You just found out you’re pregnant…welcome to the land of unsolicited, expert parenting advice from everyone from your mother in law to the mailman.

Prepare yourself, because the mom experts will start coming out of the woodwork at any given moment now, and the worst part is, they won’t stop until your baby is considerably older, and even then, the advice may never stop altogether. Everyone you know is suddenly a baby expert, and by everyone, this refers to your closest friends, your mother, your grandmother, your mother-in-law, your neighbor, your neighbor’s sister, the lady in the checkout line at the grocery store…everyone.

If you have not yet received your first commentary, brace yourself. And what’s worse is, the people who give you all that advice won’t be content to just tell it to you and let it go. They will want to check to see if you actually follow their advice and if you don’t they may even go so far as to unfriend you. It’s such a personal thing, and it seems we, as a society, will never learn how to leave a young mother to her own unless she shows signs of needing specific help, and then, being careful not to overstep the appropriate boundaries.

And what’s funny is that often, the most detailed advice comes from people who have never had children themselves, but they somehow consider themselves to be experts on the subject. Some of the advice comes in the form of horror stories, which is one of the more tortuous forms of advice-giving. If you are a new mother expecting your first baby, prepare yourself for whom you are about to meet. Prepare just how you are going to deal with such comments and take control. Thank them and tell them you will discuss their advice with your pediatrician, or tell them you have already determined that “__________” is best, etc. Whatever you do, don’t come across as lost or clueless, or you’ll open the floodgates, potentially drowning in advice.

Women have been having babies ever since Adam and Eve, and you’ll do just fine. Give yourself some credit. Know the facts, be educated and do your best job. Everything will be just fine, and the less unsolicited advice you internalize, the more peace you and your family will have.