Friday, May 25, 2007
The Guilt Minister
I sometimes wonder if there is a guilt minister hidden somewhere in the Government?
The latest report for women to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy will undoubtedly ruffle a few feathers.
When pregnant with ED, being new to the whole thing and feeling very puritanical about how it should all be done, I didn't drink at all. In fact my GP had advised me that it was perfectly safe to have the odd glass, and would much rather that than a "binge". Did I look like the sort that might I wondered?
She also advised me to take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement each day, and to eat liver once a week - for the iron!
ED was I am glad to say, born unscathed, and then by the time I was pregnant with ESOS I was a bit more relaxed about things. The Government were less relaxed by then though, and although it was still acceptable to have the odd glass of wine, on the banned list, as well as not being allowed uncooked eggs, I also wasn't allowed any pate, soft cheese ............ vitamin supplements or liver.
In those days life was a bit easier, financially, and as we lived near London, we were quite often invited to nice things to do whilst wearing tent like maternity contraptions. (Fashion for pregnant women hadn't been invented then).
One day, at a nice summery outdoor event, I, many months pregnant, was offered a glass of champagne. Taking the advice of my GP, that moderation was fine, I drank it. Unfortunately though (well actually, when the day of reckoning comes it may turn out to be fortunate) I have low blood pressure, so, coupled with pregnancy, a glass of champagne and a hot summer day...I fainted..... and ended up in the St. John's Ambulance tent.
"Have you drunk anything?" they asked.
Oh no. Instant guilt. "Yes", I admitted. "I had a glass of champagne."
"It's all right", she said. "That's fine. It's just that the champagne will have lowered your blood pressure a little, that's all..."
Phew. I was off the hook. I remember having one more glass of wine during that pregnancy at a friend's house, feeling the effects of lowered blood pressure almost immediately, and then not drinking again until after ESOS was born.
For the other pregnancies, the list of "don'ts and do's" was by then so long, that I ignored all advice and went back to remembering what my first GP had said to me: Everything in moderation. I never wanted much alcohol whilst pregnant, and if there were a function or party to attend, I tended to take a glass of wine and just sip it very slowly throughout the evening.
However, as for staying off alcohol whilst planning to have a baby, I can't say that I was quite so good, and from personal and other people's experiences, as far as I understand many a fine baby is conceived whilst under the influence.
For.... dear Government, health minsters, guilt ministers and all others at Westminster, please do understand that not everything is planned to the nth degree all of the time.
Some of us, just sometimes, act on impulse.
But.......moderated impulse you understand.