A la tienne ! Tchin tchin ! Prost ! Salud ! Sacha ! Mogba ! zdorovie !
Pregnant women can now drink in peace again in New York. Since 13th of May, it is now illegal for a waiter to refuse a pregnant women an alcoholic drink in a bar or restaurant. The Commission of Human Rights for New York City has decided that discrimination linked to pregnancy is gender-based. It has ruled that it is a violation of women’s rights.
Here is part of the speech outlining some good points: “Judgments and stereotypes about the way pregnant women should behave, about their physical capacities and about what is good or not for a fetus are common in our society and cannot be used as a pretext for making discriminatory and illegal decisions.”
What an achievement to legislate for a gain in women’s freedom in the US in 2016! However, we still have to admit that drinking whilst pregnant is not a good idea! You know it can be damaging for your baby. Dyeing your hair whilst pregnant is also not a good idea. Cosmetics are endocrine disrupters, cheese makes you sick, raw fish is poison, radio waves are dangerous, gaining too much weight is problematic and smoking is killing. And my list is unfortunately not over.
Nowadays, a pregnant women is under constant watch and highly pressured. Because she is carrying life. Because for nine months, she is protecting another human being. Therefore we can legitimately ask ourselves: who owns a pregnant woman’s body? The state? Society? Or herself?
Renée Greusard tries to answer this question in a very interesting article published in Elle on the 13th May. I encourage you to read it on the magazine’s website. She talks about pregnant women’s misunderstandings regarding ungrounded restrictions for pregnant women and a very stressful pregnancy experience. In this article, Renée Greusard also talks about the fact that experiences are different according to which county you live in. And it’s true. Every week in London, my friends tell me that their doctor allows them a daily glass of alcohol, with a nibble of steak tartar, that blood tests to detect HBV are not mandatory and that pregnant women do not have to swallow glucose. They know what’s good or bad and they are free to make their own decision.
After all, it’s a pregnant women’s responsibility to inform herself and make up her own mind, to trust ourselves and choose our own limits. As pointed out in Elle, even the go-to pregnancy ‘what to expect when you’re expecting’ books aren’t right 100% of the time… I’ll leave you to think about that one.
In 1956: “If you are used to smoking, there is no reason why you should stop during your pregnancy. Taking a break would be a strain and would tire you out with nerves. However it is important not to smoke more than ten cigarettes a day, otherwise you could intoxicate your baby.”
In 2016: “It’s important to stop smoking whilst you are pregnant. Statistics show that there is a link between the child’s birth weight and the number of cigarettes smoked by a mom-to-be; the placenta is less efficient and the child’s growth is affected.”
Every women should be free to consider the pros and cons in order to weigh up the risks and make her own decisions. There’s no need for the law to tell us that: it’s forbidden to forbid, it’s compulsory to think! Don’t you agree?