Thursday, 24 June 2010

Hot off the Press

One’s hot, one’s warm and one’s more tepid, but all are pregnancy/mommy stories in the media that caught my eye.

First, today’s report about introducing carbon monoxide tests on all pregnant women. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence suggests that exposing the elevated levels of carbon monoxide in smokers' systems will show them the error of their ways; The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) opposes the idea as a non-supportive, guilt-inducing practice. While I think expectant mothers could do with the wake-up call, I doubt this test would really make a difference to already smoking pregnant ladies. I’m more concerned about financial implications; in light of yesterday’s emergency budget, how would this monitor be paid for?

Next, Lorraine Candy’s article in The Mail about the plethora of conflicting studies on pregnancy and motherhood and the maternal guilt that these generate. This excerpt sums it up:

I think we have fallen prey to battered mother syndrome, where we're bullied into believing everything is our fault. Quite frankly, if a headline read 'women who wear kitten heels have dwarf babies' we'd believe it. “

I’m definitely “thinker” who is all about knowledge being power, but since delving into the black hole of pregnancy and parenting studies over the last year, I’ve realized it is important to take this “advice” in small doses, consider my personal situation and keep things in perspective so I don’t waste spend my time worrying rather than enjoying LLC. This is sometimes easier said than done.  Do you think today’s society fuels maternal guilt and are you a victim?

A couple of weeks ago the BBC ran ‘Is that woman Pregnant or Fat,’ which discusses how many commuters don’t offer their seat to pregnant women for fear of offending someone who is instead overweight and shares tips for “identifying” pregnant women. This identifying list seemed a bit ridiculous, as most of the “pregnant symptoms” could apply to those who are overweight as well. The comments provide some interesting reactions, but mine is, as I determined while commuting pregnant, that if pregnant women want a seat, they should simply ask for it as should anyone else who is unwell. Sure, it would be nice if commuters offered but they may not for a host of reasons (their head is buried in a book, they’re not sure if you really are pregnant, they just don’t care, you're not displaying any physical signs of fatigue) and if you don’t ask, you may not get.  Drama averted.  Would you agree?
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