Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Live and let live, yes. But up to a point.

Smoking while pregnant, drinking while pregnant, not eating this, that or the other while you're pregnant. It's a constant debate, subjects that the media like to jump on for their phone-ins and talk shows because they are topics which will ALWAYS get a reaction.

But I for one am sick of hearing the arguments. To me there are none. We are told that smoking, drinking and eating things like soft cheeses and pate while pregnant could cause damage to the foetus. So why do any of them? End of .... in my opinion. And any amount of crying on daytime TV won't change that, Stacey Solomon.

Guidelines are there to help those of us who have not undertaken the years of research needed to find out about the damage that various things can do. Other people have so it's worth listening to them.

I am all for live and let live - if that's what you want to do, then do it, it's none of my business - but I do find it hard to understand why on earth anyone would even contemplate doing something that could potentially harm the precious load they are carrying.

There are so many things in your body that are out of your control when you are pregnant, not least the actual gowing of a baby. It always amazed me that, somehow, without even trying, an actual person was growing inside of me, in all its complexity.

Whole organs, a nervous system, a brain - things that it takes medical people years and years of training and experience to even understand, my body was just naturally manufacturing - it's still something I find hard to get my head round.

Then there's the way that your body reacts to being pregnant. I have high blood pressure when not pregnant so when I was nourishing another human inside of me, that blood pressure was hard to control. It's horrible knowing that your body is doing something that you can't change. I was told to rest in order to help, so that's what I did.

Just about the only thing that you can control when you are pregnant is what you put into your body, so not shoving things into it that are essentially poison is to me a no-brainer.

OK, maybe I was an extreme because of the blood pressure thing, but I wouldn't even eat Christmas cake because it had been "fed" with brandy.

The most upsetting thing I saw was when I was in hospital at 33 weeks, under observation in case my high BP turned into pre-eclampsia. I spent days lying there thinking calm thoughts to try and bring my BP down so they would let me out, while two of the women in my ward regularly headed down seven floors so that they could have a smoke outside. There was often a little coven of heavily pregnant puffing women out there - it made me want to scream at them, which obviously didn't help my BP!

You wouldn't shove a ciggy in your newborn baby's mouth or offer them a pint as soon as he or she makes an appearance would you? So why do it before they are born?

You wouldn't knowingly feed them dangerous bacteria, so why even risk the threat of listeria from a bit of stilton? After all, it's only for nine months.

I understand that smoking is an addiction - as is alcohol in some cases. I know that it's incredibly hard to stop, but as someone who would do anything for her little one, I think that if you can't stop for them, then you never will.

And so despite my live and let live attitude to life in general, I still find it very hard to stifle a look of utter disdain when I see a pregnant woman with a fag in her mouth, a glass of vino in her hand or a hunk of brie on a cream cracker. Live and let live yes - but I think babies should have the chance of a healthy life too.

No comments:

Post a comment