One thing I love about visiting new mothers in the hospital is the beautiful array of appetizers, finger foods, and beverages.
Wait, no. That’s not how this works.
Recently one member of our BabyCenter community posted about a questionable suggestion that came from one of her pregnancy apps.
Jvlr, who is currently 35 weeks pregnant, included the screenshot of the suggestion, which said, “As you pack your ‘emergency bags,’ don’t forget to pack some snacks as well. It’ll make your stay a little more pleasant and give your visitors something to munch on while they’re waiting their turns to hold the baby.”
The poster’s reaction was, as expected: “Wtf?! I’m not putting out chips and dip or a fruit platter, people!”
She then went on to explain that while she welcomes visitors, her visitors would never expect snacks. She wonders, though, if this type of article places needless pressure on first-time moms who might feel obligated to provide for hospital guests.
I wholeheartedly agree. I’m at the hospital for one job and one job only: to get a baby out of my uterus. I’m not there to provide a veritable Old Country Buffet for my co-workers and pals. If they want food, well … the hospital has a cafeteria. I hear the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is divine. Don’t forget to grab a cookie on your way out.
Dozens of people chimed in with support:
SeekingplanA said, “Seriously! I feel like it is a feminist issue – as if women preparing for labor need something else to worry about and another way to take care of other people instead of themselves!???”
Giantpumpkinkitty established a rule: “Sorry, food is the admission price to my hospital room. It does not guarantee baby snuggles, just looksies.”
It’s the “baby tax,” according to HM59401: “I’ve always been told that when you go meet someone’s new baby you should come with food in hand for them. Not something for YOU while you’re there, but food for THEM. It’s a well known Baby Tax.”
SarJo3311 dryly added, ”Oh thanks for stopping by! Don’t mind me while I pretend to have energy for this visit. I am so sorry for the wait, it will just be a moment while I pull the crudité platter and tiny quiches out of my hospital bag!”
Meanwhile, Arunningnewparent said simply, “Bitches better be bringing ME snacks.”
Yes, exactly. If you’re a hospital guest who requires a club sandwich and a bag of kettle chips while visiting a mom who just gave birth, then you should be happy to provide them. Because guess what the mom already provided? THE BABY.
There’s far too much pressure on expectant moms anyway. Pregnant women are told how they should give birth, how to make a birth plan, how to feed their child, if they should have or not have a career, how to balance that with family, even how to sleep — or not — with their baby. Enough already.
To whomever thought it necessary to advise pregnant women to play hostess while they prepare to expel a baby from their wombs, take your snacks and shove it.