Busybodies think it's fine to offer their advice to expectant mothers
With four children under 10, Mumstown.ie founder Siobhán O'Neill-White (right), from Meath, has received plenty of unwanted pregnancy advice -- and reckons armchair obstetricians should just 'bump off'.
"During my pregnancies, I often invited family and friends to feel my bump while the baby was kicking. But I've also had complete strangers come up to me in the supermarket and stick their hand on my belly. People force their opinions on pregnant women all the time.
"Once when I had a craving for a Snickers bar, a man gave out to me for eating it because it contained peanuts [unproven to increase the risk of childhood peanut allergy]. And on the rare occasion I had half a glass of wine, people would look at me like I was putting strychnine in my body.
"When I decided to give birth to our youngest, April (4) and Summer (10 months) at home, it was even worse. Some family members said I was selfish and irresponsible -- even though the level of care was much better than I'd had in hospital with Mitchell (9) and Robyn (7).
"When you're expecting a baby, it's lovely to be asked when you're due or how you're feeling. Apart from that, though, I think people should mind their own business."
Mum-to-be Hyun-Jin Oh (31, below), who lives in Dublin with her husband David, admits to being blitzed with tips from fellow mums -- but says some of it has been helpful.
"We're expecting our first baby in November -- and can't wait. We'll find out whether it's a boy or a girl at our next scan in July. As a first-time mum, lots of my friends with children have given me advice on everything from morning sickness to maternity leave. In Korea, where I'm from, there are a lot more pregnancy taboos -- 'don't do this' and 'don't do that'. Pregnant women barely move for nine months.
"In comparison, Irish people are quite relaxed about pregnancy."