As soon as you tell people you are pregnant everyone has an opinion on every single detail: they'll tell you when it's appropriate to tell people that you're pregnant, what to eat, what to wear, how to cope, when to rest...
Sometimes it's nice to hear these things - mainly if you've asked for an opinion. But I often got quite annoyed with such a huge amount of unwanted advice. What follows is advice for the people around pregnant women.
- There isn’t much right or wrong, everyone is different, our bodies are different. Of course there are things you shouldn’t do while pregnant, but people should be allowed to find things out on their own time - not as soon as they've announced it.
- Dear friends: we have doctors! Specialised ones that do tell us all the main things we need to know from the beginning, so you don’t have to worry! The important things will be said, you can rest assured.
- While I was pregnant with triplets, a friend saw one of my photos and wrote to tell me not to squeeze my poor little boys with such tight jeans. If you've ever been pregnant you know how much tight clothes hurt and cause sickness. I can assure you, I know when my jeans are tight - those weren’t. And the “poor boys” bit? Add that to the hormones... it was not a good mix.
- Other things that annoyed me were remarks on how I needed to rest urgently, right now, as my life would be chaotic forever with triplets. How I'm in for trouble, how will I cope, that I had to move back to my country, I had to do this or that ... ouch.
- Every family is different, but how would mums with two or three kids know what it's like to raise triplets? It's not the same as three kids of varying ages. I spoke to so many mums of triplets and they all spoke about how amazing it was, how the children entertain each other and how much easier it is than having two or three kids separately - which is not what other mums said!
- There are no real rules to parenting, and people should be a bit more open-minded about that. Having three children all at once is all I will know; having one kid at a time is what others will know. To me, my situation looks easier than theirs!
- I will find out about the workload once I get there, once I am ready to understand about that.
- For me, the main DON’T would be: DON'T tell a pregnant woman what to do or not to do. Wait to see if she asks for your advice first.
- And the main DO for the pregnant woman: ignore the unasked-for comments, just find it all out for yourself, on your own time.
Leave a message for Juliana in the feature member section on The Essential Baby Forums.
Don’t tell a pregnant woman what to do or not to do, wait if she asks your advice.