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Pregnancy and Motherhood - The Code Of Silence

Updated on July 23, 2010

What You Don't Learn In Prenatal Classes

With my first grandchild on the way I am of course, wanting to add my advice to the litany of advice my daughter is and will be receiving. In thinking back, way back, to my own experience with my first pregnancy, which just happened to be when I was carrying her it seems to me that there is a Code Of Silence that women have either knowingly or unwittingly been party to for centuries. With the internet and all the books on the subject and every second star in Hollywood reproducing or adopting, my daughter already has far more access to information than I ever did. With that being said, I have noticed that the Code Of Silence, “Why didn’t somebody tell me this would happen?” that I distinctly remember calling out to whomever in the big beyond answers questions such as these is still very much in play.

A Code of Silence is a program that is meant to hide, deny, distract, bury, obfuscate or trick another or a group of others into going to agreement with an image or a vision of one’s self or the group in order to have another or others view one or the group in a certain way. Families and organizations and businesses have lots of these things running in the background to ensure that they will be viewed only as they want to be seen and not as they are. A Code of Silence is absolutely necessary for example when one is “Keeping Up With The Joneses” or when a company wants to project a certain “Corporate Image”.  Herein I will address the Code of Silence surrounding pregnancy.

Pregnant Silence

Nobody ever told me while I was pregnant:

- That morning sickness is a misnomer – it doesn’t happen just in the morning

- That raw turnips and pomegranates taste good together – who would have thought?

- That you will get the bust line you always dreamed of having – BUT!!

- That you will wear flip flops regardless of the weather because – your feet GROW

- That you will stab your nephew in the back of the hand with your fork when he reaches for the last piece of whatever left on the serving plate - someone should have warned both you and anyone who ventures between you and a plate of food

- That the first thing you will greet someone with when you go somewhere new is, “Where is your washroom?” – HOW RUDE

- That any heartburn you may have experienced prior to pregnancy should be called something else because – IT ISN’T HEARTBURN!

- That a store manager will follow you around the store the entire time you are in there simply because when he asked you your due date you answered “Today” after you had grabbed onto a shelf to steady yourself only because the baby’s heel was pressing on your sciatic nerve.

- That people you have never seen before in your life will want to touch your belly.

- That people you do not even know will call you mommy – GROWN PEOPLE!


Pregnant Pause

The Code of Silence continues through the birth of your first child. It is not enough that there is a pregnant pause in the vital communication one would hope to receive the Code of Silence is the gift that keeps on giving!

Nobody told me that after the baby was born:

- That regardless of the state of my self esteem or self worth or self anything else prior to giving birth that once you have you feel like in all of creation NOBODY has created a miracle such as the one you just produced!

- That any angst you may have put yourself through getting changed for gym class was an utter waste of time and energy.

- That even though you stretched like some huge elastic in places that you didn’t even know would or could stretch that unlike an elastic, your body does not snap back into its former shape (I feel this one is added to by the fact that there are Hollywood mums on the front of numerous magazines wearing next to nothing, snuggling their new born infants and looking just like they did BEFORE!)

- That diapers evolve leaving the ones you put on your younger siblings as “a thing of the past” and you don’t have a clue how these “new fangled” ones work.

- That when you go to the hospital nursery with the “new fangled” diaper hanging half off your baby who you have held out in front of you like Simba you will get some very stunned expressions from the nurses if your raised arms are stuck through the slits of your nursing gown while the sleeves lay lifeless at your side.

- That soon after above the above stated episode the doctor advises you that you will be staying in the hospital an extra two days and hot on his heels are the nurses telling you that they will be teaching you “a few things” before you take your baby home – like how to dress maybe?

- That your sit me down place definitely feels as though it shouldn’t be sat upon at all - nobody says anything at all about the "doughnut" - NOTHING!

- That your milk doesn’t just “drop” for your own baby rather it “drops” for any baby within earshot

- That your expanded rib cage remains forever expanded

- That there are a few other body changes that I can’t bring myself to break the silence on here except to say that your partner notices them – but any man worth his salt says NOTHING!

This leaves me with a further step and that is to collect data as to why this Code of Silence exists. Why ladies have we gone into agreement with not passing these valuable insights on to the generations of mothers that will follow us into the Mother of All Hoods? My theory is the reasons lie somewhere between Immaculate Conception and Hollywood!


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    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      I remember the breast feeding - my mum was appalled by it - only those who could not afford to bottle feed resorted to that "disgusting" method. She also insisted that I have the doctors "put me out" after all she was "put out" for all four of hers, trouble with that is she stayed put out! I opted to be present! And I stayed present with my children. Decisions can have far reaching consequences! As for somber, I have given that mood level a good go when social circumstances require it of me. My problem is that my attempts to remain somber tend to find my suppressed laughter escaping through my nose thus producing some very socially unacceptable noises! I have yet to master somber!

      Thank you for your comments and your sharing. Glad you enjoyed.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Better than a puppy!!!!! oh, my - toooo funny!! I'll be revealing my age - (again) when I tell you that one of the most distressing things to me was that all the doctors and nurses were set to administer something to dry up my milk! Yes! It was out of fashion to breast-feed a baby!! Other new mothers - well women of that peerage in general - had bought into some weird idea that it was "ANIMALISTIC". Well - of course it is - we're mammal animals! Having babies is animalistic! Good Grief. I persuaded them I'd have it no other way, but suspect they managed to slip me something because I had trouble at first - milk "caking" - (now that HURTS!) - but I was absolutely determined.

      And my new son would have it no other way, either, even when my in-laws tried to deny me even that time with him. He pushed the bottles they tried to give him out of his mouth with his tongue. In fact he was so anti-bottle, I had to teach him to drink his water and juices out of a cup very young! He just wouldn't take a bottle!

      I laughed so hard at the marvelous humor all through this, raisingme! I'd expected it to be very somber - but what a great hoot - true - but so funny!

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      You are most welcome! It was fun to write!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      You've got it, the code of silence hehe, it is for the pregnant women to discover, Thanks for this beautiful hub, Maita

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      I think you have definitely hit on one of them Ethel. I told myself for a long time it is because we forget and that's why we repeat the process, sometimes more than once! However, I cannot hide behind that one because I distinctly remember the expression on the nurse's face almost 28 years ago when I, in trying to express my enthusiasm at holding my newly born daughter blurted out, "This is so much better than a puppy!" Thanks for the votes. Hugs!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I had to vote on all four categories. This is hub is funny and informative but so much more. Perhaps the code of silence is because people would stop having babies if they knew the truth. Then again maybe it is the idea that- I went through it so can you lol