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Studies Say Latina Moms Struggle With Pregnancies In Ways That Are Unique To Themselves In Early Stages

By Diana R. Diaz

Welcome to motherhood! Whether you had a difficult pregnancy and delivery or not, you’ve officially crossed over into undeniably the best and hardest years of your life. As a mother myself (of boy-girl twins), I can tell you with all certainty, that nothing, I mean nothing, no book, no blog, no video, can adequately prepare you to ‘do motherhood’ the right way. Simply stated, there is no right way. Our bodies are different, our tolerance levels are different. 

I had a beautiful pregnancy and delivery but struggled tremendously in the weeks and months that followed. Sleep deprivation was harsh and my postpartum depression was oh-so-real. Most of which was triggered by the cultural pressure I felt to breastfeed when my body simply couldn’t. Inevitably I felt like a failure. Truth is, I tried. I tried a lot.  But with every attempt, I felt my mental and physical state take a toll for the worse. It led me into a very dark and lonely place. I share all about it in this video.  In retrospect, I realize that it didn’t have to be this extreme. And while there’s definitely no book with all the magic answers, here are my 3 Survival Tips for New Latina Moms to help you better cope with the unexpected twists and turns of early motherhood. 

1. Don’t Compare Yourself 

zianiarubi/ Instagram

Chances are, you’re exhausted, overwhelmed and quite vulnerable. And since this is your first time having a baby, you have no real measure or point of reference on how early motherhood ‘should’ be. With all this said, it can be easy to fall victim to the comparison game. You might’ve heard that your prima breastfed like a champ; that your tia used a specific baby formula that she swore by; or that your friend willingly and excitedly took 5 years off work to thrive as a stay at home mom. With the constant influx of information, you have to pause and remind yourself that your experiences are unique. As a new mom, you must harness the little energy you have and channel in the areas in your life that really need it. This way, your wellness remains a consistent priority. So next time, instead of thinking of how ‘fulana’ did something a certain way; pause and redirect your thoughts to: 

“Have I taken a shower today?” 

“Have I taken a few whole deep breaths today?”

“Have I looked in the mirror and told myself, wow good job today?” 

2. Breastfeed or Not – YOU Decide 

olaiasusperregi / Instagram

Listen, this isn’t easy. I personally wanted to breastfeed and dreamed of it being such a beautiful and painless experience. I went to all the classes and told myself, I will be like that woman smiling while simultaneously breastfeeding her newborn twins in the cover of a motherhood magazine. None of which actually happened because I soon learned I had hyper-sensitive nipples which made breastfeeding feel like death. Family and friends would kindly but firmly insist I keep trying. As a result, I fell into a feeling of deep sorrow. Ladies, don’t do this. YOU know your body better than anyone. If you are in unruly pain and you know in your gut that your attempts to breastfeed is deteriorating your mental and physical health, please listen to your body, even if it goes against what your mom, suegra or partner may think. Conversely, if you want to breastfeed and feel pressured to stop when you really don’t want to, listen to your gut. It’s important to note that all new moms struggle with breastfeeding. Some moms are total naturals. Other moms struggle a little in the beginning and soon get the hang of it. There are also a number of resources to help with breastfeeding and maternal wellness. My point isn’t to discourage breastfeeding, my point is to encourage self-awareness. 

3. Prioritize Self-Care

In the early months of motherhood, it’s easy to forget to think about yourself, or spending time away from your baby. For some, especially those part of the Latinx culture, this can feel like an absolute “sin”. Regardless, prioritizing self-care is vital to maintaining your mental and physical health. Self-care means different things to different people. Here are some easy ways you can prioritize self-care during early motherhood: 

  • Have a help plan. Yes, this means you should ask for help! Identify 2-3 friends and/or family members that can come and alternate once a week to help you with cleaning, cooking or babysitting while you do some self-care (not to be confused with friends and family that visit to meet the baby). 
  • If you can, hire help to clean and/or cook 
  • Take an extra-long hot shower with your favorite music on full blast 
  • Gym or yoga session once a week
  • Go for a long walk around the block with or without the baby
  • Go for a fast-food run and eat it in your car 
  • Sleep – preferably in a separate room or at a nearby friend’s house 
  • Say no to what doesn’t feel right in your gut 
  • Watch a feel-good movie 
  • Enjoy a pedicure or an actual body massage 
  • A quick drive to your favorite coffee place 

*shout out to my RAWW IG community for sharing their early motherhood self-care activities. 

Follow us on IG at @therawwnetwork 

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Women Are Sharing The Scariest Parts About Being A Woman

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Women Are Sharing The Scariest Parts About Being A Woman

Halloween is supposed to be the scariest time of year, but 2020 is a reminder that there are worse things than goblins and ghouls. From Pandemics to unhinged world leaders we’ve seen it all. Recently, we started wondering about this reality and how the concept of being constantly on edge might seem “new” to certain people: men. After all, as women, we know that in parts of a world our bodies are viewed as a threat or something that’s not worth cherishing.

We dug around Reddit to find out what the scariest part of being a woman tends to be for some and found some truly heartbreaking answers.

Check them out below.

“Walking alone to your car at nightlevel.” –smelly_and_stinky

“The fact that I really have no idea which men are going to lash out at me for not reciprocating their attention to me.”- apittsburghoriginal

“Like violently lashing out? I never got that. Like if a girl doesn’t reciprocate engagement..move on. Why get all bent out of shape, it’s not going to make a woman change her mind.” – qpalz11=

“Walking alone in a strange neighborhood… in the dark… thinking of all the ways you could imagine someone kidnapping you… and then selling you… and using you…” – kolett1996

“Dealing with whatever hormones throw at you.” – jecabells

“Men. Night. Men at night.” – girlwiththegoldendog

“Walking alone from the bar to your home drunk in a skirt at night and seeing only drunk men who are stronger than you.” – d-light8

“For me it would be giving birth. I have no kids (yet)…level 2Comment deleted by user.”ch1kita

“An unwanted pregnancy. What if I have sex and use all types of birth control and i STILL get pregnant. Or what happens if I’m raped and I get the morning after pill and for some weird reason it doesn’t work. I live in a liberal state so as long as I make a decision early on, I can get an abortion. But who would I share that information with, without being judged? And what if I’m not in a state that lets me get an abortion, what would happen to me? Every day is a struggle for me, so I fear that I would end up killing myself.” – Ojitheunseen

“You could get an IUD, use normal protection like male/female condoms, and then have the pill and abortion as a fallback. Seems foolproof.” – chaoticneutral_ju

“Pregnancy denial. Like “I haven’t have my periods in two months that’s so cool” and this idea crosses your mind before telling yourself “impossible, I’ve been single for more than nine months, everything ‘s OK.” Or as they said below : having to walk near a group of men at night and not being able to make a detour since they smoke right in front of your residence door.” – chaoticneutral_ju

“I hated the pregnancy and birth part. I had the best care, but I still felt like a piece of meat. I got tired from everyone sticking their hands up my vagina. Blood works. Sonograms. I got tired and exhausted from being in pain in my nether regions. To me, the amount of pain and the potential health risks to me and the baby – it was the scariest part. Having placenta fall out of you like in some National Geographic documentary. And then you have to check out if your blood clots aren’t too large. And when they are, you back into hospital, they push on your underbelly and nibble around in your vagina, to get them out. Argh I’m done. I’m glad I have both of my kids and I’m out of those woods. Fuck that shit.”- TortillasaurusRex

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Jada Pinkett Smith’s Mom Tells Her She Had Non-Consensual Sex with Star’s Dad

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Jada Pinkett Smith’s Mom Tells Her She Had Non-Consensual Sex with Star’s Dad

Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty

*Trigger Warning: this piece discusses domestic violence and rape and may be upsetting for some.*

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at1-800-656-4673. Or do an online chat.

Rape by a spouse or a partner is an act of physical violence that is often overlooked and under talked about. While there’s been a growth in international attention regarding marital rape it is often widely considered a “gray area” subject even in the many countries where it is illegal. Actress Jada Pinkett Smith learned a hard truth about marital rape affected her parents’ marriage this week in an exclusive clip on the Red Table Talk. Speaking with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her daughter Willow Smith, the actress spoke about non-consensual sex with partners.

In the latest episode of “The Red Table Talk,” Adrienne Banfield-Norris revealed that she had been raped in her marriage to Pinkett Smith’s father.

“So, Gam, you feel like nowhere in your history in regards to sexual intimacy have you felt like you had a sexual experience that was not necessarily consensual,” Pinkett Smith noted.

Banfield-Norris admitted “I have, I have, but it was also with my husband. Your dad, actually… So that’s really gray.”

Taking a moment to process, Pinkett Smith paused and that asked her mother to clarify “You’re basically saying you had non-consensual sex with my father,” she replied to her mother.

Banfield-Norris has noted how she became pregnant with Pinkett Smith in high school and married the actress’s father, Robsol Pinkett Jr soon after. After several months of marriage, the two divorced. In 2018, Pinkett Smith revealed in another episode of Red Table Talk that her mother had endured domestic violence from Robsol.

“I knew that my mother and my father had a very violent relationship early on,” Pinkett Smith explained. “She has a couple scars on her body that, as a child, I was just curious. I was like, ‘Oh, Mommy, what’s that? What’s that?’ … This will be the first time that Willow’s actually heard these stories about her grandfather who she knew.”

At the time, the three women talked about a scar on Banfield-Norris’s back which she received when Pinkett Smith’s father threw her over a banister.

“Not to make this like an excuse … but he was typically in an altered state when he was abusive like that,” Banfield-Norris said. “He was typically drunk… “I think women stay because they think that they’re in love. That’s what it was for me. I thought that it was love.”

Red Table Talk airs Tuesdays at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET on Facebook Watch.

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