• Fri, Sep 30 2011

Gallery: Nine Things Pregnant Women Do To Earn The Unsolicited Ire Of Strangers

It’s not easy to be a pregnant woman in America. Not just because our maternity leave sucks, but it’s also the time in a woman’s life when the entire world around you feels completely justified in judging every move you make and letting you know if it’s not appropriate.

Last night, I caught the very end of The Office, only because it was on my DVR right before Whitney but whatever, and Pam and Angela must both be pregnant. Angela told Pam that she’d called social services on her for drinking herbal tea in a cup with caffeinated coffee residue in it while she was pregnant. My best guess is that the entire episode involved Angela telling Pam all of the things she was doing wrong and just how much she was going to ruin her baby’s life by drinking a little tea while pregnant.

The whole routine might have seemed funny, but for pregnant women, I would imagine that it seems pretty familiar. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I managed a spa and salon. I was frequently told off by customers who thought that I was putting my baby in harm’s way by being around all those perm fumes and hair dye. There are plenty of stories of bars refuses to serve pregnant women, even though one or two drinks during your last trimester is completely safe. In general, because there’s a baby involved, most people are pretty comfortable telling a pregnant woman just what she can and can’t do.

Here’s a few things that can get preggos into trouble with just about any rude, intrusive person they see.

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  • maesie

    As an adoption worker who has spent a lot of time researching Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, there is NO safe amount of alcohol for a pregnant woman to drink.
    The consequences of even one or two drinks during the critical stage of fetal development can cause life-long developmental delays and extremely severe emotional and behavioral impairments. These kids often have sensory issues and have a difficult time with peer relationships, can be physically aggressive and violent, no problem solving skills, etc.
    If you thought that you were putting your child at risk for all these things would you still do it? If you’re still not sure, google Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

    • Leigha

      On the other hand, doctors used to recommend pregnant women drink wine, and we don’t have an entire generation where all or even most people have FAS. In all reality, doctors have NO idea what a safe amount of alcohol would be, so most say none just in case–better safe than sorry. Studies have shown, though, that there does seem to be a safe amount. One (called “Light drinking during pregnancy: still no increased risk for socioemotional difficulties or cognitive deficits at 5 years of age?” if you want to look at it) says that 1-2 drinks per week or less had no significant effect.

      Mind you, I’m not saying that pregnant women SHOULD drink, or that it’s not an incredibly stupid idea to do so. I just think we go a bit overboard in judging women who might drink maybe once or twice, especially considering that most women don’t even know they’re pregnant for the first month or two and yet somehow are made to feel guilty for that drink they had before they found out.

  • LoveyDovey

    Bull on sushi! I absolutely love it and had a good amount of it during my first pregnancy. As long as it’s not the premade boxed stuff at the grocery store and it’s not on the list (I don’t think they use tilefish anyway) there’s nothing wrong with it! And sometimes caffeine is the only thing that can get rid of my headaches when I can’t take anything stronger than tylenol.

    And wait. . . EXERCISE?! Really? How is that bad? No really, someone fill me in, I’m confused.

    • RighttoWorkMom

      Just because you love sushi doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong with it. Countless studies have proven that seafood contains mercury. Every study has shown that mercury is poisonous for humans. You ate sushi and didn’t see the consequences. Some mothers drink and don’t see the consequences. Neither instance changes the fact you shouldn’t drink or eat seafood while pregnant.

      Look, I drank caffeine while I was pregnant – much more than the advised amount. The only difference between me and you is that I am willing to admit that I should not have had caffeine and was blessed to not see negative consequences in my child.

    • Leigha

      RighttoWorkMom–As far as I know, nothing says you shouldn’t eat seafood while pregnant. You’re just supposed to choose cooked, low-mercury seafood.

      “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) say pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces (340 grams) of seafood a week. Similarly, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week for pregnant women — or about two average meals. “

    • LoveyDovey

      You know pregnant women in Japan are encouraged to eat plenty of sushi because it’s good for you and is a tasty way to get more fish, right? I did look into it before I indulged- if it’s from a safe source and is on the list of safe fish to eat, which there is, it’s alright. Did YOU do any research before posting (and then comparing me to women who drink while pregnant? Really?)?

    • Ann

      Mercury can cause anencephaly in your developing foetus. You do not want your foetus to have anencephaly. If you are unfamiliar with this mutation I do not suggest google imaging it, as it’s pretty horrifying.

      If you trust your source of seafood, fine, but personally if I was pregnant it would not be a risk I would choose to take.

  • RighttoWorkMom

    Wow, you did very little research when you put this together. Dyeing your hair is not bad simply because of the fumes. Dyeing your hair is bad because you’re laying chemicals directly onto your scalp for an extended period of times. That’s why even the most zealous pregnancy advocates say you can make a huge difference simply by switching to foils – thus keeping the chemicals off your scalp.

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