Sometimes it seems like modern motherhood is about keeping the mother insecure and feeling guilty. No matter what you choose, you are wrong, selfish, and abusing your child. Some things women are told are based on complete myths, but they persist as wisdom anyway.

During pregnancy you are selfish and abusing your unborn baby if you:

Eat deli meat, hot dog, sushi, raw oysters, ceviche, salad, soft cheese, fresh-squeezed juice, or anything not thoroughly cooked — You are risking Listeriosis and you can kill your baby!

Drink coffee, or anything with caffeine in it — You are risking miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants.

Being in vicinity of cigarette smoke, pesticides, paint fumes, nail polish, or hair dye — they are all dangerous to your developing baby!

Drink tapwater — It can increase your chances of miscarriage.

Use an electric blanket — electric blankets give off low-level electromagnetic fields which may be harmful to a developing baby.

Use a microwave — You are exposing your unborn baby to harmful radiation.

Eat fish — You are going to ingest too much mercury and mess up the development of your baby’s brain.

Don’t eat fish — You should eat fish because it is a good source of omega-3 and good for your baby’s brain development.

Going on nature hikes — you can get a tick bite, get lyme disease, and kill your baby.

Eat peanut butter, or anything with peanuts — You are going to give your child allergies.

Have any amount of alcohol — Your child will be born with fetal alcohol syndrome and retardation.

Don’t swallow that horsepill prenatal vitamin faithfully without fail everyday — Your developing baby need the extra vitamins to develop properly or else might develop diabetes or birth defect; but don’t take too much vitamin A!

Take any OTC drugs for headaches, cold and flu, or any other condition — Drugs are not safe for the baby! But then, is there anything that has been tested on pregnant women and proven safe?

Choose to have drugs/epidural — You are drugging your baby!

Have natural birth at home — You are putting your baby at risk.

Give birth by cesarean section — Why would you choose to have a baby if you don’t want to ‘have’   one?

Exercise — You are going to raise your body temperature, shake that baby right out of you, and miscarry.

Don’t exercise — You are going to get fat and give your kid diabetes.

Take hot baths — Raising your body temperature is a no-no. Better stick to showers, but not too hot! And not too cold either!

Once the baby comes, then you are really in for it. You are a bad mother/gross/inappropriate/etc. if you:

Feeding your baby formula — Bottle-feeding is so EVIL, and formula companies are killing babies for profit. We have a moral obligation to inform every bottle-feeding mother in America that she is wrong, she is selfish, she is somehow less human because she couldn’t or wouldn’t breast feed, and she is making her baby suffer for her failure as a mammal.

Use breast pump — Pumping breast milk is no substitute for real breastfeeding! Your baby is not getting the benefit of being held close to you and feeding on demand.

Breastfeed your baby anywhere but in your bedroom at home away from the sight of others — That is gross and you make everyone around you uncomfortable. Breastfeeding should be done in private and not be seen in public! You choose not to stay home? Then you better do it in a car or a bathroom because people don’t want to see it!

Nurse your child too long — Your are creating an unhealthy relationship with your child and he/she will be a freak.

Wean your child too early — Your child will develop gastrointestinal problems.

Wear your baby — Your child will be too attached.

Don’t wear your baby — Your baby is not meant to be in car seat or a stroller. Why are you not cuddling with him/her?

Stay at home — Your child will be poorly socialized, will lack verbal skills, and will become horribly ill during kindergarten because he or she has never been exposed to germs. You are setting a terrible example by perpetuating an old-fashioned gender role and wasting your education and opportunities.

Work full time — Your child will have an attachment disorder, behavior problems, and you are missing the best years of his or her life.

Use daycare — Your child will get sick a lot and not get the attention they need to develop properly.

Use a babysitter — You should not be a parent if you wanted to have fun and go out.

Put your baby to sleep in a crib — Why would you let your child sleep in a cage all by themselves?

Sleep train your baby — Letting your child cry is child abuse. Crying it out leads to damage of trust, brain development, and emotional well-being. It only looks like it works because your child becomes depressed and learn to not trust you for comfort.

Co-sleep with your baby — How could you risk rolling onto your child and smothering him/her?

Don’t have your baby on regularly scheduled naps — If your baby is a poor sleeper, it is evidence you are a bad mom.

Let your child sleep on his/her tummy or side — You are risking sudden infant death syndrome! The cause of SIDS is actually unknown, but there are so many things that could be the cause of SIDS!

Use a pacifier — Your baby will get more ear infections, addicted, and have terrible teeth.

Don’t use a pacifier — Pacifiers lower the risk of SIDS and help to sooth the baby. If your baby suck on his/her thumb they will become addicted and have bad teeth.

Vaccinate your baby — How could you allow your baby be experimented on by the public health system?

Don’t vaccinate your baby — How can you take the risk of serious childhood diseases and not protect your baby?

Circumcise your baby boy — You’re cruelly subjecting the poor baby to pain and trauma of genital mutilation and exposing him to risks of unnecessary surgery and there is a chance that his surgery may be botched and he can die.

Don’t circumcise your baby boy — Your boy will be made fun of by other boys in the locker room, sexually rejected by women, grow up to be ill-adjusted, and get penis cancer.

Schedule activities — Your child is over-scheduled and will suffer a breakdown due to the stress.

Don’t schedule activities — Your child will fall behind his or her peers and never catch up.

Let your child watch TV, play videogames, or expose them to media — Your child will be violent, mouthy, and unpleasant. He or she will whine for every candy and toy they see the next time you go to the store.

Don’t let your child watch TV — Why are you trying to raise your child as if we are in the stone age? Your child will lack reading skills and will have nothing to talk with other children about.

There are probably more, but this is what I have learned so far as a new mom. What I have learned is that there are plenty of people in the world ready to tell you how to be and ready to judge you based on the minute details. The reality is, you have to be a mother your own way, and define your own motherhood.