Categories: ParentingPregnancy

Expecting Better – Advice To The Knocked Up

I love the weekend routine. Coffee. Paper. Front porch. One ear tuned to Scooby Doo on Youtube to make sure Velma and Daphne aren’t making out in a homemade video (oh yes that happened).

This week, an article in the National Post grabbed my attention. Why Some Pregnant Women are Ignoring Conventional Wisdom and Having a Cup of Coffee or a Glass of Wine. Gasp? NO! Really? Emily Oster just released a new book debunking a great many of the lists of stuff we are supposed to drop cold turkey when the ‘seed is planted’ so to speak.

Thank you Emily Oster.

THANK YOU! Honestly. I found the lists of no-no’s so annoying. And I chose, with my doctor’s blessing, to avoid the lists. I drank my standard three cups of coffee a day. I had wine when I wanted. I didn’t dye my hair but that was to save money. I didn’t eat tuna or salmon sushi because that one made sense…to me.

I remember a brutal cold I got early on in my pregnancy. I had that effing neti pot shoved so far up my nose I thought I’d lose it. For two days, I couldn’t sleep and my head was pounding. Finally, I stuck that Otrivin up my nose, popped the Tylenol, drank the NyQuil and slept like a babe. I felt no guilt. For me, I decided it was healthier for Will for me to have sleep than it was to stick to the ‘no list’.

Personally, I feel that we’re losing the joy of pregnancy. So many women choose to spend nine-months working themselves into a frothy panic over what they can and can’t do. We immerse ourselves in books about what to expect. We torture ourselves with planning. We over think! We don’t breathe.

Here is my advice pregnant women. Use your common sense. Playing beer pong when you’re 5 months pregnant? Obviously not wise. A glass or two or wine? Why not?

Get a doctor and/or mid-wife you trust and ask them what you can and can’t do.

Leave it at that. Put the lists and books down. Enjoy the time you have before that baby arrives. Trust me. No amount of books or reading can prepare you for what is  to come. No book can beat your instincts. If you must, find a friend or family member whose parenting you admire (Molly!) and ask  them for advice when you need it. Join a mom’s group so you’ll understand that others are going through the same shit that you are and most importantly, to understand that every baby is different. Every. Single. Baby. So chuck the books because you know your baby better than anyone.

photo courtesy of barebonephoto.com




And read Emily Oster’s book, Expecting Better, if you must read one. I haven’t but then again, there’s not a chance in hell I’ll be pregnant again.  (Although this picture is sort of making my ovaries hurt.)


Okay – tell me. Did you follow the rules or trust your gut? What do you think about the rules and books?

Sara :Sara is a single mom by choice to an over the top third grader, Will. She’s chronicling their ups and downs together and what she’s learning about herself at the same time.

View Comments (4)

  • I didn't obsess about things: I ate whatever I wanted, drank daily coffees and ballooned up with a delicious 43 lb weight gain every time. The only thing I really avoided was alcohol, but at the time it wasn't a big sacrifice for me. What I'm saying is, I drink more now that I have three kids. :)

  • well, i figured since i basically drank a bottle of wine in the hot tub when i was 6 weeks along and nothing bad happened i was good (no, i didn't know i was pregnant at the time either!)

    i believe that our instincts are being bred out of us by all of these stupid books. you want to know what happens to you? everything. and everything is pretty much normal. get over it and know that your body (for the most part) knows what to do. the end :)