The Amish community leads a very simple life free of modern technologies. Although a high population of them live in Canada, locals are sure to find many in Ohio and Pennsylvania in the US. The Amish have a strong devotion to their religion and beliefs, which call for them to work hard, maintain discipline at all times, and practice humility. It is for these reasons that they do not own things such as cars, televisions, radios, computers, and mobile phones, since they believe such things will bring about inequality.
The Amish strongly believe in the family unit, and they revolve their own life around family. They often have large families because they consider this to be a blessing from God. Children only attend school up to eighth grade, and once they graduate, the boys start doing things separately from girls. The boys join the men while they start learning how to work, while the girls remain at home with their mothers learning how to maintain the home. The purpose of this is to instruct and train them in their future duties as husbands and wives.
Many people often wonder how Amish moms make it through pregnancy, childbirth, and raising children without modern conveniences, but they sure do succeed. However, though the Amish have a rich culture and a unique way of life, there are definitely Amish moms who can adopt some new practices that can make their lives so much easier without necessarily contradicting their traditions.
Here are 20 things every Amish mom must do in 2019!
20 Monitor Her Monthly Calendar
Amish moms take the “go forth and multiple” dictate to heart. They do not believe in birth control because they see children as a blessing and a gift from God. Most Amish moms have around 10 to 20 children. Large families are greatly valued, as stated by mindfulmamma.
Amish moms can use breastfeeding as a form of birth control although it is not 100% effective. What Amish moms can do in 2019 is monitor their monthly calendars and note the days they are likely to conceive. This ensures that they do not get pregnant with one child after the other. This way they are also able to space out their children and control the number.
19 Pick Out An Interesting Name For Her Newborn
Amish moms can take part in deciding what name their child gets to have. According to theamishnextdoor, they are supposed to give their kids names used by extended family members. If they do not want these, they should pick modest names that are not very fancy. Most of them are those found in the Bible.
They also do not give middle names to their children. Families who need to give their children middle names normally use initials instead. Amish moms in 2019 must pick out interesting modest names from their family tree and rid their families of names that became outdated centuries ago.
18 Sew Comfortable Baby Clothing
Amish moms should wear long dresses that cover most of their bodies. Their dresses should only have hook and eye closures or straight pins to hold them in place but not buttons or zippers. As stated by thetalko, buttons are a way of showing off, which goes against their values. Some communities will even limit their dress code to a specific color.
Their children’s dressing must also follow the same set of rules. In 2019, Amish moms should look for alternatives to using hook and eye closures or straight pins on their children’s clothing. The two present serious hazards and may be uncomfortable for the babies. They can use ties and do away with hooks and pins altogether, but should let them remain simple.
17 Dress Her Children According To The Weather
Dress code is an important topic in the Amish community. Moms must wear clothes that are of plain material, not transparent or form-fitting. The dresses should not have low necklines or be short sleeved. They should also cover their hair in a white or black prayer cap.
These rules apply to their children as well. According to amishquilter, when a baby is born he or she is dressed in a hand-sewn Amish quilt and wrapped in a blanket which can sometimes be too warm for the newborn baby. In 2019, Amish moms should try to dress their children according to the weather and still abide by their dress code.
16 Have A Doctor On Standby
Amish moms give birth at home mostly because they do not believe in modern meds and technology, and it is too expensive for them. Most women will usually have their husbands, a catcher, and a midwife to help with the birthing process. Since the Amish religion prevents children from getting a higher education, catchers do not get an education either, neither can they use any medical equipment or administer meds, according to mindfulmama.
Although there are a few Amish women who go to hospitals, in 2019, the majority should start embracing the idea of delivering in the hospital. They can also opt to have a doctor present in their home births so that they can promptly take care of any complications that may arise.
15 Attend Prenatal Checkups
When Amish moms get pregnant, they do not announce their pregnancies; only their husbands and midwives should be aware of their state, according to theclever. They are not anti-doctors per se, but they prefer using midwives instead. Amish moms will only see their midwife at the beginning of the pregnancy or wait until much later to see a doctor.
However, in 2019, Amish moms should attend regular prenatal checkups. These checkups are important for monitoring pregnancy and informing Amish moms of the important steps they should take to protect their unborn babies. Most Amish moms do not go to the doctors because it is costly; nevertheless, they should visit experienced midwives in their community on a monthly basis.
14 Feed Her Children When Hungry
According to momthemuse, Amish children do not have the freedom other kids have of refusing to eat what their mothers have prepared for them. Amish moms cannot imagine their children refusing to eat whatever food they have put on their plates. They do not have discussions with their children on what food to prepare.
One other thing Amish moms do not do is give their children snacks in between meals — this is something they should reconsider in 2019. They believe snacking interferes with their appetite for the main meals. They need to understand that when children play, they use up a lot of energy. Healthy snacking provides them with the needed energy, boosts their well-being, and prevents them from staying hungry for longer periods.
13 Start Breastfeeding From Day One
Amish moms believe that they should not breastfeed their babies on the first day after giving birth. They believe that they do not have the milk supply, so they consciously decide not to nurse until the next day. As claimed by thetalko, some moms give their babies jello water or watermelon seed tea, which they believe has the ability to prevent jaundice.
In 2019, Amish moms must start breastfeeding immediately after giving birth. Breastfeeding encourages the mother to start bonding with her baby. Babies are alert after birth and will spontaneously seek to nurse, even without any influence from other people, according to betterhealth. Giving them tea or jello water interferes with exclusive breastfeeding and delays bonding.
12 Nurse Her Baby More
As we have already noted, Amish moms cannot use contraceptives, instead, they can use breastfeeding as a natural way to space out their children. While this method is effective for some mothers who are breastfeeding exclusively, it is not 100 percent effective. Some moms can end up getting pregnant even before the nursing child gets to one year, as stated by moms. The problem with this is that she has to stop breastfeeding the older one to take care of her pregnancy.
Amish moms will let an older sibling take care of the infant sibling. People have spotted older siblings bottle-feeding their infant siblings with what is probably animal milk. In 2019, Amish moms should breastfeed more often as it is healthy for their babies and helps with family planning.
11 Give Her Children Some Freedom
Amish moms are in charge of raising their kids. When boys are old enough, they usually go with their fathers to work while the girls stay behind with their moms farming and cleaning. However, Amish children grow under very strict rules, and their moms worry so much about them when they break for rumspringa, as claimed by nationalgeographics.
When Amish children turn 16, they get two years of freedom to explore the world and break some of their Amish rules; this period is what is called rumspringa. In 2019, Amish moms must give their children supervised freedom as they grow so that they avoid going overboard during rumspringa.
10 Treat All Her Children Equally
Many circles believe there to be a lot of repression in the Amish community and no one is allowed to talk about it. Men are the heads of their families and if they make decisions, their women must oblige and not argue. Even in church, women are not allowed to participate — men take on all roles, according to thetalko.
Many believe that if the church is presented with a case between a girl and a boy, it will always side with the boy and shun the girl. The girls often tend to remain silent victims. In 2019, Amish moms should look for ways to speak out and ensure that all their children are treated fairly.
9 Be Gentle With Childless Women
Amish women are not allowed to be childless. According to amishamerica, childlessness is considered sinful. Any woman who refuses to be married or refuses to have kids is shunned from the community. Although they do not talk about infertility, childless women are shunned secretly. Women must have children no matter what, and not just one but several.
However, moms and the community at large must stop being harsh to those women who are not able to bear children. Since they are not allowed to seek modern treatments, the community needs to embrace all women and the health complications each might have and give them other roles.
8 Play With Baby In The Privacy Of Her Room
Amish moms are not allowed to make any facial expressions in public, and they should not make their children dolls with faces on them. The Amish strongly believe that God is the creator of people and their faces, and they cannot play God by making faces on dolls.
According to nationalgeographic, this custom also appeals to the community's critical perspective on pride and vanity. Nonetheless, babies require a lot of playtime with their moms in order to foster brain development. Therefore, in 2019, moms must play with their babies even if it is in the privacy of their rooms for the benefit of their children.
7 Enjoy And Discuss Pregnancy
Amish moms hide their bumps throughout their pregnancies as stated by mindfulmama, as pregnancy is a taboo subject in the culture. The term pregnant is not used, a phrase like “with child” is more appropriate. News of pregnancy should only be between the husband, the wife, and a midwife. Even as people begin to notice the growing belly, the pregnancy is a topic that is not up for discussion.
Nevertheless, in recent times, Amish moms must enjoy their pregnancy and discuss it with close friends and family that they confide in. Not everyone in the community has to know. They can share concerns and experiences with other mothers especially those that are going through the same thing.
6 She Should Take It Easy While Pregnant
Amish moms grow with a different set of rules compared to other moms. While most moms take it easy those last few days before they deliver, Amish moms will often continue with their daily chores around the house until they give birth, according to amishquilter.
Amish moms are supposed to work on their farms and do all house chores even when they are heavily pregnant. A lot of farm work requires heavy lifting, which can lead to pregnancy complications.
In 2019, Amish moms must avoid overworking themselves while pregnant. In any case, the older children can help with the heavy chores and let mom put her feet up even if it is for a few minutes.
5 Take Her Children To Hospital For Checkup
The Amish community, as a whole, rarely uses modern medicine; they avoid going to hospitals mostly because it is expensive and may need a vehicle to take them. When they fall ill, moms use herbal medicine for treatment because they have extensive knowledge with herbal treatments and the use of traditional oils. Traditional treatments are good for small illnesses but they are not effective for major illnesses.
As also stated by amishamerica, women only have home births and their babies do not go for regular checkups. In 2019, moms should take their children for at least annual check-ups to ensure they are developing properly. They should also take their children to hospital in times of emergencies.
4 Keep A Scrapbook For Memories
Amish moms do not take photos as they believe they promote vanity. According to nationalgeographic, they also believe that photographs are “graven images.” However, some communities are different; they do not mind other people taking their photos, as long as they hide their faces. Pictures captured in a natural setting are also not acceptable.
Developing photos is thus challenging especially for moms who want to keep memories of their children growing up. In 2019, what such moms can do it create a scrapbook for each child and stick items like their umbilical cord stump, hand and footprints, drawings, paintings, and anything that would remind them of their kids growing up.
3 Celebrate Pregnancy
In the Amish community, babies are a joy to both its family and everyone in the community. Everyone rejoices upon the arrival of the new bundle of joy and shower the baby with simple gifts. However, no one celebrates moms for carrying a pregnancy and no one talks to them about it. Amish moms do not have baby showers.
According to amishquilter, the community does not focus on a single event in honor of one person; this is unnecessary to them and against their values and culture. However, in 2019, Amish moms should embrace celebrating each other’s bumps with close women friends and family.
2 Promote Family Time And Cook Healthy Meals
Amish moms hold a very important role in the family unit since they are arguably the pillars of their families. They cook, clean, knit clothes, and grow the food the family eats as stated by amishamerican. Amish moms prepare healthy fresh meals, every single day and will normally set the table for the entire family to sit together. The family normally takes advantage of this time to talk about each other’s day.
In 2019, Amish moms must continue with this tradition. In the US today, most moms do not cook, neither do they encourage the sharing of meals in their families. Some have even adopted takeout meals, which are mostly unhealthy. Modern moms can learn a thing or two from Amish moms who cherish family time.
1 Sing To Her Babies
Amish moms do not allow their children to play any musical instruments. According to nationalgeographic, this is because these instruments are viewed as a means of self-expression, which according to them, shows pride and superiority, both of which are a no-no in their community.
Amish kids grow up not knowing anything about music instruments. However, in 2019, Amish moms can choose to sing to their little ones. Singing to babies has many benefits. It lulls them to sleep as well as stimulates their language and cognitive development. No instruments are required for this and therefore no rules are disobeyed.
Sources: amishquilter.com, mindfulmamma.co.uk, amishamerica.com, moms.com, nationalgeographic.com.au, theamishnextdoor.com, thetalko.com, theclever.com, amishculture.weebly.com, betterhealth.vic.gov.au, momthemose.com