A pregnant friend of mine happened to post on Twitter recently that her husband was bringing home sushi. By the next morning she’d received 24 messages from people berating and worrying and reminding her not to eat sushi.
When you’re pregnant, you get introduced to this strange thing where your body and your choices become everyone else’s business. None of those 24 people gave her the benefit of a doubt that she knew what she was doing. Or that, just perhaps, she was eating vegetarian or cooked sushi. And, it turns out, that’s exactly what she’d done. Not that it stopped people from chiming in.
So how do we deal with the meddling? Especially since we’re already nervous and hormonal and uncomfortable?
Do Your Research
Do some reading, talk to your doctor, find out what your risks are. A lot of decisions in pregnancy are almost impossible to make since you don’t really know what the potential costs are. If you feel more comfortable avoiding anything remotely dangerous, that’s okay for you. If you feel like you will do exactly what your doctor says, great. If you take it on a case-by-case basis, awesome.
Keep in mind, the sad facts are that the doctors don’t all agree. One will tell you a glass of wine is fine now and then, another will insist you refuse all alcohol. One will say it’s fine for you to continue a medication you’re already on, another will tell you to give it up. Do your best to have a real discussion about what’s involved and what the research shows so you can make as educated a decision as possible.
It’s Different For Everyone
When you start talking to other women, you’ll realize that everyone has different things they worry about. Most of us have one thing we allow and other things we’re very strict about. We all have our own reasons and we all make different decisions.
It makes sense, after all, we don’t all have the same kind of pregnancy and we don’t all have the same life. Do what works for you.
If you don’t want to be judged by other people, make sure you don’t berate any pregnant women you know for a half a cup of coffee or a cold turkey sandwich. You can have conversations and discussions, but watch out that you don’t get too preachy.
There’s a difference between educating someone about their risks and telling someone what they should do. Make sure you’re on the right side of that line and respect people’s decisions.
It’s Good Practice for Parenthood!
Realize that all these things will become more and more common. It won’t just be what you eat. It’ll be what crib you choose. Whether you decide to breastfeed. It’ll even be what colors you choose for your nursery! Try to be open-minded and friendly with others and learn to respond to people’s well-intentioned but unfortunate comments.
As a parent, you’ll find these debates and judgments everywhere you turn. Learning to take it in stride now will have you more prepared.