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Episode 49: Debunking Parenting Myths and the Impact of Mom Shaming with Sharon Mazel






Brief summary of show:


Do you ever feel overwhelmed in your parenting journey? Whether your kids are newborns or teenagers, it can be so easy to compare our own parenting style to those around us.

In this episode of the Natalie Tysdal Podcast, Sharon Mazel joins me to talk about common parenting myths and the impact mom-shaming has on us.

Sharon Mazel is an internationally recognized parenting and pregnancy expert, content creator, speaker, parenting coach, and mom of four with over two decades of experience in this field.


Listen in as we talk about:

  • [3:15] What happens when we do too much pregnancy research

  • [5:47] How to know which resources to trust

  • [9:47] Biggest pregnancy myths debunked

  • [21:02] The truth behind mom shaming

  • [30:40] How to create your own family values


Sharon has written for EverydayHealth.com as well as various publications including Parenting Magazine, BabyTalk Magazine, The Washington Post, and others. Sharon began her journalism career as a television news writer and producer for nightly news in New York City and received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and an undergraduate degree from Barnard College, Columbia University.


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Notes from Natalie:


Connect with Sharon


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View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi everyone.

[00:00:00] It's Natalie and I have a college age daughter, a high school daughter, and a son who is in middle school. But today we're going to rewind things a little bit and talk about pregnancy childbirth and parenting those little ones today. Things have certainly changed and I have gotten better. The three kids that we have by first pregnancy, 21 years ago, 10 years between my first and last things were different, but I'm a big believer that we have to keep learning.

[00:00:29] I would never tell someone that what I experienced at 21 years ago would be the same for them today. Science is bad. Research is better. We absolutely have to keep learning. I am excited to bring you one of the best experts on the topic of pregnancy and parenting today. I'm a little bit biased because not only is she a parenting and pregnancy expert, but she started her career as a journalist, just like me.

[00:00:56] Her name is Sharon Maizel and she is a parenting expert, a content creator, a speaker, a parenting coach. And she's a mom of four with a grandchild on the way she is a trusted source for new parents. They turn to her for advice, for tips. And of course, for recommendations, when they get frustrated with parenting and pregnancy issues. So when preparing for a family. Yeah, everyone has advice, right? Your neighbor has advice. Your grandma has advised your best friend has advice. Of course it's well-intentioned. But some of that advice might not be so great.

[00:01:47] There are so many myths when it comes to fertility pregnancy and being a mom. And that is exactly what we are going to talk about today. So be sure to share this episode with anyone, you know, [00:02:00] starting a family. And if you're not in that time of life, I know you're still going to love this conversation with Sharon, as we have fun talking about what we went through and how things have changed through the years.

[00:02:14] So never stop learning. That's my motto today. Let's get started.

[00:02:18] Sharon joining me now. And I want to talk about this notion of the myths with pregnancy, even fertility. And then Sharon, beyond that as a new mom, we tend to, especially with social media to jump right into this, I should be something or the Internet's telling me to do that. What are your

[00:02:38] Sharon: thoughts?


[00:02:39] Sharon: Gosh, you know, there's so much information out there these days, and it's such a blessing, right? Because we can Google any question that we have. We can go onto social media and find an answer. We can pick up books, we can read blogs. And then what happens though, is that we don't find one answer. We find 50.

[00:02:56] Mm. And a lot of times those 50 answers are contradictory [00:03:00] or they'll say one thing, you have to do it this way, or you have to feel that way. Or you have to bounce back exactly like this. And then something else will say no to you have to do it that way. And you have to feel that way. And what happens with all this information is that parents.

[00:03:15] Get confused and overwhelmed and stressed. And it's a problem because this is a time when we are naturally, right. When you're pregnant or when you have a newborn, when you're naturally worried, am I doing everything right? Am I doing right by my new baby? And so the information is great, but we have to give ourselves some grace.

[00:03:34] I always say, as parents to really take a step back and a deep breath and say, you know what? Aside from things like. About safety. It really doesn't matter one way or the other, if I do it this way, or if I do it that way. And I always tell parents, the most important thing that you should do is to do a feels best for you to do what feels right for you, because that is what will be right for your baby.

[00:03:59] If you're doing [00:04:00] something because you read it somewhere and it doesn't feel right for you, and it's not going to be the right thing for your family or for your baby. To, to when parents hear that sort of permission. I see the stress just kind of melting off their shoulders because they realize, oh, I don't have to do it a certain prescribed way that everybody else is doing it, or that everyone's telling me I have to do it.

[00:04:22] There is this notion of feeling what feels right for you and then doing what feels right for you. And when you feel good about that as a parent, then you become the best parent possible for your.

[00:04:33] Natalie: Yeah. It's, it's interesting how social media in particular, I mean, obviously the internet, but social media in particular is so awesome and giving us ideas and teaching us things, but at the same time can work against us because first we go down a million rabbit holes of.

[00:04:50] million things we could be doing or should be doing, and we just spend too much time on it, but also not knowing who to trust. What, what advice do you have for [00:05:00] people in that? I know your Instagram in particular love the information that you put out in how you help people, but would you advise people on knowing what to trust?

[00:05:10] Big world

[00:05:10] Sharon: of the internet.


[00:05:12] Sharon: It's such a great question because there are so many competing experts out there. If you will. And. Who or which experts is the one for you? So I always say to start with your doctor, your pediatrician, when you're talking about your kids or OB GYN or your midwife, if you're talking about pregnancy, when you find a trusted medical professional who is knowledgeable about his or her profession and what the updated science and data and research shows, that's going to be your best expert to start.

[00:05:43] So that's about the medical side and that's about the safety issues and that's about the latest recommendations and things like that. But then there's a whole nother part of parenting, which isn't about how many ounces of formula to feed my baby or at what age should my baby starts solid.

[00:05:59] There's [00:06:00] also, how do I discipline my child or do. Uh, Exclusively breastfeed or do I do both formula or breast milk? There's so many questions that parents will have that there is no one particular answer. That is the right or only answer. And so. After you've, you've taken the information from, from your medical professional that you trust, then you could find someone whose philosophy aligns with yours.

[00:06:27] So again, because any way is right. So if you're going to be the type of parent that wants to make sure that your baby I'll give I'll use this example that your baby is sleeping. Four and a half months old, right? I'm not passing judgment on whether you should, or you shouldn't. That's a personal choice.

[00:06:44] There are going to be experts on social media, on the internet and books that will give you tips and strategies on how to do that. If you're going to be the type of parent that says, no, I I'm going to. Allow my baby to sleep. However he or she wants to. And for however long he or she wants [00:07:00] to, and, or I'm going to bring my baby into the bed with me and, or I'm going to, to, you know, let my big outlet when I hold my baby.

[00:07:06] There's so many different ways of helping your baby sleep. And then you could find an expert that says, okay, there will be no sleep teaching, no sleep training, no crying. No, but there's so many different ways and there's no one right way to. So when you find somebody who shares a philosophy with new, a parenting style with you, then you can trust that person if it works for you.

[00:07:28] But again, nobody is going to be that perfectly aligned source for you because there's so many different ways of doing it. So I help my followers know that. Information that I give, whether it's through my courses or through my coaching or on my social media, that I am doing everything from evidence-based medicine, I'm reading the journals, I'm interviewing the professionals.

[00:07:51] Whether they're the doctors or the. physical therapists or the speeding specialists, I'm reading all of the current data on the research. [00:08:00] So what I am talking about is evidence-based, but I also have a parenting philosophy that may not align with, with a parent. And so that's fine. I don't have to be the end-all and be-all expert for every single parent.

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