Here’s a list of things I cannot eat while pregnant:
1. Alcohol: May cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
2. Caffeine: coffee, chocolate, tea, green tea, soda, etc. In a study they found that women that who ingested 6-8 cups of coffee a day had a higher risk of miscarriage and had lower birth weight babies. So they recommend you drink under 200mg a day, a cup of coffee has about 170mg of caffeine in it.
3. Lunchmeat: may have a bacteria that causes a harzardous bacterial infection.
4. Soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and feta: made with unpasteurized milk that may have bacteria that causes hazardous bacterial infections.
5. Sushi: it might make me sick, read give me food poisoning (for the record I have never gotten sick off of sushi). One source I read said that there could be parasites that can cross over the placenta and harm the baby, the very next source said that parasites cannot cross over the placenta. Do women in Japan stop eating sushi when they’re pregnant?
6. Tuna: I should avoid tuna steaks because they have too much mercury in them, might damage my baby’s nervous system. But I should eat canned tuna to get omega-3’s, but only 6 oz. a week.
7. Sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and stevia: all sugar substitutes and since some cause cancer in lab rats I shouldn’t eat them or only in moderation.
8. Herbal tea: since we haven’t done lots of conclusive studies on herbs that are used in teas I should either cut them out or not use them at all. I also found conflicting information on herbs; one source would say that hibiscus was unsafe and the very next would say that it is just fine (by the way hibiscus is in every red hued herbal tea out there, very hard to avoid), I had the same thing occur with lemongrass, red raspberry leaf, fennel, and peppermint.
9. I should buy organic foods: by the way there has been no conclusive study done that show that organic foods are actually better for you.
10. Uncooked eggs or meat: say goodbye to runny yolks and medium rare.
11. Afalfa and other sprouts: may have bacteria.
12. Meats that have nitrates in them.
I think that’s all I think of right now.
Things that I am not supposed to do while pregnant:
1. Take hot baths or hot showers: might overheat and cook the fetus or make my skin itchier than it already is.
2. Hiking on uneven terrain: have these people even been hiking before?
3. Bike or walk on uneven terrain: might trip. Apparently anything but pavement is very bad for me. Have they considered that most of the world is unpaved?
4. Biking on wet pavement, bumpy roads or winding paths.
5. Sitting too long.
6. Standing too long.
7. Dye my hair.
8. Use perfumed anything.
10. No more skiing or snowboarding or ice-skating until the kids out of the womb.
11. Wear sandals or high heels, I should stick to 2-inch wide chunky heels. Or tennis shoes because those are always okay for Americans. We do love our athletic footwear.
12. Lying on my back.
13. I should never lift more than 12 lb. weights. Never mind that I can chest fly 20 lbs. but once I am pregnant I need to stop that dangerous activity.
14. Horse back-riding. Didn’t Mary ride a donkey into Bethlehem? So irresponsible, what were they thinking?
15. High altitude.
16. Rock climbing.
17. Contact sports.
18. Gaining too much weight.
19. Not gaining enough weight.
Wrap me in bubble wrap and stick me in a room with a bowl of fruit. But wait, the bubble wrap might make me too hot. And the fruit should be organic, washed properly and not too old….
The other day we were at a friend’s house enjoying barbecue and conversation and I made a comment about something I’m not supposed to eat and the two fresh faced right out of college girls looked at me and eagerly asked what restrictions do I have. I threw back my head and cackled and started regaling them with the horrors of pregnancy diets. My friend, Muhia, and father of two laughed and said, ‘Welcome to parenting.’ He then began to talk about how you sleep your babies. He said his children were the old model and you had to lay them on their bellies or else they would choke and die, and now these new models have to be slept on the back or they suffocate and die of SIDS. But if you lie them on their back they may develop a flat head. Unbeknownst to Muhia earlier that week I had just sat Scott down and asked him what he thought on whether or not we should sleep our child on their back or belly. We reached no conclusions.
My grandmother smoked through all her pregnancies, and had three healthy babies. My mother slept us all on our stomachs, and we didn’t die. I’m sure she also put back a few cans of tuna and took some really hot showers. Still she didn’t kill any of her children and all of our nervous systems work just fine.
Well all this to say I still put down my one allotted cup of glorious black coffee, brewed so strong I am sure that my child already has hair on his or her chest. I walk on uneven terrain (I live in Africa for pete’s sake), and I’m a little cavalier about washing my vegetables. I guess I just need to break rules and live on the edge. Damn my stinking rebel streak.