If I was in Brazil…

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… I wouldn’t have handled motherhood so well (?).

I’ve been reading so many blogs of first-time parents, new mums, experienced mums with new babies, etc, and I’m really impressed with some stories. Dear non-Brazilian readers: did you know that in Brazil we sterilize the bath tub? Some people even use filtered water. Some people – and my mum was really shocked here – even clean the nipples with whatever product before each feed. Some people make all visitors wash their hands before touching their babies. And some parents won’t hold their babies without a muslin square protecting their faces against the clothes. Some people iron every single piece their baby’s clothes and not only to look nice.

All good. I was raised in this country, so I felt uncomfortable with the relaxed attitude in the UK – and dare I say, in Europe. Yes, people should wash their hands and midwives and health visitors do. But nobody else. When I asked about what product I should use to clean my nipple before feeding Laura, the midwife open her eyes and laughed at me. The lady at the hospital who gave Laura’s first bath didn’t sterilized the bath tub.

So, after the initial “hmmmm, not sure about this”, I’m adapted and thankful to the local habits. It’s just too much work without the extra work. Laura is fine and healthy and probably with more anti-bodies I had at her age.

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2 responses »

  1. You would’ve handled it just fine!
    I never sterilized any tub, Lia takes showers with us since a month old!
    And I don’t do any of the things you’ve said but iron all her clothes (and only because I used to have a maid)!
    You have the chance to be a relaxed mom here in Brazil or a neurotic mom there in Europe too, it’s a choice you make! I’m okay doing what I do, which isn’t much some might say, my daughter has her first cold ever (and she’s 14 months old) and that’s all the sickness she’s ever had!

    • I know, but I would suffer terribly with guilt! I wouldn’t handle the pressure from my mum and others around telling me to sterilize this and that, not go out after 6pm, don’t go out with the baby before she is 3 months old, etc etc. And when you grow thinking that X is right (like I thought that sterilizing bath tubs was right and using filtered water for the bath), it’s hard to go with Y, unless an “especialist” tells you otherwise. And I’m thankful for the midwives here that told me otherwise. Because it’s very hard to be neurotic in a different country without much help from maids and family. 😦 On the other hand, people here made me paranoid about not overheating her (but there’s no chance in the world that she can be overheated because in this country the temperatures are rarely above 20C!!). Oh well, the worst part of being a mum is dealing with the guilt… For me at least.

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