When a woman is expecting to have a child, she prepares for everything. She goes to her doctor's appointments, she prepares a nursery, takes care of herself, and maybe even reads a book or two to really get ready for the child. But no matter how much she prepares, there will always be people wanting to give their two cents. Usually, those people have good intentions, but also their advice is unwarranted, unwanted, and flat out untrue. Some women will still listen to the nonsense while others will just raise an eyebrow and question how that person even managed to graduate from the 8th grade.
We were curious to see just how absolutely insane some of this advice would be, so we looked through Reddit and found some of the most peculiar and shocking 'tips' women received while pregnant. This content was edited for clarity.
"My father-in-law told me I had to deliver 'traditionally.' His reason was that if I had a C-section, I wouldn't love my baby as much because I didn't suffer for him. First of all, the kid was comfortably sitting and was not turning around, you utter prick. I was not about to risk my kid's life in a feet-first delivery, no sir. Second, a C-section is a major surgery and a pain in the booty, believe me, I did suffer. You try being cut open like that while awake and then deal with a feisty colicky newborn while recovering from it. Third, really? I need to feel pain in order to love my child? I can't even. Fourth, you don't even have a uterus, old man. Zip it.
My father-in-law is a very difficult man. Very stubborn, very religious, very proud. Not my favorite person at all. His wife birthed eight kids and he was not even present for most of the deliveries, he was busy working. Guess who went to the hospital with my mother-in-law? MY HUSBAND. He is the oldest child but still, he was only a kid and he was there for his mom more than his own father. I've heard many people say that c-sections are 'not real births, they're not the real experience, it's not natural.' Okay, let's go back to the time when c-sections were not an option and both the baby and mother died in childbirth, as was super common, then, for the sake of being 'natural.' It makes me so angry."
"My mom was talking to my paternal grandma while pregnant with me. During this talk, she winced because I was kicking her ribs. My grandma told her, 'Swat it so it'll know!' She wanted my mom to spank fetus-me through her own belly for kicking her.
After my mom told us that story, 'Swat it so it'll know,' became a common response any time someone was complaining about something."
"When I was pregnant past my due date, a co-worker advised me to drink cod liver oil mixed with adult beverages. Apparently, this mixture would upset my digestive system, give me horrible diarrhea and thus trigger labor contractions.
I did not drink this combo to help with being overdue. I ended up several days later being medically induced and labor/delivery was swift and baby healthy. He is a grown man now. I literally had no response for this co-worker's thinking."
"I was told my labor should be painless because Jesus died and erased the 'pain during childbirth' penalty humans got from Eve. If I feel pain, it's because I don't believe in Jesus' redemptive powers. The advice was from a 50-year-old lady who said she was a doula. This was literally my sign to get out of the group she participated in. I don't need 5 more months of her 'truths.' I was shocked when she said it to me. We were leaving this new bible study for the night as she cornered me with this information.
I had to check with my husband to make sure I heard her correctly."
"I was told not to drink hot tea because I would boil my baby."
"My Gran told me that every day I was pregnant I needed to:
1) Do Kegels (So far so good. No argument there).
2) Have one cup of black coffee (Wait. What?)
3) Have one glass of red (Uh, no thanks.)
4) Walk at least 4 miles. Because the doctor wouldn't deliver the baby if I put on more than 25 lbs...
Caffeine and some adult beverages are both fine in moderation while pregnant, but either of those specific methods would've been incredibly painful for any pregnant gal experiencing the fun, super common side effect of acid reflux/heartburn like I did. The two together would've been torturous."
"I was told to not raise my arms above my head because it will tangle the baby's cord and the baby will die. Both of my kids had their cords wrapped and I had two c-sections. However, wrapped cords aren't really that unusual. I'm sure she would have loved to say 'I told you so' to me. She's odd though, she also the woman that told me that she blames her 1970s potty training techniques for her daughter's bipolar disorder.
She feels like common practice was abusive and led to all her daughter's mental health issues."
"I had a co-worker tell me that eating peanut butter would give my baby cancer while I was eating an apple with peanut butter on my lunch break. I already thought she was the world's greatest idiot so that nugget of wisdom was just confirmation. I was pregnant in 2006 and American Academy of Pediatrics at that time suggested that pregnant women with a history of peanut allergies in the immediate family (neither my husband nor I have any family history of peanut or tree nut allergies) strictly limit their intake of peanut products.
So, even if that's where my former co-worker was coming from, she was being alarmist by equating that in any way with an increased cancer risk."
"When I was a doctor, I had a very concerned mom who was at 38 weeks insist she wasn't in pain or having contractions but it was clear she really was. I asked why she didn't want to have the baby today/now, as it seemed apparent that the baby had chosen its birthday. She said since it was the day of the eclipse, her mother in law and her living grandmother told her that the eclipse would cause her baby to have a cleft lip and tail. We whipped the ultrasound around, said we didn't see a tail so as far as we were concerned her baby was doing just fine. Four hours later, still during the eclipse, the baby came out perfectly fine.
The new mom was terrified she had made a mistake by not keeping her legs closed and waiting 12 hours for the following day. Then she saw her little girl was perfect, and my attending told her, 'See? She's lucky, too, because she has a mom who doesn't believe that nonsense.'"
"I was about 8 months pregnant, I said something at family dinner one Sunday about how I was scared of labor. After that, my grandma shouted, 'You know, you should smoke a blunt!' My family's open about their pot use. Most of my family will smoke from time to time but my grandmother has never smoked in her life so I was a bit confused. I just looked at her and keeps going, 'If you smoke blunts well your in labor, it will keep you calm and help with the pain, I'll find you some weed, just smoke in the bathroom of the hospital... but wear socks you have ugly feet and the doctor won't want to help you if he sees your cracked heels!' My grandmother was truly something.
I didn't take my grandmothers advice and the doctor delivered my baby even with my cracked heels. Once I had the baby and could reach my feet again, I made sure they weren't cracked anymore!"
"When I found out I was pregnant a fourth time (three losses in a row), I heard so many things from strangers. People just kept putting their foot in their mouth when they said things like, 'Are you SURE this one is going to work?' I was also told if I was on my cell phone or around my modem/router, it would cause brain damage to my unborn child. She's 4, perfectly healthy, no brain damage and let's just say it took a lot of medical attention to get her to full term. What caused my miscarriages where that my hormones couldn't sustain a pregnancy and after the 3rd, I was told that with my hormone levels getting pregnant again wouldn't happen. She was a surprise and the best one ever. It took an educated doctor that wanted the best outcome. Previous doctors just looked at my history and would say sorry for your loss maybe next time will go better.
The best day of my husband and my life was finding out that she was alive, thriving and having an amazing doctor who moved heaven and earth to make sure she'd make it. He was at work when I found out, he actually yelled and his entire office heard him. He ran around the office, he was more excited than me!"
"I dealt with my mother, who became an anti-vaxxer 13 years ago. I had no idea, just found out recently when I mentioned I got my tdap and flu shot and I asked if everyone in the family was caught up because the baby was due next month and flu season is right around the corner. She called me a freaking idiot for putting 'rotting DNA' in my body while pregnant. She refused to get a flu shot, so I refused to let her see her first grandchild.
I wasn't taking any chances with my kid's life because she can't be bothered to do legitimate research or listen to me when I try and explain it to her."
"About six months before I became pregnant, we adopted an old shep/lab/husky mix from the local shelter. She was the most chill, sweet dog ever. So, when I told people I was pregnant, after hearing congratulations, I got, 'Well, what are you going to do with the dog?' The first time I was asked, I literally had no idea what the person was talking about! I thought maybe she meant how would I give enough attention to the dog and the baby after he was born. NOPE - In their minds, I obviously had to discard my dog because I was having a baby. If it were just one or two folks who asked, I would have laughed it off, but I had probably a dozen people ask. Since when are dogs and babies mutually exclusive? So, when I got asked, I just said: 'Gonna give the dog a lot of love and attention so that she doesn't feel left out when the baby arrives.'
Once my son was born, the dog was great with my son. In fact, one of my favorite pictures was her sleeping in front of his bassinet because she had to 'protect' him (she was deaf as a door post and nearly blind, so I'm not sure what she was going to do, but I give her credit for trying). Sadly, however, she died of cancer when my son was just shy of a year old. He had no memory of her."
"One time someone told me that I should put baking soda in a cup and pee on it right when I woke up in the morning. She told me that if it fizzed, I was pregnant with a boy. If it did not fizz, I was having a girl. Another one of my colleagues noticed my pregnancy and said, 'Oh! Congratulations! Girl, right?' I said thank you and yes but then I was thinking about how that gossip must have made its rounds.
She then said, 'Ah, see, I know it's a girl because you're in your third trimester and you aren't really showing. Girls lie side to side in the womb and boys stick their butts out so a woman pregnant with a boy looks much bigger at this point.'"
"I am the husband/father but a doctor told my 38 or 39-week pregnant wife that her condition was no excuse to not keep me intimately satisfied. I'm not even sure why it was brought up. She was just getting a regular checkup. I wasn't even there. It wasn't her regular doctor. Her regular doctor was on maternity leave. She was not impressed, to say the least. 'Being pregnant is no reason to not please your significant other.' She told her primary doctor about this experience. She also had to send a letter to the head of medicine due to another incident that happened after my wife needed to have a c-section after three days in labor. Afterward, policy in our health region was three days observation in the hospital for mom because of the surgery. He was discharging her less than a day later. And his examination of our child was done very poorly.
This was a new doctor and he's actually on probation still."
"I was told, 'Just because you almost died carrying that one, don't let it stop you from having another one because all pregnancies are different.' Ok, then I could potentially have two motherless children? Sounds like something a responsible adult should do. I had extremely high blood pressure and the placenta dropped so low that the doctor said just bending over could cause a problem. They couldn't see the bottom on ultrasound and had to use the wand. I had such bad morning sickness and then when that was done, I had acid reflux so bad I was throwing up 3-10 times A DAY. I didn't gain any weight my whole pregnancy and couldn't eat.
The doctor said just the elevation in blood pressure alone was reason enough never to do it again."
"One person told me I would never be able to fit a baby out of my body because I wasn't big enough "down there,' and to just get a c-section. This was not a doctor who said this to me. A random person who had literally never seen 'down there.' No, I'm not going to get major surgery just because you don't think I'm large enough.
I've had two successful natural births."
"When my grandma was pregnant with my mom (her first) in the 50s, the accepted wisdom was that smoking while pregnant was a good idea for first-time mothers because it lowered the birth weight. Which was supposed to make labor and delivery easier?
But low birth weight is extremely dangerous and makes the process harder. My mom was born two months early and weighed about two or three pounds. She was so tiny that my grandma dressed her in baby doll clothes, and my mom spent her first month of life in the hospital's NICU."
"Frozen cabbage leaves in the bra to help with swelling and pain due to chest feeding. While it felt awesome for the whole minute or so they stayed frozen, they eventually turn to mush and make a mess.
The advice I wish someone had given me - get a mattress protector. Not just for when your water breaks. Carrying a big baby next to your bladder means just the act of rolling over in bed can cause leakage. And if you are too tired after the birth to take the baby to a changing table or the floor, you're going to want a layer of protection on your mattress. Soon as that diaper is off, the baby will projectile poop. Sheets and walls can be washed, but mattresses can't be. Poopsplosions are real. Prepare yourself."
"I’ve just had a lot of people who cannot deal with the fact that I didn’t have morning sickness. At eight weeks, I was fine. Nine weeks, still fine. Started cautiously saying I think I managed to dodge morning sickness.
Everyone would reply with a 'Woah ho ho, don’t go speaking too soon there!'
Even now, at fifteen weeks, people are telling me 'A lot of times, it sets in during the second trimester!'
To my knowledge, this is untrue. Maybe some heartburn. Like, people just really want to make sure I get super sick at some point I guess."
"I didn’t really get anything crazy in the way of advice but did have the craziest, most what-the-heck interaction with an ex-boyfriend when he found out I was pregnant. I had kept in casual contact with him as mostly Facebook friends, occasionally meeting up for drinks whenever we happened to be in the same town. Never anything crazy or untoward. We dated for like three weeks in college and ended up being casual friends more than anything. But once I announced my pregnancy he messaged me on Facebook, begging me for photos of my bump.
He wanted nudes, bump photos, anything I would give him. I was disgusted given that we had barely dated like 15 years before and he was suddenly being a total creep in my private messages. Plus, he was engaged to be married! I told him absolutely not and he needed to very quickly find his place otherwise I’d tell his fiancé and cut off all contact. He ended up hitting on me once more in my 7th month by reminding me he could’ve 'knocked me up too ...remember?'
And asked for a bare bump photo so he could imagine it. I have never known a man who had a pregnancy fetish and was completely grossed out. His fiancé got a copy of the convo. And I blocked him. They ended up getting married still and apparently just had their first baby. I guess it takes all kinds. I’m still creeped out by it."
"'You are eating for two.'
Um, no. You only need about an extra 100-300 calories during pregnancy. Are there going to be intense cravings and times where you indulge in those brownies or chips? Sure. Just don't go overboard and use pregnancy as an excuse to eat an entire batch of brownies in one sitting."
"My aunt was a doula. She had all sorts of advice to give about how she would suggest I do the birth thing. I don't even remember most of it because it was all just personal choice stuff. No actual science. The one thing that made me mad was when she insisted that I not get an epidural because it 'slows down the birth.' I was in the hospital, already in labor, and already totally over the pain. Plus, even if it did, I'd rather have 10 hours of level three pain then any more level 10 pain.
I had contractions for about six hours. The part where I was actively pushing the baby out was maybe five minutes long. What part was slowed down there?
She tried to talk me out of hospital birth my whole pregnancy. With my fiancé out of the country, I wasn't about to take the chance. If anything happened to me or the baby I wanted to already be there. For me, and so he could know we had our best chance. I always planned on the hospital birth with an epidural. It's the right choice for me, and I 100% will choose it again if I have any more babies."
"I had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety well before I even conceived my first child. I have a perfectly healthy 3-year-old and a 1-year-old now.
With both of my children, I wanted to nurse so badly. I was really excited to try it with my first and even more so with my second, given the extra hindsight I had.
I was active duty military when I gave birth to both of my children and the hospital they were born in really put a ridiculous amount of emphasis on nursing. So much so that when I realized with my first child that I mentally/emotionally couldn’t handle it (physically/biologically we were a great team), I felt guilty. So freaking guilty that there are so many women out there that can’t physically produce enough to provide for their child and I could, yet emotionally and mentally it was really preventing me to bond with my baby. I started to feel resentment and that’s when I knew something wasn’t quite right. I felt this with both of my children. Nine days with my first and four days with my second is how long I lasted nursing. Both bouts ended with me crying, having a panic attack on my bathroom floor (in the same exact spot, weirdly enough) and then making a late-night trip to Walmart to buy formula thanks to my husband’s support. As soon as the pressure of nursing was lifted from me, I began to instantly feel a connection with my babies, both times. I’m not sure if I had PPD with my first, but I know without a doubt I did with my second.
Everyone talks about how beneficial nursing is and the physical complications if you can’t provide or if the baby doesn’t have a good latch. However, I’ve yet to discover anyone else that has been open about the emotional effects nursing has and that some mothers can’t emotionally or mentally proceed with it.
For any new moms, it doesn’t make you a bad mother if you feel that formula will help you bond with your baby. Having a baby is so taxing in all aspects and to throw in nursing is another monster in itself. Your baby needs you to be okay. Please don’t feel pressured to nurse, especially when you may feel resentment or guilt. Fed is best. That’s all that matters."
"I was at work and grabbed a Coke to drink with my lunch. A colleague looks at me, and tells me that I shouldn't drink it! So I asked him why, and he said it would make the baby... deaf!
'Ermmm... How would that happen?'
Simple! The bubbles exploding in my belly would harm the embryo's hearing."
"That if you try really hard and stretch a lot, you too can have a natural birth. Not actually a bad plan, as long as you don't wind up not freaking dilating after 30 hours and have an emergency C section due to fetal distress. Because I just didn't try hard and stretch enough."