Rejecting Advice

I’ve written before, way back when I was pregnant with Alexandra, about the kinds of advice you get when you’re having a baby/a parent and how ridiculous some of it can be. Clearly if your mother/neighbour/another mom at a baby group gives you some advice you can decide for yourself if it’s useful or not, thank them and politely move on with your day. It’s your choice whether to accept and implement what they say or completely ignore it. However, one thing I’m finding myself baffled by is some people’s attitudes about rejecting advice which comes from experts (when I say experts, I mean proper trained health professionals, not people who went to a baby class once and now think they’re Supernanny).

Time and time again I’m seeing women calling into question every little thing their doctor, midwife or health visitor has said. Now clearly, you shouldn’t blindly accept what someone says just because they’ve got a piece of paper saying they know what they’re doing. If they suggest something which seems absurd, unsafe or just plain wrong then you have every right to question it with them, perhaps get a second opinion. But what riles me is when people just seem to have a ‘thing’ about saying no just because doctors/midwives are seen as a sort of authority figure.

‘I’m not going to have an induction because I don’t want one’ – now it’s one thing to do your research and decide that you’d rather opt for daily monitor than an induction just because you’re overdue if baby/placenta etc seem fine. It’s quite another to just blindly say you won’t be induced at any point. Surely it’s obvious no doctor is going to suggest inducing just because they feel like it? There’s always going to be a sound medical reason for it if that’s what they’d like you to do.

‘I’m so annoyed because my midwife/health visitor was ten minutes late. I don’t want to see her again’ – well I really hope you’re the person asking for help because your baby won’t feed or your stitches are infected or you just need to cry at someone for five minutes and she says ‘oh sorry, got to go to see someone else now’.

‘My midwife thinks I’m measuring small and wants to send me for a growth scan. I can’t be bothered to go to the hospital, what a waste of time’ – excellent. Going and finding out your baby is absolutely fine and feeling slightly aggrieved cause you’ve probably spent a fair few hours at the hospital is the BEST case scenario here. You just know these would be the same people complaining if a potential problem with their child wasn’t picked up.

‘My doctor says I need to be on these meds but I don’t want to take them’ – you know, cause doctors love handing out pills to pregnant ladies just for the absolute sheer fun of it.

I can’t even go into anti-vaxxers on this post because¬†they deserve a whole post of¬†their own quite frankly! I for one am super glad there are people in this world who spend their life looking after pregnant ladies, helping people give birth and offering advice in the newborn days. I am very glad there are people who know how to keep me and my children safe. I don’t blindly accept what they say but I do know that 99.9999 per cent of the time they are going to be far more knowledgeable than I am and, just because I have access to Google, that does make me a doctor.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x


Worst Advice Ever


When you become a mom (or even if you’ve been doing it a long time), people seem to line up to give you all sorts of advice. This applies whether they’ve had ten kids or none. The advice ranges from excellent to downright ridiculous so I thought I’d share a few bits of absolutely terrible advice. If someone tells you these things then feel free to punch them (or, you know, just walk away and not ever listen to anything they say again. Up to you).

Sleep when the baby sleeps:
A fine idea in theory but let’s try something. Right this second I want you to run to your sofa or bed, shut your eyes, immediately drop to sleep and then wake up again in approximately 16 minutes. Even if you did manage to get to sleep in the middle of the day at a time randomly decided by your baby as nap time, you’re hardly going to feel radically different when you wake up to the sound of crying. Also, you just can’t eat when the baby eats, wash your hair when your baby washes their hair or pop a load in the washing machine when the baby does. Apparently these little beings need quite a lot of attention, who knew? So sleeping when they nap might work as an idea but in reality you will have about 67 billion other things to do with your time.

Treasure every moment:
Yeah I’ve spoken about this one before. So unnecessary. (There’s a rant about it here). Also sometimes the baby’s just shat everywhere and then mushed their foot in it and your hand has poo on it and then you accidentally touch your face so EVERYONE has poo on them. You just can’t like every second of your baby’s existence.

Never did me any harm:
This advice usually comes from the older generation. Usually it’s something about leaving your child in a pram outside your shop while you pop in for some groceries, giving them biscuits from six weeks or lying them on their front. This advice is doubly annoying because not only are they invariably telling you to do something the guidelines written by the experts who know about this kind of shit explicitly say is likely to harm your baby, but they also seem to want some kind of medal for keeping their baby alive despite being a dumbass.

Ooh she’s hungry/tired:
The joy that fills me when someone else tells me why my child might be grizzling. Yes I appreciate some of these people might just be trying to help. But it does take quite a lot of restraint for me not to tell them that as I spend my whole entire life with the baby I might just have grasped by now, ten months down the line, what she wants or why she’s crying. The other temptation is to tell them she’s crying because they’re an arsehole.

Enjoy your pregnancy:
Harking back to the bump days here but I did used to laugh when people gave me this ‘advice’. Yeah, I had a super time for just shy of 38 weeks firstly throwing up continually then being TIRED like I never knew could be possible then being fat (really fat) and hormonal and swollen and stretch marked and did I mention fat? I enjoy the fact that my pregnancy led to being Alexandra’s mom but other than that, nope!

Harriet and Alexandra x