Advice. The one thing that’s not in short supply when you’re pregnant is advice.

You get it from friends, you get it from family, you get it from neighbours and you get it from total strangers – whether you like it or not.

A letter to my pregnant friend

Indeed pregnancy has inspired such posts as things they don’t tell you about the third trimester, things they don’t tell you about being overdue, things they don’t tell you about childbirth and things they don’t tell you about breastfeeding.

With two friends expecting their first babies in the next few weeks I’ve been thinking about what advice I can give, things it might have been helpful to have known before I had my first baby.

A letter to my pregnant friend

1. If you can’t agree on a baby name it doesn’t matter – in the first 10 minutes after the birth you can call the baby whatever you want.

2. The tea and toast they give you afterwards is the best tea and toast you’ll ever taste. It’s one of the funny things they don’t tell you about childbirth.

3. Don’t look at your body and criticise it – you’ve just grown a human being! You’re amazing!

4. By the end of week one you’ll wonder how on earth you ever survived without baby wipes.

5. Ignore anyone who tells you their baby slept through the night from two weeks. They’re either lying, or they’re not your friend. Possibly both.

6. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you not to feed your baby to sleep. If it works for you, do it.

7. Daddy Pig is a really bad example of a father.

8. Get a super king sized bed. You’re going to need it.

9. If you feel down and don’t come back up again, tell someone. Don’t suffer in silence.

10. Scratch mittens that aren’t attached to an item of clothing are totally useless and just one of many baby items you really don’t need.

11. There’s no such thing as spoiling a baby. If you want to sit on the sofa holding them all day then do it.

12. Wine is your friend. And prosecco, and gin and vodka. Basically anything with an ABV over 5%.

What advice would you give to someone about to have their first baby? Are there any pearls of wisdom you were given before entering parenthood that were especially useful? Or is there anything you wish you hadn’t been told?

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