Why is it that when you become pregnant the world is suddenly allowed to comment and pass judgement on every little choice you make? I’ve found that everyone has an opinion about pregnancy and what is ‘right’, especially when it comes to what you eat or drink.
Almost everytime I have said a polite ‘no thank you’ to an offering of food because it is something I don’t feel comfortable eating while pregnant I get a slight eye roll followed by ‘oh I don’t believe in not eating [insert food here] while you’re pregnant. I ate it all the time when I was pregnant and my kids are fine!’ You ate some ham 15 years ago when you were pregnant and your little angel turned out fine? Good for you.
If I want to avoid deli meats and soft cheese because I would rather be safe than sorry that’s my business, and I don’t really care what you ‘believe’ or don’t believe when it comes to food safety during pregnancy. Unless you’ve maybe got a medical degree and some scientific research you’ve been hiding in your junk drawer that you’d care to share with me. Then we can talk.
If I want to not drink any alcohol while I’m pregnant, I’m pretty sure that’s my business. If you still had a glass of wine a week while you were pregnant and it was all good, fantastic. Well done. But don’t make me feel like a buzzkill for not having a drink while I’m pregnant. It’s only another 4.5 months or so, I’m sure I can hold out.
I really really want to be pregnant. I really really want this baby. So if it’s advisable I do (or don’t do) something for 9 months to ensure my baby is as healthy as possible, then I’m going to do it. I would never forgive myself if I got a freak case of listeria from some soft cheese and it adversely impacted the health of my child. I can do something to stop something bad from happening, so I will.
If you have made the decision to eat deli meat, soft cheese and drink wine then it is just that, your decision. I won’t judge you for your decisions and I expect that you won’t judge me for abstaining for 9 months.
On the flip side of this, is people directing their judgement at people for indulging in things that they didn’t dare do while pregnant.
I still have a morning coffee, with actual real caffinated coffee. Almost every day. Just one. But it’s my choice. I don’t want to be told that I shouldn’t be drinking coffee. I’ve had a lot of ‘you shouldn’t drink that’, ‘it’s not good for the baby’, ‘oh I would never do that’.
My doctor says it’s all okay, I’m comfortable with listening to his opinion on the matter. Random stranger or friend with no medical qualification? Sorry, your opinion doesn’t count.
At least, not when it comes to me and my pregnancy. If you happen to find yourself pregnant, you are free to make your own decisions. You might be scandalised that I would dare have a cup of coffee but are okay with your brie and ham.
And that’s okay.
Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions (based on advice from a professional) when it comes to their own pregnancy and their own experience. Let’s all say it together: ‘My body, my baby, my bloody decision!’
Now stop telling me what to eat and let me enjoy my coffee in peace!