One of the great things about being pregnant is the host of unsolicited advice I get wherever I go – from family, friends, service people, strangers on the street, real estate agents, and so on. I don’t like being told what to do at the best of times, so you can imagine how fun this has been for me. I hear small children have the same effect, though I’ve not yet had that dubious honor. It’s one thing while the little dude is still in utero – I can only imagine how I’m going react when strangers presume to tell me how to raise our child.
Of course, not all advice on pregnancy is useless and stupid. Some tips (like eat well, get sleep, exercise, give yourself a break if you want to spend the night on the couch eating chocolate every now and then, etc.) are worth listening to – probably pregnant or not. But most of these gems… I could do without.
Here are my favorites so far:
1. Russian remedy to treat pesky hormone headaches: A teaspoon of brandy or cognac under the tongue. And leave it there as long as possible. I should add that this tidbit was contributed by a chatty masseuse this past weekend, who later told me about a crazy craving she had (and gave in to) during one of her pregnancies. A bottle of vodka. “The body wants what it wants.” Mmmhm.
2. “Everyone will try to tell you what to do. The trick is to ignore them all and do what you want to do. One thing I will say though….” Credits to my brother, a new father himself, for this contribution. It’s uncanny how many people start their sentences like this.
3. “Oh, that’s just gas.” Seriously? I’m 30. I’ve had gas before, I know what it feels like – something just freaking kicked me! It baffles me how many people think that because they’ve had one baby they know exactly what’s going on in my abdomen. Even my obstetrician gets that she doesn’t know everything and there’s a huge spectrum of experience!
4. “Don’t go to the gym/exercise/run/do yoga.” Again, seriously? And don’t even get me started on how most of the geniuses dolling out this advice come from an era in which a beer a day was recommended for strong pregnant women, and cigarettes were still healthy.
5. “Growing fetuses need meat.” Okay, I’ll concede that maybe some people need meat to absorb iron, but I don’t – never have. In 17 years of being vegetarian my iron has never been low, my B12 was even too high once, and (until I fell pregnant), I basically only get tired if I pull all-nighters. Next person to give me dietary advice without a record like that or a degree in nutrition gets a punch in the head.
End rant. Stay tuned for “Worst Baby Advice Ever,” and the return of pregnant-vodka-lady.