Where is it written that as soon as you start to breed you become public property?
Where is it written that as soon as you see the two lines on the pregnancy test that your brain stops functioning and you can’t make a rational decision?
Where is it written that you aren’t allowed to do your own research, evaluate the evidence and come up with your own decision?
The Pregnancy Police seem to be getting out of control.
Not content with putting little signs saying pregnant women shouldn’t drink wine on wine bottles, they are now everywhere, suggesting you only drink decaff coffee, forbidding you from eating cheese and micro managing every decision and action you take.
Yet most of the diktats the Pregnancy Police profer are based on anecdote rather than evidence.
They haven’t been helped by Government messaging which seems to assume that we should all be treated like the lowest common denominator.
Yes, I know there are vulnerable, uninformed, or misinformed mothers who may inadvertently or deliberately make decisions that adversely effect the health and development of their unborn child*, but in reality the bulk of pregnant mothers have only their unborn child’s best interests at heart.
I’ve met mothers who have deliberately tried to ensure they have a small baby. I met them in the waiting room whlist waiting to see our consultant. They had IUGR because they were smoking, still smoking a lot, enough to have to nip out for a couple of cigarette breaks in an hour’s wait – they had chosen to do this because they had heard that it makes your baby smaller and that makes childbirth easier. Yes it does make your baby smaller but at some potential cost to the baby. But they didn’t know that and even the messages on the sides of cigarette packets hadn’t stopped them doing it. Where were the Pregnancy Police when they were needed?
Ok so smoking in pregnancy is generally accepted to be a Bad Thing, but have you been and actually looked at the evidence around drinking alcohol or caffeine or eating cheese?
Or do you just know that these are forbidden?
Because the actual evidence tells a slightly different story.
You see it is generally accepted that very heavy drinking, let’s say a bottle of vodka a day, is bad for your baby. Come to think of it, its not a great thing for a non-pregnant person. And medical science is fairly clear that drinking a bottle of vodka a day will have a negative impact on your baby. What they are less clear on is what is the safe lower limit. There is evidence that a glass or wine or two is fine. In fact can have benefits if it relaxes an otherwise stressed out mother*. The trouble is that the Government don’t believe that we are intelligent enough to work out that a bottle of vodka is BAD and that the odd drink is Ok and that you just need to be sensible and not get falling down drunk.
Let me admit the inadmissible – I drank whilst pregnant. I tended to have a glass of wine with dinner, or a cider in the bath, or a glass of champagne. And I had spoken with my midwife after reading around the research and we agreed that a bottle of vodka a day was BAD but if I was sensible it would be ok.
I also drank coffee. Not as much as before I got pregnant but I still had at least a cup a day. In fact when I had hyperemesis, my consultant told me to drink more because it would help. Yes, medical science told me to drink this Ms Serving Person in Starbucks so eff off.
And cheese. Again go and have a look at the research and you’ll find that yes there can be risks if you’re planning on eating something incredibly ripe, unpasteurised with a dodgy provenance. But if its UK produced, and has been stored properly you are ok. And when you dig into it the incidence of cheese related food poisoning is minute in the general population each year, let alone in the pregnant population.
So Pregnancy Police please piss off and go and help those who need you to educate and guide them but please remember that the majority of pregnant women are not brain dead but in fact able to made informed decisions. Oh and despite being pregnant it is still our body and not a piece of public property.
*You do know that stress has one of the biggest adverse impacts for an unborn child? Thought not.