Pregnancy: a magical mysterious time for any woman. You rub your belly all day and wonder at the miracle inside. Meanwhile, everyone else has something to say about how you look, what you're doing, what you're eating, and what you should be or shouldn't be doing. They are full of advice. Let's be real here: Sometimes that advice is helpful but, more often than not, your hormones are not trying to hear any damn advice.
Since slapping people is actually considered assault and we don't want Mommy in jail or on probation when the baby is born, allow me to share some helpful ways to deal with unwanted pregnancy advice for all the people in your life. I've narrowed it down to the five things I've heard the most in 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Disclaimer: You may not find any of this annoying. If you don't, you are, in fact, a far better pregnant person than I. I'm horrible.
Your response will depend on with whom you are speaking.
To Family and Friends (FF): How can I rest with this overflowing bladder, you fool? Do you know I got up to pee five times last night? Five times. I got up five times.
To Acquaintances (A): Oh yes, I'm trying to get as much rest as possible! (Smile cheerily while thinking, You don't need to know how much I pee at night, although I long to tell you for some reason.)
To Perfect F$@#& Strangers (PFS): Yeah. (Keep walking.)
2. Annoying Advice: Oh you should definitely breastfeed!
To FF: Could you please stop telling me what to do? If I can, then I'll do it; if I can't, then I won't. Formula won't kill him. (Follow up with crazy pregnant lady eyes if they protest.)
To A: We're planning on it! Hopefully it will work out. (Start doing something else immediately, unless you want to get involved in a conversation about raw nipples with someone you don't know very well.)
To PFS: Why are you telling me this? Do I know you? (Back away slowly, cover your chest with your arms.)
People will never stop trying to tell you what to do during your pregnancy. It's just another annoying side effect that no one tells you about when you get pregnant.
3. Annoying Advice:Cloth diapers are the only way to go. (Note: These are highly personal responses as we do not wish to use cloth diapers. If you want to use cloth diapers, skip the responses and feel good about your decision. )
To FF: Yeah, I don't think so. Are you coming over to wash them? Are you paying our extra electricity and water bills? Are you paying for a diaper service? Are you breathing in the air in our home with a bag of cloth diapers? What? No? Then shut up about them, please.
To A: Oh, do you have a service? Email me their info—thanks! (If they don't have a service and start telling you how they scrape the poop out smile and nod. Think to yourself, No way, José, even if their name is not José.)
To PFS: Back, hippie! Get back! We don't want to use cloth diapers.
4. Annoying Advice: You should get a doula.
To FF: Have you met me? Do I seem like the kind of person that wants a doula? (If the answer to that is "yes," then you should totally get a doula, people love them.)
To A: What is a doula? (Even if you already know, this is a very polite response and the person will answer you—for a long a time—and probably tell you all about their birthing experiences. This conversation may even move them from acquaintance to friend status.)
To PFS: Are you a doula? (If the answer is "yes" and you are interested in hiring a doula, get their information if they don't seem creepy.)
To FF: What is this, the Middle Ages? I'm having C-section in a hospital, dude. With a medical team that includes my doctor. (Or you might say, "I have one!" if you're into that sort of thing and don't have a marginal placenta pre via like I do.)
To A: Oh, did you use a midwife? (Same as with the doula suggestion, just listen to their story and hope they don't say anything terrifying about the birth. )
To PFS: Just don't engage. If you do, you will hear some crazy story about birth from a stranger. Those are the worst and they are usually about the PFS's cousin's aunt's friend and end horribly.
People will never stop trying to tell you what to do during your pregnancy. It's just another annoying side effect that no one tells you about when you get pregnant. You just discover it on your own. But if really gets to be too much, just politely tell them to leave you alone. Like this: