Sep 1 2008

A Womb of One’s Own

Who can blame pregnant women for being confused and infuriated by the ‘health advice’ they get bombarded with from the moment they announce through tears and gritted teeth that they are up the duff? Women have for a long time had to deal with their bodies being considered public property and no one feels more sanctimonious than pooh-poohing the behaviour of a pregnant woman. “This is not just about you CONSIDER the baby!”

Of course a lot of the advice that women get ranges from the eminently sensible to the morally bigoted and the tales of old wives. Taking drinking for example, the British Medical Association last year recommended that pregnant women should not drink AT ALL. Their evidence for the ill effects of a sly glass of wine on the unborn child? Poor to non-existent. You see they couldn’t trust women to drink in moderation so better tell them not to do it at all. Thing is, you have to drink A LOT for it to affect the foetus and insulting women’s intelligence is hardly the best way to go about public health advice.

All of this misses the fact that most of the time women are too queasy to even think about alcohol during pregnancy. But you know what makes them more sick? Self-righteous, unscientific scaremongering by smug, self-satisfied bigots.