Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

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HelpingFriend
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Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby HelpingFriend » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:29 pm

Hello Everyone
I have a friend who is pregnant and still insists on having the odd cigarette and glass of wine whilst she is pregnant. I'm finding it very very hard to be around her when she behaves like this and when I tell her not to she laughs and says that her mother and grandmother smoked and drank through her pregnancies and it was all ok.

Anyone else been in this situation? Any advice? I don't want to lose her as a friend but this is a really big deal for me.

AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:33 pm

It is really not your place to judge. Each to their own. It is not uncommon to have the odd glass of wine when pregnant and as long as you're not getting drunk then it's not as though it's totally forbidden. It was only the constant feeling of sickness that stopped me having wine with dinner I think!!

If she's a friend then you should respect her choices. She will probably raise her child completely differently to how you would but are you going to judge every decision she makes?

Ppasha27
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby Ppasha27 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:42 am

Almost all of my friends drank limited quantities while pregnant, as the guidelines are not as restrictive here (as compared to the US, for example). When the rules are lax across countries and MANY women did grow up with moms that drank (my best friend's mom tells us she had vodka gimlets every night throughout 4 pregnancies!), you will have women who are completely at ease with this decision, even though it seems wrong to you.

I have friends who have been incredibly offended when questioned by others on their personal choice during pregnancy (though they never tell the offender that - but laugh it off, as your friend has). As you have posted in this forum, I'm guessing that you are both the typical NV mom - very concerned about the welfare, education and upbringing of your children - so imagine how uncomfortable it might be for you to imply that she is not taking care of her unborn child.

Having said that, we are shaped by our experiences in life, so everyone's tolerance on this subject will be different. You are entitled to have a personal opinion that conflicts with hers and when your tolerance limit is reached, you should be prepared to have the conversation and possibly lose her as a friend, because she also has a right to decide whether she has tolerance for your opinion. If you are not super close, you could also take a break from spending time with her (as its a temporary situation). But there's no point in harboring strong emotions over it - that will only make you more upset and likely to do that silly thing that you are NOT supposed to do to your friends - air it in private to anyone who will listen!

foodeditorjo
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby foodeditorjo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:04 am

You have no right to judge her or tell her what to do...NV is crammed with over-precious parents who judge other parents, other children, everything to the nth degree!! It's stifling and creates huge pressure and competitiveness - not healthy!

It's up to her. I wouldn't even mention it. Why are you right and she's wrong - it's a difference of opinion. And when it comes to bringing up children there is no right or wrong, just what suits you and your family.

Who knows - there may be a part of her that's scared about becoming a mother and this is her little act of rebellion. Or maybe, as she rightly says, people used to smoke and drink throughout the pregnancy so the odd glass of wine is neglible. When I was pregnant 23 years ago my
mIDWIFE, a lovely woman - very experienced and a big fan of natural/home birth if possible - told me it was fine to have a glass of wine every day if I needed to relax. And I have an old Penny Leach childcare book that recommends eating liver while pregnant.

We are all different, despite the fact that in NV everyone tries to be exactly the same. So please don't offend her choices.

Scottov
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby Scottov » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:07 am

Am surprised she hasn't slapped you

this_is_cat
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby this_is_cat » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:14 am

I would buy yourself a copy of the excellent book 'Expexting Better'
It was written by a Harvard professor who was sick to death of being told 'you should eat/drink this' but not a single person, including doctors, be able to quantify the risk.
She set out to find the source studies used for the advice and to study them properly.

In short, very little of the advice is evidence-based.
She found that more people get food poisoning from eating melon than from any of the foods on the 'prohibited' list. She found no evidence of harm from having a couple of drinks a week.

Hopefully after reading it, you'll realise you have no basis for your lectures, and will also realise it is none of your business either

foodeditorjo
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby foodeditorjo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:18 am

Agree wholeheartedly with the other posters... kindness, tolerance and compassion is way better than criticism. Being pregnant and bringing up children should be a pleasurable thing - the last thing parents need is to feel that they are being judged/criticised for every decision they make.

I have to say, having brought up two children BTC, that I found the attitudes of many to be hideously competitive with their children - many of whom were not allowed to 'be'. I even remember as my walk home from school involved crossing Wandsworth Commin, another mother telling me I was lucky to have that walk home for 30 mins. Yes, I agreed... a great time for feeding ducks, looking at nature, climbing a tree, collecting conkers.... No, she said, a good opportunity to practise spellings and tables!!! Sums it up, really.

delsh
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby delsh » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:40 am

this_is_cat wrote:I would buy yourself a copy of the excellent book 'Expexting Better'
It was written by a Harvard professor who was sick to death of being told 'you should eat/drink this' but not a single person, including doctors, be able to quantify the risk.
She set out to find the source studies used for the advice and to study them properly.

In short, very little of the advice is evidence-based.
She found that more people get food poisoning from eating melon than from any of the foods on the 'prohibited' list. She found no evidence of harm from having a couple of drinks a week.

Hopefully after reading it, you'll realise you have no basis for your lectures, and will also realise it is none of your business either


I read that book too when I was pregnant and wanted to carry copies of it around with me to hand out to anyone who dared voice an opinion on what I was eating and drinking! But - she did say "do not smoke. This is the official line and the data are squarely behind it".

Swmama1979
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby Swmama1979 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:32 am

We aren't okay having a child sit trapped in a car with someone who is smoking and have proved that smoking is carcinogenic, so what makes it any better when you're building a baby inside of your body? We are just now scratching the surface in our understanding of how much damage to our DNA is done by drinking and smoking. I think if you value your friendship you're going to need to just be persistent about helping her see the damage she is causing but as much of a non-judgemental way as possible. If you get to the point where you can't handle it, you might need to call time on your friendship. That would be really hard and obviously a last resort, but we aren't children anymore and can choose the people we want to be around and associate ourselves with.

foodeditorjo
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby foodeditorjo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:58 am

I'd be uncomfortable policing other people's lives, that's all. I don't think anyone has the right to tell others what to do. That's what's wrong with our Nanny State Britain these days. Too much political correctness and busybodies trying to tell others how to live their lives. I'm a free spirit and very thankful for that. As we're all adults, surely we can all make our own minds up?

Flowermummy
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby Flowermummy » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:12 pm

Maybe people are reading what they want to read in the original post, so they can use this as an excuse to go on a rant about the "typical NV mom"?? How did the original question turn into parents being over competitive about their children? Sounds to me like the OP is exactly the opposite of over competitive ... she's just concerned for her friend...
I agree that you should respect her choice though... if it was my friend, I would try to have a serious chat about smoking while pregnant and the advice/research available. Alcohol (in moderation) is probably less of an issue. If you find it difficult to be around her, then see less of her...

best of luck!

ToucanJuice
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby ToucanJuice » Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:29 pm

As previous posters have said, so much of the advice given in pregnancy is opinion only (e.g. on light drinking or eating choices). You and your friend have equal rights to your opinions, and it is unfair and unsupportive of you to try and impose your opinions on her.

That said, some things - like the dangers of smoking in pregnancy - are not opinion but are based on evidence. If you feel you have a moral obligation to say something, perhaps find a good summary of the evidence on smoking from a reputable source and share it with her sensitively, making clear that it is because you care and are concerned. Then drop it. It's up to her how she assesses the risks (and if it is truly just the odd cigarette, the harm done is probably marginal)

TFP
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby TFP » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:06 pm

define "odd cigarette" - e.g. one per week would probably be less bad for baby than mother simply breathing inner London air every day. several or many fags per day, not so much.

ditto "odd glass of wine" - if we're talking about say considerably less than a glass per day then, really, so what.

JosieJAY
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Re: Friend drinking and smoking whilst pregnant

Postby JosieJAY » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:08 am

I feel sorry for you HelpingFriend as I think you are just concerned for your friend. Unfortunately a lot of people on this site enjoy having a good go at the people asking genuine questions.
Having said that you advising your friend is not going to help. She's made that decision. A lot of people have the odd glass of wine. I would have a problem with the smoking but there's nothing you can do.


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