Friday, December 11, 2009

Safety Hysteria

I generally object to the idea that all women under the age of 50 should consider themselves "pre-pregnant" at all times. However, since I am actively trying to get pregnant, I suppose that the term applies to me.

I've been taking a prescription prenatal multivitamin for a few months now, but other than that, I haven't changed my habits much. I don't drink, smoke, or drink coffee, so I haven't cut those things out. I do drink a can or two of diet cola on most days, but most recommendations I've seen suggest that pregnant women keep their caffeine consumption under 200 mg per day, and I don't think that I'm in any danger of surpassing that mark. I have not varied my (very moderate) exercise regime, and have generally carried on as usual.

Reading up on "experts'" recommendations for pregnant women is a frustrating experience. As far as I can tell, I should have wrapped myself in cotton and started an all-organic kale diet the moment I went off the pill. I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to ruin my hypothetical child's life by eating California rolls, drinking tap water, or using glue to make Christmas ornaments. Here's my favorite bit of advice for pregnant women, courtesy of The Seattle Times: stay away from electricity.

Note that the authors are not recommending that babies steer clear of electrical outlets — they are arguing that handling appliances is "a definite 'don't'" for pregnant adults.

No word yet on whether it's safe to sit on my couch, in light of the risk of shocks from static electricity.

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