Help – Everyone Keeps Trying to Give Me Advice About How to Raise My Baby!

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Not until I was six months pregnant and my subtle “baby bump” had ballooned to a very visible bulge that the advice starting pouring in. It started innocuously enough — a woman in line at the supermarket nodded approvingly at my ever-expanding belly and commented on all the healthy groceries I was buying. A little later, my housekeeper scolded me for wanting to drink coffee and not-so-discreetly placing extra fruits and vegetables on my dining room table. Worse, she adamantly clung to local Thai superstitions and refused to let me have “warming” foods or do anything considered unlucky.

Before long, the trickle of comments swelled to a torrent, mostly from well-meaning friends and relatives. Some of the tips were helpful. After all, I was an inexperienced mother and I needed to know things like where to find flattering, reasonably-priced maternity clothes or how to go about getting a Thai visa for my baby. Soon, many of the comments, though well-intended, started to wear on me. One person insisted I get a doula, another said I should have a C-section, while still another said that all-natural was the only way to go. I heard about what to eat, how to breastfeed, why I shouldn’t let my children watch television, and on and on. It’s hard to be angry with those who only want to help, but sometimes enough is enough. Here are some tips I learned for tactfully dealing with a surplus of “help”.

Keep your cool.

Although it can be frustrating, lashing out isn’t going to do anything to make the situation better. Before you speak, try that old exercise of taking a deep breath and silently counting to three. Think of it as an exercise in patience, which you’re likely to need quite a bit of once the baby is born.

Politely remind them that you are the parent.

Being hostile won’t help. The fact of the matter is that regardless of how many children your friends, relatives and friendly strangers have had, this is your pregnancy and your future child. You can try tongue-in-cheek dismissal or you can be firm but gentle. The point is to gently let the individual know that things are under control and that you are enjoying this new adventure that will ultimately be different than anyone else’s experience. People are generally well meaning and we all want to share knowledge that might save someone a problem later.

Explain that your prefer to listen to your doctor.

At the end of the day, the one you should listen to most is a trusted, experienced authority – your doctor. Doulas may be helpful for some women during pregnancies, but your doctor should generally have the final word. If someone is overly insistent in telling you what to do or not do, simply explain that you trust your doctor implicitly and prefer to listen to their advice since every pregnancy is different and you feel you are in very capable medical hands.

Photo Credit : Kelly David Via Flickr

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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