Mind Your Own Business! Opinionated Friends Should Bite Their Tongues.

07/05/2009 11:06 | Updated 22 May 2015

There seem to be two occasions in a person's life when everyone and anyone thinks it's acceptable to give their opinion whether you wanted it or not: when you get married and when you get pregnant.

It's amazing to me that the type of wedding dress you're wearing, whether you're planning on changing your surname, the traditions you're keeping or scrapping, and everything else in between is fair game for friends, family and even strangers.

And the same is true of pregnancy.

I've heard people holding forth on the subject of home birth ("If I'd have had little Freddie at home I'd have DIED and so would he"), co-sleeping ("you're not going to be one of those people who co-sleeps are you?") and whether having tests for Down's Syndrome is wrong or not ("I didn't have any of the tests and I think it's wrong to have them") and I just can't believe that people think it's OK to say those things to a pregnant woman.

Of course you're entitled to your opinion, but when someone tells you that they're planning a home birth and their scan is due in a few weeks, it's fairly safe to say that unless you've been asked for your views you should go ahead and bite your tongue.

Just as it's not OK to tell a friend to change her surname because it's "naff" not to, it's not OK to start bullying a pregnant woman about co-sleeping before she's even had a chance to find out the facts herself. People who say "I pride myself on speaking my mind" aren't being helpful - they're just being rude.

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