breakin’ the law

There are a lot of bad things you’re not supposed to do when you’re pregnant. Some of them are well-known: caffeine, booze, hot tubs; I like to refer to these as the Big 3, and I have stayed away from them. Except for a wee bit of coffee on Saturdays, which a leprechaun told me doesn’t count.

Some of the other no-no stuff is a little weirder and never would have occurred to me had I not started reading every book in creation with “pregnancy” in the title. (Dodgy book review: they’re all the same.) I have stacks of actual literature that was not written for an 8th grade reading level just waiting to be devoured as soon as I have a grip on this whole kid thing.

Here are some of the lesser known no-nos:

  • No green tea. Apparently the “green” in green tea prevents your body from absorbing folic acid, which leads to fetal abominations.
  • No salad bars. Because you don’t know how long that shit been festering at room temp.
  • No Vitamin A…in excess. But you do want some Vitamin A. Just not too much. It’s a delicate balance. And if you go even one mg over, your baby is toast.
  • No raw eggs. No mayo. No Caesar dressing. No cookie dough. No hollandaise. No 50 other foods that may or may not contain raw or undercooked eggs. Just to be safesies.
  • No deli meat. Because smoked/cured meats are the debil.
  • No shark, king mackerel or swordfish or your baby will be born with scales.
  • No sleeping on your back or else your baby will start puckering up like that girl from “Airplane!” when the stewardess keeps popping out her IV while she’s singing “River of Jordan.”
  • No unpasteurized dairy. This includes your bleu cheese, your feta, your Brie, your Camembert, and anything from Mexico. Apparently it can give you listerine.
  • No Listerine.

Confession: I have done some of the bad things. I love salad bars, deli meat and even zomgnomayo, and no matter how hard I try to sleep on my side, I wake up on my back at least four times a night. But anytime I do a bad thing, I just think about this girl I saw on one of those theDiscoveryChannelTLCA&E shows about being pregnant and hooked on the bad stuff: she went on a cocaine bender for two weeks during her second trimester. So I just say to myself, at least I didn’t do THAT. And I feel better. And that my friends, is how you rationalize.


40 thoughts on “breakin’ the law

  1. Whatevs, Betty Draper smoked through pregnancy and I don’t think her kids had nic fits when they were born.

    Also: +a million for the Ralph Wiggum reference. I mean, if your kid turned out like Ralph that wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, right?

  2. I’m pretty sure my mom drank moderately and probably ate 90 percent of the shit you list up there. (to be fair, they didn’t really know as much about FAS back then)

    Darwinism!! Don’t be scared to roll the dice! Maybe you should slam some heroin in utero.

    • Yeah…most of this stuff is just protection for stupid people and “CYA.” The odds of any of it affecting the kid are pretty low. But I’d rather follow the “rules” than have a baby born with no face and no arms and be wondering, “damn, is it because I had that little dab of mayo on my turkey sandwich that one time?” :/

  3. When my ex-wife got pregnant, she was 5’3″ and 95lbs. She isn’t emaciated or a model, just a tiny girl. Two days before she gave birth she weighed in at 146lbs. When our son was born he was 22″ and weighed 9lb 2oz. Why am I going on about this?

    Because the last trimester she couldn’t sleep in any position but on her left side.

    So what’s this got to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing. You mentioned sleeping on your back while pregnant and it made me think of this. That’s all.

  4. ehh, i still eat mayo and at [reputable] salad bars. i don’t see that mentioned by the CDC so i’m just going to not worry about them! and i found out that there are is lots of brie, bleu cheese, etc that IS pasteurized! my favorite discovery so far.

    i have NO idea how i would avoid sleeping on my back, though. like you, i just go that way WHILE I’M ASLEEP. i have to believe that if it were really that harmful, it would hurt or cause you to wake up before it was a problem – shouldn’t evolution work that way? then again, maybe it will – i’m only 12 weeks so i’m new at this!

    • Hey, 12 weeks is a milestone! Congrats!

      Yeah, I think I’d would feel distressed if it really was causing problems, and in the unlikely event that I did go into cardiac arrest or something crazy, I might actually get more than 45 minutes of interrupted sleep– SO WORTH IT.

  5. I still have a cup of watered-down crappy coffee almost every day, and I still use mayo. Ooops. Now my baby is going to be totally fucked up.

    People say I’m weirdo when I say this, but here I go again … There was a young girl out here in California who was kidnapped and lived in a shed in her kidnapper’s backyard. He raped her and she gave birth twice in that shed. She’s safe and sound now, and her kids are perfectly healthy. When people get judgy with me and say “no mayo this” and “no caffeine that” I remind them about that girl. Then they call me a “morbid fuck” and leave me alone. True story.

  6. Confession: I’m taking pediatric nutrition this semester and am fascinated by all of this stuff. And I am AMAZED at the morons out there that get pregnant, have no idea about any of these “rules” and have normal babies. You know?? I also love salad bars…that would be a tough one.

    • It’s mostly protection against foodborne illness, which can really mess up the baby, and I guess I might be a little more careful if I’d ever HAD food poisoning, but I am still blissfully ignorant of that affliction.

  7. My sister is a L&D nurse studying to get her CRNP in women’s health. She says most of its nonsense, esp. when you think of how few restrictions our mom’s had (basically liquor and drugs) and look how well we all turned out! That shit changes all the time.

    Now they say don’t eat peanuts in case your child has a peanut allergy. I say? EFF. THAT. Unless my future HUBZ is allergic, there is no way in hell I’d give up the good stuff.

  8. Open any of the 412283 ancient photo albums in my parent’s house and you’ll find many photos that show the women of my grandmother’s generation holding a martini and a cigarette on either side of their giant baby bumps. And we all seemed to turn out juuuuust fine, save for a few forked tongues here and there.

  9. My sister is pregnant and has a guilty cup of coffee now and then.

    I used to work as an early intervention therapist and saw many babies who were born addicted to cocaine and are doing just fine.

    I am NOT saying that these babies won’t feel effects someday, or that anybody pregnant should dabble in cocaine. I’m just sayin’…that coffee…ain’t so bad.

  10. I LOVE (in a sick, twisted way, obvs) the comment about the woman who gave birth in a shed in California and her kids are fine now. Really, when you think about how babies in different cultures all over the world somehow turn out JUST FINE even without the benefit of obsessive-compulsive US-style hygiene – did anyone see the movie “Babies”? – it’s not hard to imagine that a lot of this ZOMGZ MAYO KILLS stuff is completely ridiculous.

    Random factoid: Coffee is not taboo for pregnant women in Germany. They say up to 200mg/day of caffeine is fine (that’s like 2 cups, I think?) So either German physiology is completely different or my baby is destined to be a complete f***up 😦 OR – wait, could it be? – most of this is unscientific bullshit?

    Cranky Pregnant Chick

    • I think I had a pretty high tolerance for caffeine going into this, so 200 mg would probably have been like 0 for me anyway. Maybe I should consider this baby my “control group” and my next baby the “experimental group” and record the results.

    • Someone else referenced that! I am utterly humbled…I had no idea a case of the SADZ while pregnant might make my baby catch teh gay.

      Also, isn’t “the art of making a baby” just a nice way of saying “fucking”? (I guess that domain was already spoken for.)

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