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Family

12 hilariously relatable comics about life as a new mom.

Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

Some good not so good moments with babies.



Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

Illustrator Ingebritt ter Veld and Corinne de Vries, who works for Hippe-Birth Cards, a webshop for birth announcements, had babies shortly after one another.


In the series "#ThingsOnlyMomsKnow" Ingebritt and Corinne depict the reality of motherhood — with all the painful, funny, and loving moments not always talked about.

1. Pee-regnant.

pregnancy, family, bathroom breaks, comedy

Expectant moms plan for the bathroom.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

2. How (not) to sleep.

sleep habits, body changes, hormones, relationships

Learning how to go with the flow.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

3. Cry baby.

mood swings, empathy, relationship advice, funny

Moms can be emotional... and dads too.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

4. The new things that scare you...

maternity, prenatal care, postpartum depression, raising kids

Falling in love with the necessary conveniences.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

5. ...and the new things that give you the creeps.

gender roles, social issues, respect, pregnancy

People have the ability to make normal situations feel weird.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

6. Being a new mom can get a little ... disgusting.

pregnancy test, birth control, moms, relationship advice

The convenience of a pregnancy tests is also peeing on a stick.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

7. And every mom has experienced these postpartum horror stories.

bladder control, body transformation, human miracles, body positivity

Taking advantage of two bodily functions at one time.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

8. There are many, many memorable firsts.

infants, adults, baby poo, intestinal gas

Walking into a house with babies... yep.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

9. Getting to know your post-baby body is an adventure.

lactation, friendship, me time, breast pump

Have a spare shirt ready to go.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

10. Pumping ain't for wimps.

convenient pregnancy aids, pumping, breast feeding, baby formula

Looking behind the magic of a breast pump.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

11. You become very comfortable with spit-up. Very comfortable.

possetting, infancy,

No need to duck.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

12. Your body, mind, and most importantly, heart, will expand in ways you didn't know possible.

body and mind awareness, love, family, mothers

There are going to be changes.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

This story first appeared on Hippe Birth Cards and is reprinted here with permission.


This article originally appeared on 09.13.17

Family

A mom seeks doctor's help for postpartum depression and instead gets a visit from the cops

Too many women lose out on much needed support because of unwarranted stigma.

Canva

Postpartum depression is very common, and treatable.

Jessica Porten recently visited her doctor four months after giving birth to her daughter, Kira. She wasn't feeling quite like herself.

She had been dealing with overwhelming sadness and fits of anger, which she knew was likely stemming from a case of postpartum depression.

In a Facebook post, Porten recounts the story of that appointment.


"I tell them I have a very strong support system at home, so although I would never hurt myself or my baby," she writes. "I’m having violent thoughts and I need medication and therapy to get through this."

In other words, she went to her doctor to ask for help for an extremely normal and treatable issue that affects an estimated 1 million women in the U.S. each year in one form or another.

But instead of getting help, as Porten tells it, the office did something pretty unexpected: They called the police.

Because of her admission to "violent thoughts," staff wanted the police to escort Porten to the ER for evaluation.

The cops, according to Porten, were skeptical of the need for their presence when they arrived and allowed her to drive herself to the hospital.

But the ordeal continued.

"We arrive at the ER and I’m checked in, triaged, blood drawn. I am assigned a security guard to babysit me," she writes.

She says she waited for over an hour to get a room, all while wrangling her months-old baby. After some brief tests, a lot of waiting, and a super-short interview with a social worker, she was deemed mentally fit enough to be discharged.

Porten and her 4-month-old didn't leave the hospital until after midnight.

The worst part? Porten never got the help she asked for.

depression

Postpartum depression is as serious as the stigma it carries

Canva

In addition to the undue stress and wasted time, Porten left the hospital without having received any medical help whatsoever.

"Not once during all of this has a doctor laid eyes on me," she writes. "Not once. Not even before they decided to call the cops on me."

Porten says that, for all her time and effort, she received some papers and pamphlets and was sent on her way.

"I’m still processing all of the emotions that are coming with being treated this way. I’m not exactly sure what to do here. I will say I am deeply hurt and upset, and above all angry and disgusted and disappointed by how this whole thing went down."

She also points out that if she had been a woman of color, her ordeal probably would have been even more drawn out and traumatic.

Postpartum depression is a serious issue - as is the stigma it carries.

Postpartum depression is common. The condition, and even the scary violent thoughts that sometimes accompany it, may even have an important evolutionary purpose. Some argue that new moms are on high alert for danger and that stress can sometimes visually manifest itself in their thoughts.

But, as with most mental health issues, postpartum depression can carry a lot of shame, embarrassment, and guilt for the women affected by it — leading them to ignore their symptoms instead of seeking help. One study even found that countries that don't recognize postpartum depression by name actually see women more likely to come forward with their symptoms.

Stories like Porten's show exactly why many women would rather suffer in silence than be poked, prodded, and treated inhumanely. And of course, not getting proper treatment will only make things wore.

It's time for a different approach.

It may be a common policy to call the police in the interest of the child's safety. But a policy that better addresses the mother's concerns and gets her the help she needs, without being shamed, is definitely a better way to go.

To get there, we need to help more honest and brave women feel comfortable coming forward about the aspects of postpartum depression that are hard to talk about. And we all need to better educate ourselves on the complexities of mental health issues and, more importantly, the human beings behind them.

You can find a link to Porten's post on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1021317492...


This story originally appeared on 01.24.18


A guy passes out on his bed eating pizza.

A 29-year-old woman had a baby girl, and after a brief maternity leave, she had to return to work. She couldn't afford childcare, so her husband, 35, reluctantly agreed to watch the baby while she was at work.

“It’s important to know that he’s been unemployed since 2021,” the woman wrote on Reddit’s AITA subforum. “He receives benefits. It’s also important to know that he’s extremely lazy. He doesn’t cook, clean, or help out in any way. I was nervous about leaving her home with her father, but I had no choice.”

The mother had reason to be worried about leaving her baby home alone with her husband, but in the beginning, things seemed fine. “When I came back from work, she was clean and sleeping. The next few times I came home, he was either playing with her, feeding her, or out for a walk with her. I was happy,” she wrote.


The mother thought things looked nice on the surface, but they weren’t as they seemed.

“A few days ago, my neighbor told me that as soon as I leave, the baby cries, and she cries for hours,” the mother wrote. “My neighbor said that she knocked on our door, and he finally answered it. He was sleeping. I concluded that he sleeps all day and right. Before I come home, he pretends to care for her.”

The mother hatched an elaborate plan to see if he was watching the baby or sleeping all day.

“I decided to take the day off of work. I left home at my regular time,” she wrote. “I waited 30 minutes and then went home. Sure enough, he was knocked out, sleeping with his stupid noise-canceling headphones on. I went to my daughter's room, scooped her up, and took her to my friend's house.”

Two hours later, she called her husband and said she was coming home. He was frantic because he couldn’t find the child and almost called the police. The wife then explained to her husband that she had taken the baby while he was asleep. When she got home his mother was there “calming his nerves,” and they both had strong words for the wife.

The husband went to live at his mother’s house, and their family members have been telling the wife that she’s a “terrible” person. She admits that her tactics may have been a bit “extreme” but doesn’t think she’s in the wrong.

Her husband was obviously neglectful and putting the baby in extreme danger, so it was commendable that the mom saw the situation for herself and took the baby to a safe place. However, the situation could have gotten worse if her husband had called the police and reported the kidnapping.

It probably would have been best if she had caught the husband sleeping and called him out for neglect instead of escalating the situation with a fake kidnapping. After the incident, the mother left her husband, took the baby to live with a friend, and is considering pressing charges against him.

The commenters on the Reddit thread overwhelmingly believed that the wife did the right thing by catching the husband in the act and leaving him.

"FYI, this isn't just a leave your husband because he sucks. You need to leave him before you loose your child. Neglect is abuse. Your neighbor was nice and called you instead of CPS. But if you stay with your husband they can take your child from you as well," mandytheratmom wrote. "So you managed to get inside the house and grab your child and he never noticed you? What if something happened to your kid while he had his noise-canceling headphones?!" Elderberryown666 added.

The mother responded to the repeated calls to leave her husband with a simple remark that sums up the whole story: "I’m done with him. He’s waiting for an apology."


Education

Nurse explains how babies breathe in utero and the internet is amazed

A new mom asked how babies practice breathing, and Nurse Jen delivered an answer that's blowing people's minds.

Nurse explains how babies breathe in utero.

There are so many questions out there that we don't realize we want to know the answers to until someone else asks. Once the question is in the vicinity of our ear holes, suddenly we're like, "Oh, yeah. How does that work?" That's pretty much how this TikTok video went for a lot of viewers, myself included.

I have had four (yes, four) children exit my body, and it never dawned on me to ask further than the initial question of how babies breathe in there. It's a question that most new moms either don't think to ask or ask only once and get a similar answer to the one I received, which is that they take in oxygen via their umbilical cord connected to the placenta, so they don't need to breathe in the traditional way we think of until after birth.

But when a new mom asked the people of the internet how her unborn baby was able to practice breathing without drowning, Jen Hamilton, an OB nurse, decided to answer in a video.


Hamilton starts off her response by guaranteeing she's about to blow the mom's "motherforking mind," and I can tell you from reading the comments, she's a promise keeper. Minds were blown. She explains that babies are covered in a thick waxy substance called vernix that protects their, "skin from falling off," while they hang out in amniotic fluid for months. But it's her explanation of how hiccups help babies practice breathing and how babies know it's time to breathe air that makes you appreciate how amazing the process is.

"Under your baby's lungs are a muscle called the diaphragm. Hiccups are a spasm of the diaphragm," the OB nurse explains. "Whenever we get hiccups it sucks air into our lungs really quickly, which is what makes that sound when air passes through our vocal cords." She goes on to explain that when babies get hiccups the spasm is expanding their lungs by filling with amniotic fluid, which is how babies practice breathing.

Hamilton continues her explanation of how babies know when to breathe on the outside while not needing to breathe on the inside.

"While your baby is inside of you, there are two vessels. These vessels bypass the lungs cause it's getting all of its oxygen from you," Hamilton says.

She isn't done leaving the internet with its collective mouth agape. Hamilton tells the mom about a nerve in the face of babies that helps them to know when to breathe. That is the most fascinating part, but you have to see her explain it because writing it out just wouldn't do it justice. Watch her brilliant explanation below.

@_jen_hamilton_

#stitch with @Cori