Pregnancy Around the World
I have not seen Babies yet, only the trailer for it and already I know I need to see the film. I think it would be fascinating to see how babies are raised in other parts of the world. In fact, that is all I have been thinking about this morning. Babies around the world, or more precisely pregnancy around the world.
I started this morning off by tweeting about my craving for iced tea. Even typing out i-c-e-d t-e-a makes me thirsty. All I want is a tall glass of iced tea with a lemon wedge. Not to much to ask, right? Wrong. In America women seem to react to pregnancy in a whole different way than other women around the world. What is it about us Americans that makes us so uptight? It is like we are bred to believe that if we have a single drop of alcohol that our babies will be doomed. We feel that if we don’t do prenatal yoga, eat the perfect diet, sleep on our left side, and avoid any and all caffeine that our babies will be born with a learning disability, a third eye and will be missing their big toe on their left foot.
I know. I know. I know that the guidelines and rules are in place to help women to have the most healthy pregnancy possible. I know that too much of some things are bad for your baby. But really, would a glass of Merlot at the end of a long day or even a glass of iced tea in the middle of a hot summer afternoon really cause that much damage?
I also know that the blanket statement of saying that American Women are uptight about pregnancy is not 100% true. Obviously there exceptions to the statement. But overall, can’t you agree that maybe, just maybe we are a little crazed about following all the rules?
What bothers me most about all strict rules, regulations and strongly worded recommendations is that all of those guidelines seem to give American Women the license and freedom to judge. I have never been a big jewelry wearer, but when I am pregnant I feel the need to wear my wedding ring in public at all times. Women look. Women judge. They do the 3 part look: they look at your belly, they look at your left ring finger, they look at your face. Women look at what you are eating while at a restaurant. Servers glance at your belly if you order the fish special. Women feel like they have the right too not only give you advice but scold you for the items in your shopping cart. Is pregnancy like this all around the world? Are women in other countries as critical as they are in America? Am I the only pregnant woman in America who has experienced this?
So maybe instead of changing the rules to be less rigid, we can lighten up on our judgment of pregnant women. Maybe before muttering cruelties under our breaths (or in extreme cases – shouting at them across a parking lot), we take a second to think, “Hey, maybe that obviously pregnant woman walking out of the liquor store carrying a large brown bag the size and shape of a 5th of vodka is actually just buying a bottle of Everclear to use to help ease the pain of her son’s swimmers ear ache and maybe that big bottle was the only size that the store had in stock.” That is just an example though… that woman could have been buying an ingredient to a home remedy that has been passed along for 3 generations or she could have been an alcoholic who spikes her iced tea with vodka. How are we to know?
I vote that we all just bite our tongues. If a woman opens up to you and asks your opinion or asks for advice, it is a whole ‘nother ball game. But if a pregnant woman is walking out of a liquor store or ordering a glass of iced tea, maybe we should just give her the benefit of the doubt. And taking that second to harness our judgment may result in seeing a lot more happy pregnant women!