps a lot.
Mom wants to make sure that she continues to get exercise, drinks enough water, and keeps stress levels low after baby. Not only does postnatal care help out mom, but baby benefits from a more attentive mother, better quality breastmilk, and a healthier home life. Babies need a lot of care, patience, and energy to thrive, and so do moms in order to keep up.
13 What Mom Puts In Her Body Affects Her Breastmilk
Coffee is delicious, and soda is convenient, but there is nothing quite like water. Water is the ultimate hydration for the body, considering that the human body is mostly made up from the stuff anyways. When mom was pre-baby, she might have enjoyed drinking more than just a morning cup of coffee, or downing diet sodas like no one’s business. If mom has a baby, she really wants to uptake her intake of water, and pass on having so much caffeine.
Not only does caffeine impact a mom’s body chemistry, and rob the bones of calcium and other nutrients, but it also impact’s baby’s health. Some mothers have even been guilty of letting their little one have sips of coffee and soda. What mom puts in her body has influence on her breastmilk, so coffee and soda don’t offer much nutrition or benefits for a baby.
12 Exposing The Baby To Inappropriate Materials
Babies are like little sponges, thanks to their brains, eyes, hands, and ears soaking up as much information as possible. If mom is always exposing their little one to violence, stress, adult television shows, or crude lewd behavior and language, baby is always learning and listening. Babies who are exposed to intense or adult things may be more likely to express aggressive behavior, internalize stress, or show poorer performance with milestones later in life.
Mom may miss her days pre-baby, but needs to realize that everything has its time and place. Baby needs to be around stimulation that is healthy, non-toxic, and nurturing to thrive. Violence, lewdness, and age-inappropriate things may send baby the wrong message. If a mom is comfortable doing certain things around baby, it may only escalate or continue as a baby grows into a child.
11 Bad Diet For Mom, Bad Diet For Baby
Moms need more self-love, because if it took 9 months to put on the baby weight, it can take upward of a year for mom to make adjustments to her post-baby body. Mom may have binged on foods that she craved when pregnant, but after baby she may not be able to do so with ease. Overzealous moms may exercise way too much, or seriously restrict calories until dangerously thin. Both obesity and being emaciated have significant risks to a mom and her baby.
In addition to being careful about how much food intake impacts mom’s weight, she should consider nutrition too. If mom is always eating for comfort or only eating foods with few calories, her health is at risk. Baby’s health and food habits are at risk too, if baby nurses, or if baby ends up picking up bad diet habits from mom.
10 Exposure To Smoke During Or After Pregnancy
Smoking is addictive, no buts about it. Unfortunately, if mom cannot kick her smoking habits and exposes baby to secondhand smoke, baby can suffer ailments. Babies are born with or can develop asthma, bronchitis, and other health problems from exposure to smoke. It is bad enough that little ones born to mothers who smoked while they were in the womb, have experienced birth defects and small birth weight.
If mom is casual about their little one breathing in lots of smoke from tobacco products or other substances, she is putting her baby at risk, period. A baby is especially susceptible to chemical compounds and toxins in smoke, and can more easily develop irritability, breathing difficulties, and stress from exposure. Even vaping and electronic cigarettes have come under scrutiny, for possibly risking a young one’s health and encouraging them to smoke at an earlier age.
9 Substituting Milk With...
One sure-fire way to help baby potentially develop illnesses, obesity, incur stress, or become more fussy is to give baby risky foods or sugary caffeinated drinks instead of breastmilk or formula. Unlike adults, baby’s system is still developing. So, certain foods that an adult can digest with no problem may become a serious issue for a baby.
Also, if mom is continually putting sodas, sports drinks, or other liquids that do not offer baby substantial nourishment, nutrients, or vitamins in their bottle, they are setting baby up for failure. Sugary drinks can lead to increased chances of developing caries in life, and poor oral health. Since baby’s taste buds have a clean slate, the appeal of eating fats, sugars, and heavily salted foods will have a significant impact on a young one. Babies exposed to unhealthy foods and drinks may continue poor dietary habits later in life.
8 Working On Foot During Pregnancy
It wasn’t a good idea to stand for long periods while mom was pregnant, and following delivery of baby the same should ring true. After all, there are some serious risks to constantly being on your feet for ages.
Moms need to look out for varicose veins, blood clots, and simply taxing her frame from standing for hours without ever sitting down occasionally. Plus, if mom chooses to wear footwear that have some serious heels attached, she might be negatively impacting her spine, and increasing the risk of circulation problems.
If mom develops high blood pressure, increased stress, or other health problems from work demands to be on her feet for long periods, she can pass on health problems to baby. Stressed and exhausted moms may make riskier decisions from fatigue.
7 No Interactions
Babies are super adorable, but despite their fragile look, they demand interaction to thrive. If mom forgets to make time to sing to, play with, read to, or just simply hold her baby, she is setting her little one up for problems. A baby’s brain is at the maximum of brain cells when delivered, and continues to grow and develop on high-speed.
The major trigger for a baby’s cognitive skill development, learning new skills, and reaching milestones on time is interaction. Moms have a special bond with their baby, as baby clings to their mom for their nurturing, nourishment via breastmilk, their familiar scent, and their loving voice. All a mom has to do is give their baby a decent amount of their time every day, in order for their child to get the best start in life and blossom.
6 Unhealthy Mom, Unhealthy Baby
Exercise is not only a good stress reliever, but it keeps mom’s body flexible and improves overall health. Sunshine is beneficial for giving natural light, warmth, vitamin D, and moderate exposure to UV rays. Getting out and enjoying the sunshine, whether taking a stroll through a park, or working in a yard is good for baby and mom.
It is not a good idea for a mom to just stay inside, spend most of her time being sedentary, or neglecting getting some sunshine. Sometimes postpartum depression can make a mom not want to go out much, but a baby needs to get fresh air to build up their immune system, and simply explore their world too.
A mom can experience health problems following delivering a baby, if she neglects making time for regular exercise, or fails to get some sun now and then.
5 The Physical And Emotion Toll
Human beings carry some emotional baggage with them, and sometimes life can really throw a curve ball now and then. Living life like it’s taken from a page out of A Streetcar Named Desire, and getting into loads of arguments, frequently fighting, or yelling in rage is not healthy for mom or baby. There is so much for a mom and baby to lose out on, because tons of fighting creates a very hostile and negative space for a young impressionable child.
Aside from risk of physical injury with conflicts involving yelling and fighting, there is the biological response of stress. Stress creates toxic responses in the body, leading to poorer decision making, baby suffering developmental delays, and having a harder time coping with fighting and stressful environments. Mom should learn how to handle certain infuriating situations with more poise, especially if a little one is around.
4 Stress Is Damaging
Stress really does do a lot of unseen damage. Mom might just get gray hairs, or pick up terrible habits to cope like hitting the bottle or smoking more. However, for a tiny baby, they are unable to deal with stress like adults. Stress seriously can stunt brain growth, lead to delays in speech, poor behavior when older, and more in a growing child.
Babies love and thrive on calm, nurturing, and positive interactions. If mom is so stressed that she neglects spending quality time with baby, the baby will suffer tons. Moms need to make sure that they have healthy outlets for their stress, so as to keep a healthier and stress-free space for baby and themselves.
Having a good friend to talk to, getting exercise, drinking tea, meditation, or doing an activity they enjoy is also helpful to a mom’s mental wellness.
3 Not Taking Precaution For Preexisting Medical Conditions
Mom needs to stay healthy and alert when rearing a little baby. If mom neglects taking prescribed medications for existing medical conditions, she could be also putting her baby at risk. Medications should also be placed out of a baby’s reach, so there are hopefully no unfortunate interactions. If pills are left around casually, it could prove a choking hazard for a baby.
Once baby is born, mom definitely wants to make sure her health is good. Mom’s who stop taking medication as needed, may suffer heart attacks from high blood pressure, suffer seizures, or make health problems worsen. If mom ends up in the hospital or worse, she puts her child’s happiness and future at risk, especially if she didn’t make plans in case of emergency. Being responsible about maintaining good health and keeping medicines out of baby’s reach is best.
2 Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is definitely life, and moms need to drink plenty of water to stay healthy and energized. If moms choose to nurse their baby, they definitely want to drink more water. Water helps replenish mom’s breastmilk supply, is good for cushioning organs, and keeps the body at a better equilibrium.
If mom chooses to drink too much alcohol, it can lead to greater dehydration. Drinking too much sodas, sports drinks, and coffee is also no match for drinking water. If mom doesn’t drink enough water, not only may she end up with drier skin or increased dandruff, but baby can look forward to lower breastmilk amounts. Moms who don’t drink enough water may also encourage their babies to have bad habits too. Next time mom is thirsty and passes the glass, it should be for a nice glass of water.
1 Unchecked Postpartum Depression
Being a mother, and ushering a child into the world is a very demanding and complex job. So many people seem to focus on a new baby, but forget that moms need support too.
If a mom is always feeling overly exhausted, withdraws from her favorite activities, feels negative feelings toward the baby, or neglects herself and the baby, postpartum depression could be the culprit. It is so important that a mom feel a sense of connection and community to other mothers, her baby, and also to herself. Motherhood creates a lot of emotional, mental, and even physical changes that can unexpectedly impact a mom in unforeseen ways.
There is nothing wrong with a mom reaching out for help, or others offering help to a mom, to keep baby and mom safe from danger. Unchecked postpartum depression has needlessly led to mothers and babies being harmed.