Okay, I admit, about five years ago, I gave unwanted/ unsolicited pregnancy advice. I was so sure that she was a first-time expectant mom. Sitting in my car in the church parking lot, feeling proud of the advice just shared, I realized that she wasn’t a first time mom. Her oldest child, who walked by me, was going to graduate from high school in a year or two. Interestingly enough, the expectant mom, an attorney, didn’t correct me when I gave her advice for first-time moms. She only smiled.
How should you handle unwanted pregnancy advice?
Consider the Advice Giver
Consider whether the advice is coming from your health care provider, a family member, a friend or the stranger in the grocery store.
You feel offended when your OB/GYN tells you to switch from heels to flats during your pregnancy. Instead of thinking 'how did my shoes become her business?' ask the simple question, why?
Your OB/GYN explains that high heels alter your posture, shorten your calf muscles and place increased pressure on your back and knees. In pregnancy, high heels place extra pressure on your joints when they are already under strain, which can result in a foot, leg and back problems and could increase your chances of falling. What you thought was his/her preference actually had medical validity.
On the other hand, you’re getting annoyed by Aunt Emma who removes the strawberries from your plate at every family gathering. She says if you eat strawberries while pregnant, your baby will be born with a big red splotch on his/her skin.
Are you really going to tell Aunt Emma to stop bugging you with an old wives tale? Or are you going to switch to eating grapes instead because you realize it’s not worth the effort to battle her over strawberries?
Your hormone levels are already increasing due to pregnancy which is affecting your moods. Why get yourself in an uproar? You’re not in her presence every day. Just switch to eating grapes when you’re around her.
You should handle unsolicited advice from a friend or family’s member differently than you would handle advice from a stranger. Be polite to the stranger, if you can, but don’t subject yourself to their negative influences such as horror birth stories. Those stories will only increase your anxiety. Stop them in the middle of their stories by saying, “yes, all births are different.” If you can physically move away from the stranger, do so. If not, move away mentally. Start a new conversation or remain silent.
All expectant moms deal with unwanted pregnancy advice. During the last couple of months of pregnancy, it may feel like you’ve been pregnant a lifetime and have received a lifetime of advice in nine short months.
Be encouraged and don’t lose your cool over all the unwanted advice. When you hold your little one, it will all be worth it!