If you’ve had a baby and have a computer, you probably signed up for one of the many sites that provide week-by-week updates on your “pregnancy journey”. If you’re like me, you will then relay unsolicited updates to a lucky friend every Saturday morning at an ungodly hour when she is trying to sleep and you are eating saltines in bed. I highly recommend this step. Anyways…
It’s super fun to learn about what’s happening to your body and your baby and follow along as it grows from poppy seed to pumpkin-sized. (Jesus. Christ.)
It’s not so fun to be scared shitless by the daily tips and warnings about the gazillion and one things you are – and are not – supposed to be doing if you don’t want to lose the baby or have it come out with a host of debilitating mental and physical defects.
I am (already) a horrible mother who takes all of these recommendations with a giant grain of salt. I’ve eaten sushi, lunch meat and soft cheese. I pet strange cats. I’ve had the (very) odd glass of wine or sip of a delicious cocktail. And as my pregnancy progresses, I look forward to continuing to do so. Because when you look at the actual facts and studies – not just the overzealous public health policy propaganda – none of this stuff is as scary as the pregnancy police would have you believe. And if you’re willing to make the extra effort to read the current research and understand the real risks behind the blanket recommendations, you can make your own pregnancy-related decisions for yourself. Some things are totally worth this effort. Like Guinness and salmon sashimi. Amen.
Even if my approach is too wild for you (hey, you do you) I think we can all agree that these sites tend to err on the side of ridiculous precaution. Take this gem: “We can’t say for certain that cell phones are safe to use while pregnant. Cell phones have only been widely used since the 1990s, so it’s impossible to be sure about the long-term effects yet.” Like, what-the-fuck-ever.
I think I get what’s really going on here. I’m a copywriter and I’ve written enough content for enough sites to know that sometimes you are literally just pulling stuff out of your ass to fill a space that happens to need 50 words so the designer doesn’t have an aneurysm. Copywriting. It’s truly a craft.
I digress. The stupidest tidbits on these pregnancy sites are the ones like this: “Start a daily ritual to connect with your baby. Set aside two, five-minute periods every day to think about your baby.”
I will straight up tell you that if you are not thinking about your baby for at least 10 minutes a day, you are not pregnant. It’s that simple. But thanks for the tip.