Yes, it is a mind-blowing situation when you are a mom-to-be in a Lebanese zone. To begin with newly wedded couples, the moment they say “I do!”, they begin their battle with society’s oppression. You may think that reading too many books about it will prepare you well. However, it is overwhelming as much as it is staggering. This is what nobody tells you before having your first baby in Lebanon.
Set Boundaries. “!كثرو الطباخين”
The moment your baby pops out into the world, everyone around you feels like they are entitled to be your tutors, let alone your mother and mother in law. Do not #allow them.
Quoting the words of an insightful midwife at St. George Hospital in Achrafieh, “What is related to your child’s health, let there be a doctor to take care of. Do not allow any of your mom or mother in law to interfere.” It is also adviceful to keep in contact with your hospital in case you need consultancy at times that are difficult for your baby’s pediatrician.
Do Not Plan Your Delivery Method.
You can never tell how your baby will be delivered. Your gynecologist or midwife is authoritative in deciding on the healthiest method for you and for your baby. Yet, some women prefer vaginal labor over a C-section and try hard to deliver normally afraid of people’s opinions. Do not let society’s oppression strangle you, for your birth plan may not be as you expect.
Do Not Stress Over Weight Gain in Lebanon.
“Wow! You’re huge!” Hearing this while pregnant will not make a mom-to-be feel good, especially in societies that throw attention to style and hot looks – the Lebanese society.
In all pregnancies, weight gain is inevitable. Some women gain more weight than others, and it all depends on a woman’s body type. New moms will assert you that the access weight will be gone easily after labor, so disregard people’s judgments and be happy about yourself and about your maternity life. Carla Vartanian, a Lebanese nutritionist, says, “Losing weight ….[is] about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood and keeping yourself as healthy as possible!”
Nursing Is Not Easy for You and Your Baby.
It takes much practice for your baby to be able to latch on to your breast, and breastfeeding could be painful and overwhelming. Nurses and midwives at St. George Hospital recommend breast milk as a healthy diet for babies, but they assure new moms that no matter how important nursing is, their babies’ health is much more important.
You Are the Master of Your Own Baby in Lebanon.
Even if you are a new mom, you get to make the rules concerning your baby’s feedings, naps, and bath time schedules. Be consistent and do not allow anyone to interfere.
Your Baby’s Grandparents Love Your Baby as Much as You Do.
Even though you are the master, allow a loved one to help you along your new journey. Postpartum depression is common, so do not over-stress yourself and pass on your rules to a grandparent who loves your baby as much as you do.
Remember that You Will Be a Great Mom in Lebanon.
Even if you have no clue about taking care of newborns, once you have your baby, you will realize that you have the motherly instinct. You will notice that there is no one in the world who understands your baby more than you.
Living in a community where people interfere in everybody’s lives is overwhelming, especially that there is no way you can pull yourself out of it. Remember to keep your personal life as private as you can and merely reveal what makes you feel happy and true to others.