Your baby shower gives you an excuse to publicly celebrate your pregnancy with your loved ones.
It's also a great chance for a catch up, especially if you’ve been missing out on the gossip since you started falling asleep before dinner.
Surrounded by your friends and family, you can enjoy feeling pampered and looked after, whilst everyone excitedly chats about your imminent motherhood.
Oh, and there will be cake. Lots of cake. And presents!
Baby showers come in all shapes and sizes, from an intimate gathering of best friends for afternoon tea, to a large gathering at home.
Some baby showers are themed around the baby’s gender, and others focus instead on the expectant mum’s interests. There might be games, mothers sharing their stories, and blessings for the birth.
Whatever your baby shower looks like, you can be pretty sure the following things will happen at your baby shower:
#1: You Will Cry
You just will. Definitely, no matter what. Whether it’s a surprise baby shower that has you in floods of (happy) tears before you’ve even walked through the door, or a speech from your best friend that makes you cry, you will definitely need to take some tissues with you. Just the sight of all those tiny babygros will have your eyes watering, but don’t worry, you can totally blame it on your hormones.
#2: People Will Comment On Your Size
You will spend hours getting ready for the baby shower, mostly because it’s the closest you’ve been to a night out in months.
You will enjoy a long leisurely bath (probably longer than anticipated because you’ll have to wait for help to haul yourself out of the bath), style your newly acquired mane to perfection, and put enough make up on to perfect that ‘pregnancy glow’ you keep hearing about.
You might even have a brand new maternity dress, ready to make the most of your gorgeous baby bump. And after all that effort, the first thing you will hear when you walk through the door is, ‘Oh My God, You Are HUGE!’
#3: There Will Be A Betting Pool
That’s right, all of your lovely friends will try to make money from your pregnancy. They will place bets on the date of the birth, and every single person who bets after your due date will immediately be deleted from your phone book, which is totally fair enough. They will also place bets on the size of your baby, and the award for New Worst Enemy will go to whichever (so called) friend thinks you are about to give birth to the biggest baby.
#4: You Will Get Some Bad Advice
It happens to all expectant mums, someone will corner you at the baby shower and dole out lots of their ‘wisdom’. You will think it all sounds ridiculous but be too afraid to say so, and will be stuck listening to them for a good half hour. This advice will probably come from someone who doesn’t have any children.
#5: Someone Will Tell You A Horror Story
“Oh look, a pregnant woman, I simply must tell her that awful birth story I heard the other day!” Yeah, it doesn’t really make much sense as a thought process, and yet this incredibly rude conversational fail is all too familiar at baby showers.
To prevent the celebration turning into a two hour discussion of the worst birth stories imaginable, nip the conversation in the bud by saying you don’t want to hear anything negative about birth, or better still, print out a sign to stick on your front door that says, “No negative birth stories beyond this point”. Failing that, throw cake at them.
#6: Everyone Will Say ‘Aaaah’
When it’s time to unwrap the presents, get ready to hear a room of women saying ‘aaaaah’ at the top of their voices. Every single present will evoke the same reaction, even the breast pads, which is weird. While everyone else is cooing over the teeny tiny babygros, you won’t be able to stop yourself thinking ‘Tiny?! You try pushing a person this size out of your vagina!’ To keep the baby shower running smoothly, it’s best to avoid saying this aloud.
You could always make present opening time a little more interesting by playing the hilarious baby shower game where upon opening each present, the mother-to-be needs to say something that was said on the night of conception. How do you like ’dem apples?
#7: Someone Will Push Drugs On You
Someone at your baby shower is almost certainly going to advise you to ‘take whatever drugs you can get your hands on’.
This is not good advice, and adds to the fear that many pregnant women fear when they think about the birth. Your midwife is not a drug dealer, you do not need to give advance warning of your order before the big day. Just see how you feel on the day, and you can decide if you want pain relief when you know what labour feels like and how you are coping. There is no need to order up an epidural before you’ve even cut into that baby shower cake.
#8: People Will Ask If You Are Feeling Scared About The Birth
Everyone will ask you this. They will comment on your size, ask how you’re feeling and whether you’ve had any cravings, and then they’ll gaze at you with a look of pity and ask whether you are scared. Stupid question. You’re about to have a child, of course you’re probably a little bit (or a lot) terrified. You’re likely worried about the birth, unsure about how to cuddle a baby, frightened that you might not bond straight away, and petrified that you’ll never sleep again. But don’t worry, that’s all totally normal.
Just fake it ‘til you make it, because even the most talented of people in the world didn’t know HOW they were going to achieve certain things – they just knew that they would.
#9: Things Will Get Emotional
Your best friend will cry because she can’t wait for you to be a mum, your mum will cry because she’s going through a midlife crisis at the prospect of becoming a grandmother, and you’ll cry because everyone keeps commenting on how huge you are. The shower will be an emotional rollercoaster as you celebrate impending motherhood with your nearest and dearest.
To make sure you leave the baby shower feeling calm, confident and ready for all that birth and motherhood has to offer you, you could consider adding in a few elements of a traditional blessingway.
Far from the modern celebrations of cake, gifts and balloons, traditional blessings focused on supporting expectant mums as they prepared for the birth. Ask friends to tell positive birth stories, support your birth choices and help build your confidence as you prepare to become a mother.