If Anyone Tells You Not To Enjoy Coffee, Wine Or Sushi During Pregnancy – Tell Them To Shove It

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shutterstock_63893440__1405108348_142.196.167.223There certainly is a laundry list of things you are told not to consume when pregnant, and a lot of it is bullshit. If you are a reasonable person who can reasonably assess the difference between a little bit of something and too much of a good thing – you can have almost all the things people tell you to avoid. Being pregnant can be enough of a drag without constantly policing yourself – or worse – being policed by others.

When it comes to caffeine, the March of Dimes suggests pregnant women limit their intake to 200mg a day, which is about one 12-ounce cup of coffee. This means you can pretty much enjoy every drink that Starbucks offers, as the espresso drinks actually have less caffeine then the regular coffee. If you like to stick to regular coffee, you should stick to the tall size instead of going for the grande. Everyone knows regular Starbucks coffee is basically crack, so I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that you probably shouldn’t order up a Venti. I brewed my regular coffee at home and had a cup pretty much every day with both of my pregnancies. If you enjoy coffee and don’t overdo it, there is no reason not to have a cup.

Nothing makes some onlookers more judgy-judgy than seeing a pregnant woman partake in booze. There have been several studies done on the effects of moderate drinking while pregnant. Your doctor will generally recommend that you steer clear of it entirely, but several studies have proven that a couple glasses of wine a week have no adverse effect. Again – everything in moderation. If you feel like having a glass of wine when you go out to dinner – go for it. There is no study that has conclusively proven that this type of light drinking is harmful:

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says no amount of alcohol has been shown to be safe, but the U.K. equivalent (the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) says that while not drinking is the safest option, “Small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy have not been shown to be harmful.”

Since all women metabolize alcohol differently, it’s easy to see why doctors err on the side of “just don’t do it.” But that doesn’t mean, according to several studies, that light drinking will have adverse effects. I think it’s just safer for doctors to assume that not everyone has the same definition of “light drinking” – and avoid the matter all-together.

Sushi. This is another thing I indulged in during both pregnancies. Not all sushi is raw – there are plenty of cooked options; crab, shrimp and eel for example – not to mention vegetarian rolls. When I was pregnant I was honestly just craving the amazing soy/wasabi/ginger blend so the sushi itself just served as a vehicle to get that in my face. Some worry about cross-contamination of other raw goods in the kitchen, but if you subscribe to that paranoia you should just not eat out at all – as there are certainly raw elements in every kitchen.

Basically – don’t freak yourself out. If consuming any of this stuff causes you any stress or worry, it’s probably better to skip it. But if you are one of the ones who isn’t worried about consuming small amounts of this stuff – don’t let anyone guilt you for your decisions. You’re not a baby – you’re just carrying one. Pregnant women are perfectly capable of deciding what’s best for themselves.

(photo: Sergey Peterman/ Shutterstock)