A few months in: still not many people know I am pregnant (for a whole host of reasons), but the people who do know are already making judgements about what I should and should not be doing. Yes, we can paint it as “they only care”, but let’s look at it in another way. Let’s see it from the perspective of the person on the receiving end of the comments.
For example: by uttering the phrase “that cannot be good for the baby” what you are actually saying to the person carrying said baby is that they are already a bad mother in your opinion. That what they are doing is wrong. That they should not be carrying the foetus. That you know better and that they should be doing what you want.
Think about it. If I said you to, that cannot be good for you. I’d be saying “I think that’s bad for you”. So, by stating that something cannot be good for the foetus I am carrying you are infact stating that the actions I am taking are, in your eyes, bad. We can go a step further and say that you are suggesting what I am doing is intentionally hurting the baby or at least that, in your opinion, what I am doing is causing harm to the unborn child through my ignorance. You are suggesting that I am an unfit mother, that I should not be carrying the baby as clearly I do not know what I am doing and so forth and so on.
The endless information on the internet breeds armchair pregnancy experts, but what at least 98% of the population forget is that the women carrying the baby is (by and large) going to know what is best for the baby and will act on that accordingly. Also, this may shock some people, but the unborn baby actually knows what’s good for and will take steps to protect itself.
- Cigarette smoke – the smell makes me want to vomit and I will do pretty much anything to avoid it.
- Beer – the smell makes me want to vomit and I will do pretty much anything to avoid it.
- Strong perfume – the smell makes me want to vomit and I will do pretty much anything to avoid it.
- You catch my drift…?
- I have got literally no desire to eat pate, uncooked fish, undercooked meat (or any red meat in general, but I think that has more to do with an extreme bout of morning sickness after a chilli), runny eggs, liver, 2kg of chocolate, heroin, crack, dog faeces……………..
The unborn baby is doing a darn good job of protecting itself by making things that will cause it harm unpalatable or intolerable.
Also, what may shock some people is that, as I am carrying the child and want it to be born healthy, I am doing everything I can to keep the baby safe and healthy.
- On three occasions while pregnant I have fancied a large glass of red wine – I have resisted.
- I have stopped getting tattooed, although the only actual risk is infection as the ink causes no issues.
- I have cancelled my ultra run in August.
- I have made myself walk most days for at least 45 minutes, despite not wanting to most days.
- I have stopped bouldering as the fall may cause harm to the baby.
- I drive safer (mostly).
- I eat healthy (mostly).
- I have cut down on coffee, tea and other caffeine drinks.
- I am trying to be mindful and avoid stress.
- I am investigating hypno-birthing and home birthing to allow me and the baby to have a stress free labour.
- I am attending all the midwife appointments.
- I am trying not to gain excessive weight.
- I am trying to exercise.
- I am drinking 3 litres of water a day (despite this meaning I pee every 2 hours – even at night)
- I cancel events if I need to rest.
So, you could say that, as this is growing inside me, I may know what is right and wrong. I may have a good idea about how to keep the baby safe. I may understand what is healthy and what is unhealthy.
So please, next time you feel the urge to tell me that what I am doing is wrong or what I am doing is not the best for the baby have a think about how the comment is going to be received. Or better still, just assume that I know what is best for my baby and that I am taking all the necessary steps I need to keep the baby safe. If you cannot resist the urge to keep your opinions to yourself, then at least phrase it as your opinion rather than a statement. Keep in mind that I am hormonal and, if push comes to shove, I am likely to tell you to fc## off and I don’t really want to have to offend you.