Are friends and family weighing in on your birth plan and your baby’s name? Hinting about how soon after birth they want to visit? Learn how to plan for a baby when others are feeding you too much advice. Here’s how new moms say they handled these outside sources of pregnancy stress.

Your baby bump is a magnet for excitement, good wishes—and advice. You will hear a lot of different suggestions and advice on pregnancy options. Everyone in your world knows that you face countless decisions during pregnancy, and everyone is all too eager to share their advice on how to plan for a baby. But what they see as helpful, you may find feels like pressure and unwelcome stress during pregnancy.

How best, then, to say, “Thanks, but no thanks?” when others advise you on how to plan for a baby. Consider these ideas from moms who’ve been there.

How to Plan for a Baby with Friends and Family

Your Birth Plan

  • “Have some stock answers ready to just move the conversation along, like “That’s interesting; I’ll mention it to my doctor” or “I can’t even decide what movie to see this weekend—any suggestions on that?”
    —Kara S., Knoxville, Tennessee
  • “Share birth plan details on a need-to-know basis. Telling every co-worker and aunt the ins and outs of what you’re thinking about epidurals, water births, circumcision, etc., is just inviting them to weigh in. When people would ask or offer suggestions, I’d just say that my midwife and I had worked out a plan that I felt really great about and now I just wanted to relax and not think about it for awhile.”
    —Laura P., Charlotte, North Carolina

Your Delivery Invitation List

  • “Be specific about who you want and how much you want them to see. Don’t leave it vague or open-ended. I wanted my mom and mother-in-law there, but not the dads. They could come to the hospital but had to stay in the waiting room. People respect it if you point out that what matters is that you feel comfortable and relaxed. It’s not a social invitation.”
    —Tanya B., Portland, Oregon
  • “I blamed the hospital rules: Sorry, I can only have three people there, but we’ll let you know as soon as the baby arrives and you can visit. I don’t actually know what the rules are on who can be present, but that line satisfied relatives angling for an invite.”
    —Lin J., Novato, California

Your Baby’s Name

  • “We finally just said, ‘This is one topic that’s off limits.' ”
    —Beth R., New York City
  • “Once you’ve decided, just stick to your guns. When someone would say they didn’t like our name, we’d just say, ‘I hope you get used to it.’”
    —Shana M., Burlington, Vermont

First Visitors

  • “My partner said everyone was welcome to visit, but on the condition that they’d only get to see the baby and me if we were awake, and they had to leave after 15 minutes. At first, it’s really important to protect your time as a new family and put you and the baby first.”
    —Pattie A., Columbus, Ohio

Your Feeding Choice

  • “Most people are just trying to help, but consider the source of the advice. Is this someone you like and trust and think has good judgment? Do you agree on other ideas about parenting? Is she saying it in a helpful or kind of pushy way? Trust your gut about how much to engage someone.”
    —Jaya R., Berkeley, California
  • “I would thank them for their input but say the best advice I ever got about motherhood was that I need to keep my options open.”
    —Michelle P., Warren, Michigan