Not so Helpful Advice

The most stressful and annoying thing I found when I was pregnant was the mountains of “advice” people would force upon me (the second was people using my pregnancy as an opportunity to get rid of their old baby junk that they couldn’t be bothered to take to a charity shop).

It’s amazing how becoming pregnant brought out the inner doctor in literally everyone- people who had never had children, men, women who had children over 20 years ago and random people that you don’t know!

All these ‘experts’ fell into two groups- those who tell you that you ‘can’t’ do things and those who tell you that you can do things that are potentially harmful to your baby.

The first group of people were quite persistent in telling me the various things that I couldn’t do now that I was pregnant. I couldn’t bleach my hair. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t wear heels.

The second group of people made me feel like an idiot for listening to actual medical experts because ‘it was fine in my day’! The most famous saying appeared to be: "They didn’t have all these rules in the caveman days and they were all fine" Fine?! They were not fine! When did cavemen become the prime example of human health- I’m not an expert but I think their infant mortality rate was pretty high and I think they died before they reached the age of 20! Plus they didn’t have pate or McDonalds to deal with!

I’m not an idiot, when I found out I was pregnant, I purchased a few books and googled the sh*t out of it. I wanted my baby to have the best start to life that I could give it and if that meant I had to give up alcohol and pate for 9 months to do that, then that’s what I was going to do. I wasn’t over-sensitive either, some information can be conflicting. My rule was- if the majority of sources said to avoid something, then I did. The only things that I had to give up was pate, prawns and alcohol and these were backed up by my doctor and midwife. I’m obviously not criticising people who did eat these foods and drink alcohol while pregnant, everyone has the right to make their own decisions- I just knew that if something bad happened because I couldn’t resist some pate on toast, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself.

So, if I could force any advice onto people it would be this: if you are pregnant, don’t take any notice of these so-called experts, any real advice should come from your doctor or midwife. Don’t take any notice of mothers who had their babies more than 2 years ago as new medical research is carried out all the time and new ways of minimising risk are found all the time. So what may have been the norm 30 years may have been proven to be unsafe since then.

And for those people who aren’t pregnant? Keep your stupid advice to yourself!

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