“BABY showers are entirely useful, fully functional and massively beneficial to your unborn baby,” said no one ever.

At the risk of alienating half our readers and a large proportion of my friends I’m going to officially put it out there and say: baby showers are utter nonsense.

Not since Kim Kardashian has there been a more irritating and inescapable American import. Perhaps it’s the age I’m at but, with a fair few of my friends having babies, the baby shower invitations are relentless.

‘Oh but they’re good fun,’ I hear the shower-enthusiasts among you say.

What, exactly, is good fun about being heavily pregnant and watching every single one of your friends sip cocktails and get pie-eyed while you nibble a scone and drink poxy tea? All the while trying to negotiate your (inevitable) piles on the emergency chair in a futile bid to find a position that isn’t intense agony.

Nothing, that’s what.

I have had two babies and zero baby showers and, unbelievably, I survived. Better still, my children got through it. I’m sure in 18 year’s time when they pull out the old photo albums and realise there’s no pictures from their baby shower, they will question their very existence, feel their lives are incomplete and disown me, but, hey ho, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

In my experience (and because I have mostly rationally-minded friends) no one really, actually wants to go to a baby shower. In fact, most of the time the pregnant person is the least happy person to be there and nine times out of 10 it has been sprung on her in a well-meant but misguided surprise.

I mean, like she needs reminded that in a few short week she will experience the most indescribable, incomparable and unimaginable pain known to (wo)man. Then once baby is here and the adrenaline and happy hormones have faded, it’s time to look forward to no sleep and a lifetime of worry. Yay! “But hey, we brought cute bibs.” Excellent.

So far, so awful.

The main element to most baby showers is the games. The absolutely hideous games. If you’ve never been to a baby shower or even read about one then what I’m about to tell you will seem utterly made up. But, tragically, it’s true.

One popular game is to squish a chocolate bar into a nappy (yes really!) and get the guests to guess what kind of confectionery is in there by investigating through sight, smell and - if they’re brave (or warped) enough - taste. Yum.

Another is ‘pin the bottle on the baby’. If that sounds familiar it’s because it is a blatant re-hash of the old pin the tail on the donkey. A game not played - or enjoyed - by most people since they were five-years-old.

Up next on the conveyor belt of pretend fun is the obligatory quiz. This usually involves something to do with babies, the pregnant woman or both. Just what you want on a day of ‘fun’ - a test. In one I read about recently guests were asked to finish the nursery rhyme. “Mary had a little ?”. I kid you not.

Continuing with the patronising parade, up next is the gifts.

Women (oh did I mention these events are women-only. Apparently because it’s only the ‘fairer sex’ who are able to truly understand what it means to grow a human. But actually it’s because men, in general, like to enjoy actual fun as opposed to pretend, Americanised, weird stuff), turn up in their droves with all kinds of bizarro (and mostly useless) gifts. Topping the list is the ‘nappy cake’.

You’re pregnant, you hear ‘cake’ and you, quite sensibly, assume there’s something sweet and tasty on the menu. Rookie mistake. What you’re actually presented with is a giant pile of nappies, wipes, talc and baby creams. Essentially, all the stuff you’ve already bought in bulk - and none of it edible. But it’s presented in the shape of a peculiar three-tier cake.

Traditionally, even in America, a baby shower was less about gifts and games and originally meant to be a gathering of women with the older, wiser among them on hand to ‘shower’ baby advice to the new mums-to-be. Essentially, a social patronising of anyone who hadn’t been-there-and-done-it. As if that wasn’t bad enough it has now evolved, along with most other important life events, in to a consumerist nightmare and we are all being dragged along for the ride.

What a shower of nonsense.