A friend linked to an older article on the Women Wine Critics Board, the title of the post is "Wine and Pregnancy - Lies that Women are Told."
But as a few of us got into a bit of a debate on this friend's FB post, I had the chance to get up on one of my high horses, which I do so enjoy. So I'm going to get on it again so you can all enjoy me on my high horse, too. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Here's the thing - we treat pregnancy and breastfeeding like they are abnormal things that happen to women. Alien invasions and body snatching. Women are chastised and told to avoid a thousand things from coffee to wine to brie. I mean brie? Might as well lop off a limb as abstain from brie for 9+ months (please remember that a pregnancy is a lot closer to 10 months than it is to 9...)
The thing that bugs me about these kinds of articles is the underlying attitude - that pregnancy and breastfeeding are not natural states for women's bodies to be in. They ARE. I have to say it again for emphasis: Pregnancy and breastfeeding are natural states for women's bodies to be in. They are normal parts of our growth and maturity just as menopause and adolescence are. When we treat them like disease states, we create a whole new set of rules for moms, more ways that they can be accused of "doing it wrong" or feeling guilty.
It's really terrible what the medicalization of maternity has done to mothers - they've lost faith in themselves, in their abilities to make simple decisions about their own health and the health of their unborn baby/babies.
When going through my first pregnancy almost 10 years ago, I was amazed at the way people in my online pregnancy support group found ways to obsess about things - one would post continuously after the most innocuous things. Like she was at a pizza place and the employee was cleaning the window next table over from her...it's possible some window cleaner got in the air and she inhaled it - is her unborn baby okay?
Honestly? You need to ask about that sort of thing? How are you going to be able to make decisions on his/her behalf once that baby is out in the world and breathing?
We're women. We're smarter than that. We can make our own decisions, and we can and should trust our instincts.