Many women feel an instant bond with any pregnant stranger or new mom. This bond causes normal social boundaries to disintegrate, giving people a feeling that they have license to comment when normally they'd hold back.
It's easy to laugh off some unsolicited comments, but others can undermine a woman's confidence at a vulnerable time. New moms know more than they realize, and should feel confident about trusting their instincts.
Many parents are so astonished at rude comments that they don't know how to respond. But as tempting as it is to respond with a wisecrack or rude comment of your own, it's better for you to rise above it. If you respond to rudeness with rudeness, you're going to feel worse afterward. It's easiest to end the exchange by saying something positive, such as "Thanks for the tip; I'll think about it," before moving on, no matter how ludicrous the advice. If the person is just plain rude, simply excuse yourself and walk away from the situation.
It's probably safe to ignore most of the comments you get during pregnancy and your baby's infancy, but occasionally you might pluck a nugget of good information from the onslaught of advice. Even if you never learn anything useful, look on the bright side -- listening to all those stories may make you more sympathetic to other new moms in the future.
Try these techniques to deflect rude comments and unwanted advice:
Additional reporting by Charlotte Latvala
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.