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August 01, 2006



I loved this post.
I was fortunate enough to have a doctor who told me that everything was ok in moderation. It really helped to have a doctor who was so mellow about it.
My biggest annoyance was with 'older' moms who commented on what I was eating/drinking. For example when someone saw me with a Peet's cup in my hand and gasped "You can't have coffee!" - Euhhh, they serve other things and BUTT OUT!
(sorry there... ranted in your comments!)


I loved this post as well. By the way, did you know that the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommend limiting alcoholic beverages during pregnancy to one standard drink per day? Its true. While I personally can't imagine drinking that much, I did have a glass here and there during my pregnancy and while breastfeeding as well. I hate the mommy scare tactics. I find them insulting, and designed as if "the experts" are speaking to the lowest common denominator, not the intelligent women of the world.


Hear, hear!


You're right. Some Mommy Police take all the joy out of life and parenting. A real mom has to *live*.


Its not only the 1950's books recommending a glass of wine. Granted, I passed my pregnancy in France so the attitudes were a bit different, but still. I was suffering from non-stop B-H contractions from 5 months and eventually the muscle relaxers that had been prescribed stopped working and even a warm bath was useless. My doctor told me that a half glass of wine would probably help me if nothing else did. Well, I tried it and it was my miracle cure.
the other point re: any of these dire warnings is that they are speaking statistically, which everyone forgets. Its not that something is guaranteed to kill/maim our child but that there is a slightly higher chance of it happening BUT it could still happen even if we do nothing wrong. So a bit of common sense weighing the risks is needed and this article is definitely a step in the right direction, in my opoinion.


Thanks for your common sense post! I've been wondering aloud myself lately why we all seem to be fighting each other, and it seems to boil down to "Well, if I make another mom feel bad about her actions then perhaps I'll feel better about my own parenting!" Mothering is so friggin' hard anyway; can't we give each other a little more support? Where are all the ribbons, not for 1st and 2nd place, but for Participation, or for Showing Up In The First Place?


Maria P.

Thank you for this. You reflect my thoughts exactly. It is exhausting... great post!

Robin P

I never let anyone's opinion influence me. Strangers and "experts" do not know me or what is right for me and my family.

I came to this opinion early on when I was newly pregnant and began
reading "What to eat when you're expecting." I bought all the whole grain stuff and whatever else they told me to buy and eat.

When I went to my first check up,I proudly told my midwife what I was reading and eating. She laughed,sighed and said,"Oh sweetie. If you do everything that the book says,you'll gain 100 pounds during your pregnancy. Just eat normally and you'll do fine."
I put the book in my closet and ate what I normally did. I felt great and Lillianna was a good sized healthy baby(knock on wood!)

When I make a mistake with Lillianna,I simply tell her that I made a mistake and I apologize. She always hugs me and says,"That's ok,Mommy. We all make mistakes."

Sometimes with my work schedule Rich will tell her she can do something that I didn't know about because I wasn't home at the time.
Like,if I told her to clean her room up before I get home and then I get home and her room is still messy,I will point it out to her and maybe raise my voice a bit. She'll tell me Daddy took her out during the day and told her she could do it tomorrow instead. Ooops. I yelled for nothing so I make sure I apologize. My motto is,"Not every day is a winner!"
Great post.


It is so insulting to women to say "no alcohol at all while breastfeeding." It is like, if any allowances are made, women will go crazy and get drunk every night. I'm a breastfeeding peer counselor (not an LC), and I think this type of advice actually discourages breastfeeding. After 9 months of pregnancy, women want a little more freedom. A little alcohol is fine! You know how much alcohol is actually in breastmilk? The same as your blood alcohol level. So if you drink 2 glasses of wine, you might have about a .04 BAC. That means your breastmilk, at the peak, is only .04% alcohol. If you wait an hour or more, it will be even lower. Not a big deal, your baby is not going to get drunk or be harmed in the slightest. I know this wasn't all your post was about, but this is one of my pet peeves.


Wonderful post and so true! It's so hard not feel guilty for every decision you make raising your child. I've never experience so much guilt as I have since I started TTC my first child and since both my children were born. It's easy to feel justified about your decisions one minute and question them again the next.


Amen sister! I'm thinking of creating a bumper sticker that says, "Don't worry about my mothering, I'm saving for their therapy!" My friends and I are constantly agreeing that no matter what you do you're not going to get it all right all the time. So, do the best you can and apologize for everything you did wrong (in their eyes) when they're older.


So there! I'm right there with ya lady!

Melissa B.

Great post!

We're in the preconception part of hopefully our third child and I hate reading the dos and don'ts. Books and the web say NO caffeine because yikes! it will cause miscarriage. But when I read the actual study is says that there is a slight increase in the risk of miscarriage if you are drinking more than 4 cups of coffee (or the equivalent) every day.

Same for alcohol. With the first two I had found a 1950s breastfeeding book that actually recommended a glass of wine if you needed to relax. Not a bottle, you know, but a glass.

I just think the biggest problem I have is the sensationalization of it all. The extremes and the lack of support. Women can't win. There is always another ignorant unsupportive person or employer. You cannot win for cloth diapering or disposables (water usage v. landfill), breast or bottle (icky! v. laments of how you didn't even try to nurse), etc. As far as nutrition goes, you can't get it right because there's always another flashy news story telling you what is terrible to consume. I know there are studies that have concrete facts, and that's great and useful, but so much is blown wayyy out of proportion. Have your glass of wine. I'm having a Pepsi. I'm a person and I hate this insanity.

Women are people and I'm so tired of feeling like we have to fight to make that known.

amy h.

LOVED your post! And couldn't agree with you more.


I'm with ya Kristin. If you're a thoughtful mom who does things in moderation (except for excessive caffeine intake, of course, without which I'd perish), you and your kids will be okay.

I too notice the either-or demands placed upon mothers on virtually every parenting topic (breastfeeding, paid work, TV, how many extra curricular activities your kids complete, etc.) and think all of these things just ratchet up the tension of parenting today.

We really need to listen to our own inner parenting common sense.

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