Handling Unsolicited Pregnancy Advice
Everyone seems to have advice on pregnancy—you should exercise; you should not exercise; you should read and play music for your baby in utero; reading or playing music makes no difference; your stress level affects your unborn baby...and so on.
How do expectant parents sort through all the unsolicited advice? Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- Keep it simple. Decide who your trusted council will be—perhaps a family member, your doctor, and a favorite website—and use them as your go-to resources throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
- Be as informed as possible. Read everything you can get your hands on. Even with credible sources you can still receive some conflicting opinions, so decide which early childhood experts you feel most comfortable with and stick to their publications or websites.
- Seek professional advice. Ask your doctor for recommendations on the best parenting books, websites, and resources.
- Find a role model. If you have friends or family members who are already parents, observe their methods, and see whose parenting styles you like best. Then ask those parents for their recommendations.
- Ignore the advice you aren't interested in. You will certainly be the recipient of some “old wives’ tales” at some point during your pregnancy. You can choose to simply thank the person and move on. Or you may want to develop a standard response such as “Thank you, but I/we actually have some different ideas about that.” Sometimes it is easiest not to engage in a discussion about a topic you know will be potentially emotional, so whether or not you share your ideas is up to you.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Pregnancy advice can be particularly annoying because almost everyone, parent or non-parent, sees themselves as being knowledgeable. At a time when you may be more emotional than usual, it helps to keep a sense of humor and not let other’s opinions get to you.
Ultimately, you (along with your partner, if applicable) will have to decide what is right. Trust your judgment. Only you know what is best for your family.
If you decide you want to consult a few websites, here are a few to consider, but remember to always use your independent judgment:
- Organized Mom sorts through some "must have" baby items and lends her opinions about the ones to skip or splurge on.
- Think the pregnancy advice stops after you deliver? Rookie Mom struggles with how to handle child rearing advice from grandparents.
- Our community parents are talking about how to handle a LOT of pregnancy advice and their biggest tips for moms-to-be.
- Our community Pregnancy board will connect you with parents-to-be like you or those who are veterans with advice for navigating pregnancy and beyond.