things that matter

Things I Never Want To Hear Come Out Of Your Mouth During My Pregnancy

Six months into my pregnancy I started to realize that not only were my raging hormones out of control but also the endless unsolicited comments and advice from strangers about my body.  My small 4’11 frame and almost ten-pound baby made me an easy target for body comments and I soon began to feel as if I was in some kind of freak show. As if dealing with indigestion, lack of sleep, shortness of breath and constipation weren’t enough I had to experience adult bullying to a whole different level. On any given day I would receive five to seven comments about my belly or how tired I looked from strangers who never seemed to show interest in me before. It’s crazy how popular pregnancy can make someone become. I soon began to find ways of coping with people who tried to approach me.

As a way of coping, I began to not make eye contact with people who walked passed me in the hallway and I’d pretend I didn’t hear them speaking to me.

pregnant_sexy_ / Instagram

This didn’t work. After a few weeks of this, I felt like walking around with a huge sign that said,” I’m making a human, fuck off!” Instead, I started to walk around with huge bitch face that would make me look unapproachable. This didn’t work either. I would still have people wave me down from across the parking lot at work and say, “OH MY GOD! YOU LOOK HUGE!”

This growing inadequate feeling in me occurred mostly during work.

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It also led me to almost go on maternity leave early.

Instead, I dealt with it and decided to jot down a list of “Eleven Things to Never Tell a Pregnant Person.”

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Have a look and be sure to pass on what you learn to others who have a hard time keeping certain things to themselves when it comes to pregnant people.

1. “You look like you’re due now”

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Never pretend like you are a doctor and know just by looking at someone when their baby is due. 

Chances are you may be right but there is a huge chance that you may be wrong.

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The person may still have a few months to go. And besides, if she’s not your bestie, your cousin, your sister or your daughter, it really is none of your business when she’s due.

2. “OMG, WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?”

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This must have been one of my favorite ones. It was close to my due date and a complete stranger from work came up to me and asked me “When did this happen?” Last time I checked we all knew how babies were conceived. I should have given her a complete rundown of that intimate moment when my daughter was conceived. Instead, I ignored the comment and continued walking to my desk. If I have never spoken to you before chances are I don’t feel like telling you “when this happened.”

3. “I wasn’t as big as you when I got pregnant.”

We all know that comparing ourselves to other people is not the kindest thing to do. Everyone carries babies differently. Some people carry babies higher, lower wider or narrower.

4. “Every time I see you, you get bigger and bigger!”

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This must have been one of the ones that got to me the most. It was the same woman at work that kept telling me this comment. The first few times I would just nod and say yes. Until the last time when my raging hormones were full blast, I basically told her to cut it out. She had this look on her face of complete remorse and regret but I just about had it. The following time she saw me, instead of telling me how big I looked, she asked me if I needed anything from the store since she was on her way.

5. “You look so tired.”

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The times that I was told how tired I looked I had either spent all night awake due to my awake baby moving around all night. I would completely know when I was not feeling like myself and usually when someone told me I looked tired it was something I already knew.

6. “Can you stand up so I can see how big you are?”

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Now, people, pregnant people are not here for our amusement. If it’s not right to ask a non-pregnant person to stand up to see their body, it’s not okay to ask someone who is pregnant to stand up so they can see your body. I refused to stand up to someone who asked me this. I stated that I was not going to stand up because my body was not going to be displayed for judgment.

7. “Once the baby gets here, you will never sleep for the rest of your life. ”

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The fact of the matter is that you do get to sleep, you just have to sleep when the baby sleeps and you have to have a partner that is willing to wake up in the middle of the night to let you have a good night’s sleep…

…I also know parents of four-year-olds who sleep from seven to eight hours at night.

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I remember my mother sleeping endlessly when we were in high school. Once you hit your thirties, like me, you no longer sleep well anyways. Before I had my baby, I would function on four hours of sleep due to just insomnia. The fact of the matter is, no matter what, you will survive and when other people instill fear in you it is a reflection of the things they have to deal with.  

8.“I know someone who almost died during labor.”

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For some reason when you are pregnant everyone starts telling you all the tragic birth stories they had and, even if it’s their best friend’s friend’s great aunt who had a tragic birth story, they want to tell you that one too. Chances are this is not going to soothe mama into feeling confident about going into labor. I think we live in such a panic-stricken world that perpetuating these stories is a norm. However, positive stories of birth may be a better way of empowering an expecting mama.

9. “Will you have another baby after this?”

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Chances are pregnant mama is not thinking this far ahead and just trying to overcome this pregnancy. This is a very interesting question that I hear so much. Children require so much time, money and attention. It is a big personal decision to bring a child into the world and an even bigger decision to bring additional children to the world. Only father and mother can decide if they have the tools to make this happen. Usually, it takes time to decide. I feel this can be a very personal topic that can only be genuinely be discussed between close friends and family.

10. “Are you having twins?”

pregnant_sexy_ / Instagram

This is a difficult question to hear especially if you are not having twins. I heard this about five times during my pregnancy. I would always ask myself if I was doing something wrong in what I was eating or how I was nourishing my body. But, the fact of the matter is that everyone carries babies differently.

11. “Man, I can’t picture myself starting all over at your age.”

singaporemotherhood / Instagram

The beautiful thing about life is that not everyone walks the same path. Some people get to have children young when they find their life partners at a young age in high school or college. For others, it may take a longer time to realize you want to be a mom or it may take longer to find the partner you can picture yourself having children with. The sooner we realize that and accept each other the sooner these unnecessary comments will happen.

I believe it is inappropriate to make any kind of comment on anyone’s body whether they are pregnant or not.

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But next time you decide on making a body comment, or another negative comment to a pregnant person,  take into account that her hormones are working extra hard to keep their baby alive. She may already know that she’s gained all the weight you told her she looks like she’s gained and she may have had someone tell her the same exact thing the day before or that same day. Just chill, please.

Next time you plan on making a comment to a pregnant person make sure it is something she might not have heard that day like…

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“You are doing an amazing job!” or “ isn’t it amazing how strong a person’s body is? You should feel so proud of yourself!

Pregnant people don’t get enough recognition for the daily hard work.

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They have to put up with not only make a baby but to also, for some, going to work and or taking care of additional children. This is all while their bodies are working overtime to make and protect a life. Be kind to the pregnant people in your life and please be aware of the things that come out of your mouth.


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More Undocumented Women Are Having Miscarriages While Being Detained Under The Trump Administration

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More Undocumented Women Are Having Miscarriages While Being Detained Under The Trump Administration

Conditions inside an immigration detention center are far from pleasant. They can also be worse than a jail cell. For the countless of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum or waiting to be released from these so-called hieleras (which means ice box in Spanish for their freezing temperatures) can unfortunately be the difference between life and death.

Last week a 24-year-old immigrant from Honduras had a stillborn baby six months into her pregnancy inside an immigration detention center. Politicians and organizations are now seeing that stillborn causalities and miscarriages is not isolated incidences but rather a problematic trend that has affected a number of pregnant detained women.

A new report shows that undocomunted women are experiencing more miscarriages while being detained has doubled under the Trump Administration.

Congressman Joaquin Castro and Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus said in a press release made available to us that “Medical experts have stated that detention centers do not have the necessary medical facilities to properly care for expectant mothers and that they should be released in a timely manner.” However, that hasn’t been the case. Pregnant women are detained for longer periods of time rather than be released.

Rep. Castro said that because the Trump Administration continues to detain pregnant women instead of releasing them, that is resulting in higher number of miscarriages.

“Last year the Trump Administration announced that it would detain most pregnant migrants instead of releasing them as the previous administration chose to do,” Rep. Castro said. “As a result of this cruel policy change, we have heard several alarming stories of pregnant women receiving inadequate medical care and even miscarrying while in DHS custody. These tragedies make one thing very clear: ICE and CBP should not be detaining expectant mothers in poor conditions, and the practice of detaining these women is inhumane and inconsistent with our values as Americans. We must examine the circumstances of the unfortunate and disturbing loss of this mother’s child. These agencies should reverse the policy changes that are hurting expectant mothers and instead work to protect the health and safety of all immigrants.”

To show the increase of miscarriages under the Trump Administration: 10 undocumented women had miscarriages between  October 2016 and September 2017. During the same review the following year, 18 undocumented women had miscarriages, the Daily Beast reports. That means the number continues to increase.

In 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and seven other organizations filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and its Office of Inspector General detailing the conditions for all detained people.

“There is a troubling pattern of medical negligence and disregard for humanity in the way ICE and CBP are allowed to operate under the Trump Administration,” Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and the Hispanic Caucus Women’s Task Force Chair said in a statement made available to us. “I fear this tragedy could be a consequence of that negligence. I call on the Administration to be transparent and perform a thorough investigation, so we can know what exactly happened and what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future.”

READ: A Woman Who Had A Miscarriage Was Denied Access To Her Prescription Because Of A Pharmacist’s Beliefs

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As Mothers We Need To Stop Thinking ‘Pow-Pow’ And Chancla Culture Are An Acceptable Way Of Raising Our Kids

things that matter

As Mothers We Need To Stop Thinking ‘Pow-Pow’ And Chancla Culture Are An Acceptable Way Of Raising Our Kids

I’m what they call a millennial Latina mom. That means growing up I often endured the old school style of Latinos parenting where chanclas and “quieres pow pows” were meant to be the end all be all of “bad” behavior. Today, even despite the fact that the American Academy of Pediatrics has voiced their strong opinion that corporal punishment, physically disciplining your child, isn’t just inappropriate parenting, you can still find in our culture memes and jokes about la chancleta. And while the rate of spankings have gone down in recent years, polls have shown that those “good, hard spankings” that you might have “turned out alright” in spite of can cause long-term harm.

Here’s a look at the reasons why we have to stop spanking our kids.

Pow-pows teach the wrong lesson.

 
“Coco” / Walt Disney Pictures /Pixar Animation Studios

“It’s better to be feared than loved” is a sentiment often touted by managers and leaders who have an odd understanding of proper management. Mind you this phrase was also created by Niccolò Machiavelli a politician and philosopher who often encouraged dishonesty and the killing of innocents in certain situations in his work. Sure, this method of teaching which chancla culture stem from might encourage your child to cower at the sight of you when your raise a flip-flop but it also teaches them that you are not to be trusted particularly in a stage in their life when they are just learning.

Chanclas teach kids that they can get what they want by being physically violent.

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As parents, we’re physically stronger and bigger than our children. When we use our size to overpower our children and try to get them to behave a certain way we’re teaching them that to get what you want you can abuse those who are smaller and weaker than they are. This is a classic example of why kids who are often abused at home often go to school and end up bullying their peers.

The reason for the spanking gets lots on them.

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They may forget why they are being spanked in the first place. They’re doing so much to avoid #lachancla that they can’t even fathom why they are in trouble.

Adults can lose control when expressing anger physically.

 
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When you give yourself a chance to hit your child you put yourself at risk of being an abusive parent. As adults we often experience so much stress and have a hard time coping as it is when we are frustrated, upset, sad or tired. When we start to hit our kids during moments of stress, our minds ultimately begin to associate the feeling as a release for the mind. Soon enough you could look to abusing your kid as a way to stop feeling stressed out.

It could damage your relationship with your child.

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Studies on the effects of physical punishment have found that the more spankings a child receives, the more likely they are to become defiant towards their parents and authorities, which means a decrease in the quality of their relationships with their parents.

You may not get the reaction you are looking for.

“Coco” / Walt Disney Pictures /Pixar Animation Studios

When spanking a child it’s likely that your initial intent might be to correct your child’s poor behavior, but what extents will you go in the moment of punishment if the reaction you want doesn’t happen?

You become the bully

 
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Kids are resilient and remember everything. Why let them think of you like that? After so long they will start to remember. Why become the bully instead of the parent?

Disrupting their self-confidence

 
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It’s almost like being in a relationship and feeling like you are emotionally being tortured. That’s what it’s like for kids. Even though they lose to test you and think everything is funny. Doing this constantly just is not.

You’re bullying a future child who will go onto get bullied by others

 
SaludAmerica / Twitter

Then parents wonder why their kids are being bullied. Even being yelled at furiously. Many kids end up becoming the bullied from being bullied at home. What’s more, children are more likely to become adult victims of abuse when they are older if they think that their parent’s abusive behavior is appropriate.

They won’t be a leader

 
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Growing up I was always taught the future of a Latina is being a leader. When you instill bullying or fear how is your child going to be a leader when you aren’t?

You’re not strong

 
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Spanking your kids can cause kids to think about all the pain they have to endure instead what they should focus on.

It’s really not that funny

 
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La Chancla is classic even to Latinos. All in all, it’s not as funny as many people put it.  Realizing this is not a funny way to discipline will help in the long run.

Older peers aren’t that powerful

 
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Every generation is different. It’s okay to give lessons to your parents or grandparents gave you. Have your own form of parenting to make your own mark.

I don’t want to be that parent

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As a mother I don’t want to be pushed so using positive reinforcement is the way to go or you do end up feeling like spanking is the way to go.

Our world is already full of violence

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Fueling to the fire isn’t what Latinos are about. We want peace even within our families. We don’t want to be the stereotype on why the world is the way it is. This all starts at home.

I’m not the reason why mental health is out of control

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Our kids are the future. This means their mental health can become at stake when spanking as a form discipline.

I’m not their friend but I am their role model

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This is the main part of being a Latino mom. Uplifting to do better than what you had. Even if you had a great life before motherhood.

 You’re raising an influencer

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Making sure your child knows their worth is important. By spanking your kids you may instill a notion that they aren’t.

 It’s the 2000’s, not 1950!

 
I Love Lucy

Things have changed. That even includes parenting. It was okay to spank your kids but after all this time look at what it has put on our society and our future. What does it really teach you as a Latina Mom. Be strong and better than that.

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