The Pregnancy Diaries: 16 Weeks
Well hello there cold weather, I have missed you....NOT. I am going to have to 'fess up here and let you know that I am struggling a little writing these posts behind real-time. It's hard to remember the subtle changes to my body and outlook week to week, and that's probably because I'm still in my second trimester where not much seems to be going on. In a good way! Even though my bump is growing daily, and I can now feel him/her moving around -- it's such an abstract feeling, that you can't describe it and certainly can't feel it on the outside. So, for Oli - it's still a case of humouring me when I squeal 'it's moving!!!!'
So instead I thought I could talk a little about what I've been doing, thinking about and reading in order to prepare for my little bundle of
snot joy instead.
Last week I mentioned I was really struggling with other people's judgements around what I should/shouldn't be eating/drinking etc. Spoiler alert - this theme continues.
But I decided to take matters into my own hands, and on the recommendation of a photographer who'd come to shoot me for a story (see how I not-so-subtly slipped that in there?) I bought the BEST book ever. Expecting Better by Emily Oster is all about debunking or validating the myths behind pregnancy. As an economist, she recalls her experience of being bamboozled by the rules of pregnancy and how little there is in the way of facts behind them. She doesn't advise, or tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing but simply gives you the facts, her analysis of the data behind certain rules (such as why you shouldn't eat camembert) and her statistical analysis of how risky she thinks it is.
For example, the NHS say to abstain from alcohol totally because there "is no safe limit" which I think they say to stop people from drinking five glasses when you can only technically drink one. But Emily points out that most women don't lose their mind and become children again just because they're pregnant. This kind of attitude seem to be rife in pregnancy - "you can't do this, you can't do that.....but we can't give you a good reason why".
For example, extensive recent studies into the relationship between drinking alcohol during pregnancy and behavioural issue in children up to the age of two show that those who drank moderately (one glass a day) had a lower incidence of behavioural issues than those who totally abstained. Clearly, this doesn't mean that drinking throughout pregnancy produces better behaved children -- it simply shows a lack of causation.
So. Wine is firmly on the table. But after reading the evidence around listeria in unpasteurised cheese: to my dismay, that is off. But the point is -- you can look at the evidence yourself and make a decision based on what you feel comfortable with instead of blindly following rules and other peoples chiding without substance. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable -- for you, that might be zero alcohol and occasional camembert. It might be prosciutto and soft-boiled eggs (totally okay, by the way) but absolutely no running. Whatever works for you -- but having the evidence and educating yourself a little with the facts is immeasurable helpful. At least, it was for me.
Until next week lovelies, I'm off to eat some sushi ;)