Many new mothers are given contradictory and sometimes dangerous parenting advice by family members and other mums, a survey by Netmums has found.

Two in five new mums said they were given advice by relatives that they felt could harm their baby's health.

Some of the more extreme examples of "advice" included exposing a baby to hot tarmac fumes to "strengthen its lungs" and "under ones don't need sun cream because they can't get sunburnt".

More than three-quarters of the 4,000 mothers who responded to the survey said they had sought parenting advice from relatives.

Yet both mother-in-laws (39 per cent) and other mums (35 per cent) topped the poll for people who'd given the new mums confusing, contradictory or incorrect parenting advice.

Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of Netmums said: "Mums really are being bombarded with advice from every direction.

"Despite this, however, the findings also showed that many mothers feel that parenting shouldn't be about following strict rules - they do what feels right for each individual child and ignore well-meant advice."

Posted by Robert Mair on 29.3.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com