When you are pregnant, a lot of people will try and relate to you by either telling you of past experiences of their own or maybe someone else’s that they heard of through the grapevine. They might have read some information that they would like to pass on, if it may be relevant to you, or maybe even not relevant. As hard as it is to not become angry and bitter about this unwanted advice, try and remember that they are also excited for you and are trying to find a common ground to connect with you.
From your mother-in-law:
The most controversial giver of unwanted advice will sometimes come from the mother-in-law. You might be the first daughter-in-law to have a baby, so you have some serious shoes to fill as far as the family name is concerned. Remember that this is your baby and you don’t need to adhere to any of the advice if you don’t want to. Here are some pointers to help you address the advice, under different circumstances; these can be used at your discretion.
They may have some ideas about how they want the birth to be, whether or not they will be present or some thoughts about breastfeeding.
If they are just trying to help, this may also seem like they are interfering and trying to annoy you.
Try asking about their sources of their advice and how many times they have heard this.
They may say things like:
“Everybody knows you shouldn’t wear jeans when you are pregnant…”
“You need to be singing to your baby for half an hour a day or else they will be tone deaf…”
Response: Remember that they are sincerely excited about the arrival of their grandchild and only want the best start for them. This can however come across as not having faith in your ability to do so, so just ensure them that you are doing the best you can.
It’s a good idea to halt any unwanted advice now, when you are pregnant so to avoid it in the future when it comes to how to raise your child.
From grandparents and an older generation:
Some older advice is not necessarily the right advice for this day and age, so try not to be offensive when you are rejecting their comments.
If they are just wives’ tales, these can be giggled off if required. Sometimes these are not even advice but more like predictions. You are welcome to completely ignore these. Some could be:
“You’re going to have a boy because you’re carrying low”
“You will not be able to have a water birth because the baby wont be able to breath”
“If you have a baby on a full moon, they will become president”
From people in the street:
“You are welcome to remind them that this is not acceptable to say to someone over 6 years old, pregnant or not.”
“You must be having twins”
You could just appease them and tell them that you are.
From your boss:
You will be juggling quite a lot and also combatting tiredness and extra weight on your feet. Coffee may not be the rescue remedy it once was, so you will have to think about your performance a little more and be prepared. There will be days or even weeks where, no matter how hard you try, your pregnancy may get the better of you.
Response: It’s best to remind them that this is only a temporary situation and you are still the same person they employed. After you have your family, you will have more responsibilities and your work ethic will actually be greater.
There will be lots of people trying to give you advice, such as your sisters, brothers, sister-in-law, baker, family friends and people you follow on social media.
As a general rule, do your own research from trusted sources such as midwives, reputable sites, trusted friends and relatives and your doctor. With this advice and a little bit of common sense, you will be able to come up with the best advice; your own.