Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rebel Rebel

Paris, 2010

Maybe it's because I live where I live, but I haven't experienced much criticism for what I eat or imbibe while pregnant. If anything, people seem to be coaxing me to bend the rules. "What's the big deal about lunch meat/charcuterie/cheese/sushi/one glass of wine?" they say. And I mostly agree (even if I subsequently ignore them and generally do as my doctor tells me.) Interestingly enough, the only times I've been chided were in the Virgin Islands, when one waitress suggested I shouldn't have coffee, and another woman told me I shouldn't be carrying my carry on bag myself.

My big rebellions so far? Caffeine and peanut butter (and maybe an inch of wine a few times a week with a meal.) My one latte or earl grey tea a day is still within the bounds of recommendations, and cutting it out absolutely seems extreme. Some people say expecting mothers should skip peanut butter to avoid allergies in their children, but there's no history of major allergies in either of our families and I feel like I could use the protein. 

Still, although I mostly abide by the guidelines I'm given, I do think fear over every little chemical is terrible for my emotional state. Just when I am feeling good that I, say, don't wear makeup (which may contain chemicals that can be harmful to fetuses), I remember that I live in a huge metropolis surrounded by construction, pollution, and who knows what else and have a freak out about it all. My computer is probably zapping me with toxic waves as we speak. Overthinking it is paralyzing. 

This train of thought was a little worse for me in the first trimester, when pregnancy felt so new. Now I feel a little more confident in my instincts. No, I'm not going to eat rare street meat. But nor am I going to look at every meal (or every possibly toxic breath I take) as a hurdle.

P.S. Marie Baca wrote an interesting piece on the subject of her pregnancy rebellion in Salon. I especially liked this quote from the comments on the story: "People don't realize that it's hurting us and our children to look at life as a series of accidents that you can avoid if you just plan enough ahead and follow a certain list of rules. Life is dangerous and filled with risk, there are some reasonable things we can do to minimize some risks and there are times where we just need to lead our lives and see what happens."

1 comment:

  1. i was pretty lax during my pregnancy and everything was completely fine. better than fine, in fact ! i definitely indulged, especially in coffee. and when we went to France at 35 weeks, well ... there were some things i simply couldn't say 'no' to.


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