December 20th, 2012

planet

giving up stuff for pregnancy

My family was a little surprised to see me drinking coffee because they remember me giving it up when I was pregnant with Josie, I just shrugged and joked that "I just don't love this kid as much".

Not entirely true... well, except that I did give up coffee with Josie. It was because I read that caffine could contribute to miscarriages. Instead, I drank green tea. Then I read that green tea can interferre with folic acid absorption, leading to neural tube defects. Well HELL. Then as a sleep-deprived new mom I wanted to drink coffee to survive at the office, wondered whether it was okay with breastfeeding, and basically read that it wouldn't have as much effect on your baby as much if they were used to a little caffeine. Like, if you drank it while you were pregnant. (#$%^&!!!)

It's all these damned-if-you-do scenarios that make you roll your eyes when you get around to the second kid. You learn that every week, another doomsday article will come out of another obscure journal warning you that you've just ruined your unborn child, and they just don't phase you anymore. You talk to tables of women who had babies in the 80s or 90s (or worse) who are shocked that they weren't supposed to eat deli meat.

And let's face it, you've had some time to read. The first time you hear "NO BLUE CHEESE DRESSING!" you panic and wonder what you'll ever dip your hot wings in, then you read that it's because blue cheese is a "soft cheese" that you might be able to find unpasturized somewhere in the world... but since raw dairy foods are illegal for wholesale nearly everywhere in the US they won't be in grocery stores or restaurants & the advice is way overkill. If you go out to eat and the waiters are milking the cows out back to make dressing later, then you might want to ask about pasteurization.

In order to tell what's really safe and avoid the feeling that "just to be safe" I should only eat toast and prenatals, I decided to go with one and only one source for my advice: The Mayo Clinic. They say that pregnant women need to avoid:

Seafood that's high in mercury (there's a list)
Raw meat, including seafood, poultry, eggs
Unpasteurized foods
Unwashed fruits and vegetables (which they also translate to raw sprouts... any and all, bummer)
Large quantities of vitamin A
Excess caffeine (more than 200mg a day... two cups of coffee)
Herbal tea
Alcohol

That's it! Pretty darn simple, just something to go with to eliminate the need for freaking yourself out after every magazine article. This pregnancy, I am drinking my cup of coffee every day, because if I skip it I feel like ass. I am eating soft cheese from the grocery store because it all says very clearly that it's pasteurized. I am still using facial soap with salicylic acid. I am not monitoring my heart rate when I work out, I figure if I can still talk in a sentence then there's oxygen to spare. I'm eating at salad bars. I'm not avoiding deli meat like the plague (last time I wouldn't even eat at Arby's... they're hot sandwiches for heavens' sake!).

I have a feeling the kid will be okay.