In my experience, going through life and simply existing as a visibly pregnant woman is often interpreted by strangers as an invitation to chat. Sometimes, these were pleasant chats laced with compliments (pregnant ladies love compliments); other times they were less enjoyable, requiring me to politely smile and subtly grit my teeth. I’ve even heard of mythical, magical scenarios where the mom in question would receive an occasional gem of unsolicited pregnancy and motherhood advice that was actually helpful.
I can’t recall hearing a single nugget of unsolicited advice when I was pregnant, though it’s entirely possible that I’m just blocking it out because, again, my teeth were grinding and I just may not have heard certain people correctly. I try to remember that I really didn't appreciate listening to unsolicited advice, especially when I’m talking to pregnant friends and other new moms. Still, I’ve been unable to hold my tongue because, well, they need to know what I’ve learned, too (the short version: have your breast pump ready and assembled before your baby arrives).
So far, not a single mom has followed up with me to say whether or not this information saved her in her first weeks of motherhood as it would have for me, but I’m just going to assume it did. As it turns out, many other moms do have other examples of unsolicited advice that did help them, which they were kind enough to share: