Pregnant Women Don’t Need Your (Bad) Advice

The most peculiar phenomenon occurs when you are pregnant. People pop out of the wood work to tell you their opinion on absolutely everything. This can stretch from well meaning best friends offering sage breastfeeding wisdom to down right rude interjections from strangers in the super market. This is for sure one of those things that doesn’t happen to every person, but if it’s you (and it certainly was me) I feel for you.

I had such a lovely experience polling other moms for my What Does a Suburban Mom Look Like? piece that I wanted to incorporate not just my own experience, but that of other moms into this post as well. So special thanks to my blogging friends that contributed their experiences to this post.

You Can’t Do That.

When I was pregnant with my son, I did zero exercise. Well, I did sit eating pancakes watching a prenatal yoga DVD once, but I am not sure that counts. And let me tell you, come labor time man, did my lack of activity (since about high school) show! But, with my daughter, I worked out throughout most of my pregnancy. I was also a SAHM by this point so making time during the work week was a non-issue. I was SHOCKED however, in 2017 how many people thought pregnancy rendered you incapable of exercise (save a doctors order.) The more I talked to other women, the more I heard story after story of “You can’t do that!”

“Don’t lift your arms over your head or you will strangle the baby with the cord.” -Caitlin Cancellieri Patoka of Real Mom Recs

“Don’t take naps, it will mess up the baby’s sleep schedule.” -Bibiana Ramos Baez

That one I for sure did not follow. I was definitely (sometimes still am) of the philosophy nap when the toddler naps.

“So my students were really sweet during my pregnancy! My boys were probably the funniest and most caring. One boy (a senior) said that if pregnant women stood too long the baby weighs down their stomachs and that’s why mom’s have saggy stomachs after babies.” -Justine Hiett of Love Every Aspect

Hmmm. Maybe, If I’d just sat down more I’d have a chiseled abs.

You Can’t Eat That.

Ok, so this one is a hotly debated topic amongst those in the family way. Certainly, I’m not advocating for washing down gas station sushi with a six pack. I do remember when I was pregnant with my daughter one mom talking about how she couldn’t eat queso. And I was thinking ahhh well I get nauseous with just about everything so that makes sense to me. And she said no, you know we can’t have soft cheeses. Face. Palm.

“You can’t eat sushi. My daughter ate it when she was pregnant and now she’s allergic to strawberries.” -Breanna Park of Mommies to Be

I mean, what??

Standing in line to get coffee “Don’t you know that is BAD for the baby?!?” -Sarah Elizabeth Crispell of Stitchly Creations

Well, once I had a toddler who liked to rise at the glorious time of 4:30 am, you could have nicknamed my fetal daughter “latte”. Baristas count as mom friends right?

The List Goes On.

From inappropriate belly grabs by refrigerator repair men (yep, this was me) to people disliking the baby name you chose, people continue to voice their opinion on your size “You’re so big.” “You’re so small” right up until the time your baby is born. And then they magically stop and let you do your own thing. No one judges how you decide to raise your baby or give you unsolicited, outdated parenting advice that is potentially harmful and downright disrespectful, PSYCH!

“Oh good. I’m pregnant. Bring on the unsolicited pregnancy advice and belly touching.”

Baby Is Here!

“If the baby has his or her days and nights mixed up just flip them upside down.” -Caitlin Cancellieri Patoka

“Breastfeeding advice from 60 year old bachelor male…” enough said -Audrey Tipps

“Add cereal to the bottle to make them fuller when they are tiny.” -Elizabeth Aguedamartinez of Fit Lizz

This one is a toughy because most of us grew up with parents doing this or knowing someone who did this, but now sources say it’s a big choking hazard. Which brings us to a super fun topic of “Well, when you (or your husband) were a baby then… which get a bit tricky.” Tread carefully, sweet darlings, and check those hormones. But, remember it’s 2019 and your baby, your choice with matters of safety.

“Don’t hold your baby too much, they will get spoiled and you will never be able to put them down.” -Julie Siewert of Diaper Dabbler

Yes, I know a lot of moms walking their second graders into school nursing them in a Tula wrap. Eye roll. Take care of yourself by all means too. Mama matters. And it can be hard to ask for help, which certainly contributed to some of my personal anxiety after the births of my babies ( To The New Mama With Anxiety, You Are Not Alone), but no mother ever looked back on her life and thought, “Wow, I cuddled my newborn too much.”

Learning to Take It In Stride

I am still on the first metaphorical lap of my parenting journey. Just ask my own mother whom I still call daily at the ripe young age of thirty-two. Yikes! I have a long road ahead. I can safely say that from the moment it was public knowledge I was going to be a mother someone had an opinion about how I should be doing things. More often than not it was not how I felt I should be doing things or was not what the organizations I put my faith in agree is best practice. The truth is most people really do mean well. Even if they are incredibly misguided. I have yet to learn how to fully let it roll off my back. Instead of letting it unhinge me completely, like I used to (like as of yesterday, lol) I am working on accepting that it is often with good intentions that people offer their opinions. Even if they are downright ridiculous.

How do you handle unsolicited advice on your pregnancy or parenting?

18 thoughts on “Pregnant Women Don’t Need Your (Bad) Advice

  1. So beautifully written! I totally laughed out loud at “eating pancakes while watching DVD” .

    I think we are all trying our best and I know people mean good when they give advice but people have no idea what mama’s are struggling with. Their unwanted advice could totally be the straw tha broke the camel’s back…

    Love this article! Can not wait to see more of your work 😍😘

  2. “Don’t hold your baby too much, they will get spoiled and you will never be able to put them down.” -Julie Siewert of Diaper Dabbler I followed this advice with my first two and I regret it for a whole range of reasons. I did my own thing and basically told others to f off with my third and it has made a world of difference. My third is easily the most self sufficient and independent at the age of 5.

  3. I always just tried to remember that people mean well with those comments! However, it does get old, especially all the comments about how you look!

  4. I can relate to this post for sure. I have learned to try not to give unsolicited advice on anything especially when someone is pregnant. It also depends on the relationship you have with someone as well.

  5. Oh, the unsolicited advice from people. Gotta love it. I actually didn’t get crazy comments from strangers, thank God!

  6. This is such a great post! Lots of laughs and eye rolls for sure! I was spontaneously pregnant with twins my first pregnancy and a stranger in the store was asking me all kinds of noses quesations and when she asked me “how’d you do that?!” So I told her we just did it twice a day. Her eyes got real big and she said “THAT’S how it happens?!!” Ohmygoodness. People. 🤣

  7. I love this so much! I’ve heard some CRAZY pregnancy and baby advice as well. I’m not sure why people see a pregnant woman and automatically think, “I should offer them the most crazy advice I can think of,” but they do…

  8. I’ll never understand why people feel the need to comment on pregnant women! Someone told me when I was pregnant to just respond, “Thank you” and move on. It’s helped me especially when people give rude comments about the baby.

  9. I feel like when someone is telling a pregnant mom bad advice it’s because they actually really think the mom is doing something dangerous. It’s well-intentioned I’m sure. But, totally unnecessary. When I was pregnant my doctor told me I was allowed to have coffee a couple times a week. I would go to Starbucks once a week and get a coffee.The stares I would get from people you would think I was drinking beer and smoking a cigarette. I love this post so much. It’s about time we start telling people leave pregnant women alone. Honestly the last time I was pregnant I just shrugged half of it off. Especially once you are in your third trimester you hear stupid stuff all the time or you have to just ignore it. Or you’ll go crazy lol.

  10. I laughed too! Your writing is great and it’s all true. Why, as soon as you’re pregnant, do people feel the need to comment on every little thing you do? 🤷🏼‍♀️

  11. i can completely relate. I struggled a lot with the copious amounts of varying advice thrown at me when i first had my baby lol. Now i just smile and nod and if i have some mental space left over from my busy day, i’ll sift through the advice to see if i’ll take any of it!

  12. It’s exhausting. I mean sushi causing a strawberry allergy really? Lol I dreaded making my pregnancy announcement because I’m just not ready for the unsolicited comments and “advice.”

  13. Love this! My favorite was being told I couldn’t have cats in the house because they would take my baby’s breath. Haha, like Okay Karen, we’re not in Salem anymore.

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