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Humor my worry-wartin; ...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I am not a real worrier; I tend to be fairly laid back, mostly thanks to trusting my intuition. 


BUT ...


I scheduled my "big" ultrasound at the birth center today, and suddenly I am thinking of what-if's. I have a good month plus to wait til the appointment, and prior to this I was mainly thinking of discovering the gender. Now I'm thinking of all the things that could be revealed ... but probably won't be.


So, to distract me (kind of) ...


What kinds of things DO you consider important to avoid/be careful of? Cell phone use? Caffeine? Chemicals in cleaning products, makeup, etc? Raw cheeses/meats?


What kind of things get a pass from you?


And how do you put your worries at ease (if ever you have any) when it comes to this unseen, unmet little person inside? 

post #2 of 28

What an interesting question, and I can't wait to hear the answers!


To me it is interesting to strike a balance where I feel like I am taking appropriate care, but do not feel too restrained or like I'm living in a bubble. There are so many things that incline us to think of pregnant women as vulnerable/weak/in danger and that line of thinking only goes to bad places. On the other hand, there are some things that are truly more worrisome during pregnancy.


For me, I'm avoiding ... sushi, cold cuts (mostly - not 100% strict, but I don't eat them much anyway), secondhand smoke (sidewalk - no smokers in my house), and very hot baths.


I had quit caffeine (largely - will take a sip from DH's latte, etc) before becoming pregnant, so that's moot.

Same with cleaning and bath products - I use a lotion and lip balm that is completely plant/natural oils based, and "clean" shampoo and dishsoap. Oh, and that salt-based deodorant. No other body products, which keeps it pretty simple. Again, I switched these habits before pregnancy but I do think about them more while pregnant, it turns out!


Cell phones, I hate using anyway so not much of an issue. I do set my laptop/ipad on my lap with no qualms :)


Can't wait to hear all the variations here! More to say about how I feel about these restrictions but I'll save it for another time.

post #3 of 28
What kinds of things DO you consider important to avoid/be careful of? Cell phone use? Caffeine? Chemicals in cleaning products, makeup, etc? Raw cheeses/meats?
I try to be more mindful of my environment in general and minimize exposure to harsh chemicals, loud noises, cigarette/cigar/etc. smoke, fumes, germs, lots of jostling (so no roller coasters or jet ski rides), etc. I don't worry too much, but if there is something that can wait that involves harsh fumes, I just let DH take care of it or if I have found a product that works (thank you seventh generation!) I am ok with doing it myself. If I have to be exposed to germs (travel for work), I'm extra mindful of hand washing before touching my mouth/nose/face and any eating/drinking. I avoid vaccines (no problem with these when I'm not pregnant), x-rays, OTC medication (which I don't take much of anyway except when I have the occasional migraine) and high mercury fish.

What kind of things get a pass from you?
I don't worry about small sips of alcoholic beverages (I do completely avoid in the 1st trimester), occasional sushi from a nice restaurant, rare/medium rare steak, soft cheeses, lunch meat, etc. I don't seek out that stuff (except steak), but I don't actively avoid them either. I don't worry much about caffeine either, but I don't consume much caffeine normally anyway. I don't worry about cell phones and I don't wear make-up or get my hair dyed/highlighted, though I did wear make-up for my sister's wedding without a worry. I don't worry about keeping physically active, but I do proceed in a way that is extra mindful of my body's needs and I am careful with things requiring balance as I do get pretty off-balance for a lot of reasons while pregnant smile.gif

And how do you put your worries at ease (if ever you have any) when it comes to this unseen, unmet little person inside? 
Honestly, I'm an annoyingly worry-free gal, so I don't have too much of an issue. Usually I just do my best to be mindful and do what I can and once I've done that I figure I can't do any more so no point worrying! It was actually quite amazing for me once DD was born to really feel that panicked worry of a mom/new mom. I'd never really felt that about anything before!
post #4 of 28
I mainly avoid chemicals or any fumes. Caffeine (was never a huge caffeine person before) unhealthy stuff like pop. Although I take a sip of my DH's pop once in a while. Every time I'm thirsty I just always go for water. I also haven't been wearing any make up. But I would if I had to dress up for some special occasion. But I would wash it off as soon as the occasion was over.
I don't eat soft cheeses or cold cuts. Oh and I don't eat peanuts or peanut butter. Just because we have some people in our family with allergies.
I don't shovel the sidewalk. As its been winter here in Alberta for a long time. And I always watch what weight I'm carrying. When lifting up my 3 yo I always do so carefully, but I've been limiting even that. I even taught him to get in his car seat all by himself! I started to get weird twinges in my belly when I would lift him wrong. So it scared me a little.

I'm excited to see everyone else's responses. I might learn something else I need to avoid! Lol. As u can see by my huge list, I'll avoid anything with even the smallest risk!
post #5 of 28
I definitely avoid cold cuts/hot dogs (never really ate either of those anyway), undercooked meat, soft cheeses (so sad about no blue cheese or feta...) except for goat, picking up heavy things (I had a bleeding incident around 10 weeks that started my seriousness on that!) , cat litter, runny eggs, and most herbal teas.

I do not avoid small amounts of wine (just a couple of ounces...or sometimes a sip of D's microbrew) or caffeine (for awhile the only thing that would make me feel better was coca cola! now I drink half cups of coffee occassionally) and I did get my hair highlighted recently. I felt a bit guilty about doing that.
post #6 of 28
I've been placed on what my midwife calls a "strict diabetic diet" even though I haven't even taken her version of the test yet so I'm concentrating most of my "avoidance energy" on carbohydrates!  My lifestyle has always been fairly free of the worst things anyway as I've never been a big drinker, smoker, medication user, makeup user, or chemical cleaner user.  I've always saved my caffeine consumption for chocolate too!  I almost never use my cell phone either.
I scoff at most of the food advice though I'm more careful about deli meats (use within 24 hours).  On the rare occasion I drink milk, it's raw from a farm that specializes in raw milk.  Is the soft cheese advice due to anything other than worry about raw milk?  Sushi is out more because of the rice then because of the contents.  I'm might choose ones with cooked shrimp or smoked salmon over raw fish depending on the source.  
post #7 of 28
Originally Posted by Ghislaine View Post

On the rare occasion I drink milk, it's raw from a farm that specializes in raw milk.  Is the soft cheese advice due to anything other than worry about raw milk?  


My understanding is that the cheese "rule" is about listeria, so yes, it is essentially about the milk (and for others, only really relevant in unpasteurized cheeses, which are quite rare unless you're looking for it or buying abroad/specialty). If you drink raw milk already Ghislaine you have clearly considered the pros and cons :)


Open to correction if someone knows otherwise...


Oh and I forgot to specify above I have also chosen to avoid alcohol, at least for now - may relax later in pregnancy.

post #8 of 28
I'm a bad pregnant lady I guess. shrug.gif I like my egg yolks runny. Up until a few weeks ago we ONLY had cell phones ( I still don't know my home phone number.). I wear make up most days but it's fairly "clean" according to the cosmetic database. I can't wait to go on a sushi date with DH once my stomach is settled completely-The place we go is busy, I trust them and I don't do many things raw. I like my steak medium-rare. I choose raw cheese if it's available. After 3 months of asking other people to do it last week I gave up and painted DD's room with the windows open and low VOC paint.

That being said, I clean with baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils. I wash my face with honey, moisturize with coconut oil and just made my own lotion bars and deodorant. I colored my hair a couple weeks ago in foils so there was less skin contact. It was blonde and looking really bad so i put in my natural color so I don't have to do it again. I don't really eat much in the way of lunch meat or hot dogs but when we do have them I buy nitrate free and don't worry about it. I don't handle caffeine well pregnant or not so that's a non-issue for me. Basically, not much changes for me. I tend to avoid lots of chemicals anyway but don't worry to much about the food stuff.

For some reason this pregnancy I do have this feeling in the back of my mind that keeps popping up that something will be different with this baby. There isn't really a foundation to this fear so I try to just pray and let it go. We can't control everything and if for some reason our baby has a problem it may or may not be due to something i did. It may be a genetic issue I have no control over. I can't do anything to change it right now and we'll cross that bridge when/if we get there.
post #9 of 28
Timely question. Not for me so much as my boyfriend. He sent this to me a few nights ago.

"I just woke up with some worries that gave been plaguing me for awhile now...

As you know, I've been concerned about gmos and pesticides and hormones.

I had always hoped that neither parent would have consumed any of these for several years before conception, and especially one of those parents not during pregnancy nor nursing (the mom).

It's been driving me bonkers"

Then he sends me another "Oh yeah, and of course the cell phone radiation..."

So glad this was a surprise or we'd never have a BFP.

He's vegan, gluten-free (celiac), buys 90 % organic, has a cabinet full of supplements and vitamins and buys the latest super foods.

I'm lacto ovo Veggy. Not crazy about milk. Raise chickens for eggs. I like to eat out in my small town. I'm naturally attracted to mostly healthy foods, but don't like to ruin my smoothies with gritty protein powder. Oh and I only have a cell phone. Oops.

This is his first child and my second. I try and remember how I wanted to always... And never... Before DS. And I try and imagine someone else carrying my fetus. He does drink in front of me so in some ways I'm like give me a break. But I do think this is a bigger transition for him than me. But he'll hardly call me for cell phone fear. Sigh. Help please.
post #10 of 28

I eat sushi but am trying to keep it to no more than once a month and trying to eat it only from my local place where I believe the fish to be superior. Even then I get one roll fish, one vegetarian. Avoiding tuna for the most part and trying to avoid shellfish with the acception of the occasional bite of someone's shrimp pasta. I eat soft cheese but like with any cheese I eat only with pastuerized milk. But that too I'll keep to a minimum. Lunch meats I don't generally eat much as it is but my MW gave me her opinion as long as it's from a reputable place and well refigerated it's ok. But i'm still staying away because I don't feel I'm missing out. Coffee I was doing only water-purified decaf but recently started regular caff lattes a few times a week. Steak and burgers def medium rare. And other than soft scrambled I like my poached eggs runny. Our eggs have been from our CSA for the past 6 months though so it doesnt worry me. But the store bought eggs don't really worry me either. I figure, meh, the yolk is getting some heat. I have also had sips of wine here and there. One time I had prob a 3-4 ounce serving. That will probably happen one or two times more until labor.


I always use Dr Bronners for my soap but I admit my shampoo and conditioner are generic. Though, I wash my hair no more than twice a week so maybe I can feel a little better about it? (excuses). And leave it to me, Miss Make Alotta Sense, to wait until I'm pregnant to bleach and dye my hair for the first time ever in my entire life. It was a small piece of hair though. But on the subway a few weeks ago I got this sudden urge to dye a streak purple so into a salon I walked, had them bleach and dye a streak. It's not to the root though and was done in foil. And now I have a purple streak (hidden underneath and very subtle) that I LOVE. I think it was a part of me being pregnant for the first time and afraid of losing my individuality? I dunno. (Dh does not like the streak) Speaking of the subway, I live in Brooklyn so I ride the subway frequently, take the city bus and ride cabs. No avoiding it. Especially now that it's winter I get concerned over people coughing and sneezing near me in such tight quarters but there isnt much I can do. I do try to hold the railing less but it's hard to remember. I avoid second hand smoke light the plague to the point where I'll cross over to the other side of the street but that's not much different than before anyway. I LOATHE cigarette smoke. DH and I are going to a few shows at Madison Square Garden at the end of December and I am lucky enough to have a friend who gets a corporate suite through his work so I can avoid ciggy smokers and drunkards bumping into me.


I also wish I could say I am eating only organic but I soooooo am not. It makes me sad, I have to admit. And even before I got pregnant I assured DH, when we'd grocery shop and he wanted to buy conventional produce because its cheaper, "Just so you know, when I am pregnant one day I will only eat organic". Psht. Yea right. Def not keeping on top of that.


I typically wear makeup no more than maybe once a month but manis and pedis, dont want to give those up. I usually get one manicure a month and when I do I'm reminded of how much better my nails look and feel. I feel like the state puff marshmallow woman so if a manicure makes me feel better, so be it.


I dont know...I feel like I am very much "whatevs" about things. Not in a reckless way but I just try to go with my knowledge and intuition.

post #11 of 28

Oh, FarmerMomma I am feeling for you! I used to live in Vermont and then Northampton, MA, both towns I loooooved living in but always knew in the back of my mind I did not enjoy the 100%edness about certain things. People tended to be very judgey and not "well this is what works for her". Your BF just wants what is best for you, keep reminding yourself of that.  But you might also benefit from having a chat with him that you're also trying to avoid stress. Stress can be toxic. Maybe tell him that his orthodox ways, while good for him, may not be exactly how you're choosing to be right now. And that his ways of expressing it are adding stressful toxins to your life. Is that too dramatic? Not trying to make it such...

post #12 of 28
I told him that not eating out would not be good for my mental health. I didn't mention the stress thing. That's a very good point. I do want him to be open with me so it's a fine line. I'm so glad it's my second and have a lot more confidence this time. It's a much better situation than my first. Did I mention he and a previous girlfriend had a miscarriage? So there's that to be sensitive too as well. I hope he can lighten up in the second trimester and really lighten up when he has a few good put you in your place embarrassing parenting moments. Ha ha ha.
post #13 of 28

I fall in line with most others on this thread.  I try to be mindful about things, but you can't control everything all of the time.  And worrying is just as harmful, if not more harmful than a lot of things that we encounter in day to day life.  We eat a clean diet, I try to buy from local farms as much as possible.  If we were able to handle dairy, I would probably eat/drink it raw...but I can't do the dairy (I was really hoping that i would be one of those women that can handle it in pregnancy because I seriously love it). 


My 2 year old has leaky gut issues that we have been trying to deal with since I recognized it a little over 7 months old (well I finally started digging into his symptoms at that point, I didn't come to the leaky gut conclusion until later).  I wanted to have been a little more healed when we got pregnant this time around, but we accidently caught the first PP egg...so I try to be mindful of food choices, household chemicals (we clean with vinegar, baking soda, H2O2, oils, etc), and body care products...I do occasionally cheat with things though, and I really try not to worry about it, just keep in mind that I want to be making better choices. 


I have eaten sushi, and just this past week had a few sips of wine.  I drink coffee (usually at most one small cup per day).  I find that it's a balance between being able to do the best you can, and not worry about the things you can't control.  And that SOMETIMES breaking the "rules" is going to give you such a rush, it's worth the very small risk each exposure brings. 


My DH on the other hand, smokes, (not in the house), eats like crap, and uses conventional products.  I think that on some level I am convincing him to come to the "crunchy" side, but he's usually too busy with work and mentally stressed to make an effort to make changes in his day to day life, even though I think he wants to.


I also try to keep in mind that everyone else's circumstances and idea of risks are different, so when conversing with others I try not to "convert" others to my choices, nor do I worry when they don't make the same choices I do. 

post #14 of 28
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post


I also try to keep in mind that everyone else's circumstances and idea of risks are different, so when conversing with others I try not to "convert" others to my choices, nor do I worry when they don't make the same choices I do. 


I agree that this is really important. When some people have heard I eat sushi or a stinky soft cheese once in a while they give me the shocked "Wow, You DO?" "Wow, really? You're not worried about listeria?" These are mostly pregnant or recently pregnant women my age. My answer is usually a super laid back "Yup, ya know, moderation." I find the women who are so shocked by it haven't done all their research/getting multiple opinions, etc. But my point is when they tell *me* they haven't eaten X in 9 months I don't say to *them* "WOW 9 months?" I just keep it to myself and smile and nod.

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

Wow! Thanks so much, everyone, for your replies so far!


I think in most ways I am in the middle. I try to remind myself that with my pregnancy with DD, I was not nearly as awesome or aware. I ate a ton of McDonalds crunchy ranch snack wraps (the poor thing) and Fruit Roll Ups, and I don't remember being overly conscious of avoiding chemicals or anything like that. (I was also 16/17.) That said, I was a vibrant, glowing, healthy as hell pregnant woman who used to get stopped by strangers to be told so, and though I gained a fair amount of weight (40 pounds or so) I had zero health issues, and had a totally natural complication free delivery, went on to BF exclusively, recovered without any issue at all, and lost 50 pounds within four or five months. 


This time around, I am supposedly 'healthier', but less so in other ways. I eat organic whenever I can, get a large portion of our produce locally, eat a TON of fruits and veggies (they dominate my diet), whole grains when I eat grains, local pastured eggs, high quality cheeses when I eat cheese, organic dried fruits, etc etc. I drink a ton of water and keep coffee to a minimum, and rarely if ever drink anything else aside from the occassional glass of organic milk or almond milk.  I do have some difficulty keeping my portions small when we eat out, get pizza, have bday cake, whatever- but overall I eat mainly homecooked goodness. We never get fast food, rarely get anything very junky (if I'm going to eat junk, I find organic/natural versions of it.) 


However, I am much more aware of weight gain this time, and I think if anything this is a negative, since it causes some stress. I definitely don't have that "I'm pregnant, I can eat for two!" mentality, mainly because I'm worried about getting it off after, especially with this baby born right at swimsuit season. I know in my mind this shouldn't be a real concern, especially since I began at a totally healthy 'normal' weight (although higher than my ideal), but weight has been a mental preoccupation of mine for a couple years now, and although pregnancy might soothe it, I don't see me forgetting it anytime soon. 


As far as other stuff goes, I'm fair to middling  :)  I use Dr Bronners, and just switched to an organic conditioner, and if I use lotion it's an organic brand or coconut oil. I use non flouride Toms toothpaste, and have avoided hair color, though I'm considering some foils to brighten up my brown around the holidays. I don't use makeup every day, but when I do, it's totally not organic  :/  I use my cellphone too much, and my laptop, and just got an IPod touch, so that's not very good, I suppose ... and I take a very clean prenatal, etc etc.


I worry about caffeine intake, since I'm sensitive to it ... and I worry about the cell and wifi exposure, but feel powerless to change it. 

I don't freak out over too much, really, and I feel like I'm doing alright; my blood work from the first trimester came back excellent in all regards, though I feel not as shiny and brilliant at all as my first pregnancy. I chalk this up to the residual exhaustion of being a parent of a very vivacious four year old. My mental state is not as cheery; I'm more jaded and tend to stress more about how I'm going to pull it all off (well) than I did with DD, who I just happily 'knew' I'd do well with.


Right now I'm switching over to mainly vegan/ 50% -ish raw diet, so maybe some of this exhaustion is from that ... and I've reached the "I can't get comfy" sleeping stage, which I ABHOR.

post #16 of 28
I try not to stress about anything , especially while pregnant. I do avoid sushi, blue cheeses and high mercury foods. I do have hot dogs, but we usually buy nitrate/nitrite free made from grass fed only beef, so it isn't an issue to me. I also made sushi at home for the first time last week, and I'm so happy it is totally safe sushi, that I can have it anytime I want it now. I do drink coffee every day, but I only have 1 mug a day when pregnant, which is a big drop for me.

Personally I think it is more important to get rid of as much stress as possible, and if food or drink restrictions etc are making you stressed then I'd try to ease up a bit. I do find that there are more restrictions here in the USA than there is back home in Scotland, and Europe as a whole is much more relaxed about all aspects of pregnancy.
post #17 of 28

I'm very much on the very laid back end of the spectrum, but a lot of pregnancy "don't"s I avoid through lifestyle choices anyway, so it's a non-issue for me. For instance, I avoid caffeine and alcohol, neither DH nor I smoke, I wear makeup rarely and then only around my eyes, use baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo and conditioner and chemical cleaning supplies, and I use my cell phone very rarely (more because I have no one to call than anything else, haha). 


The things I don't bother with worrying about mostly deal with food--I eat runny eggs (I didn't know that one was an issue), lunch meat (I completely lost my appetite my first trimester and lunch meat was one of the few things I found appetizing), and take hot baths (we don't have a shower, just a bathtub, and lukewarm baths are awful). I don't eat soft cheese because I don't like it, but my husband really likes soft sheep cheese and eats it often, and if I didn't dislike it I would eat it without worrying about it. I don't eat stake or sushi (or eat out in general, really) because we can't afford it right now, but if it was offered to me I would definitely eat it without a second thought. In general I try to eat healthy and make sure I'm getting some kind of fruit and vegetable every day. I would love to be able to eat all organic produce and organic and grass-fed meat, but it's just not possible right now so I don't worry about it.

post #18 of 28

I'm a bad, bad pregnant lady.  Evidence:  

  • My lunch today: 2 hot dogs, but with relish which is almost a vegetable.  And they're not the first hot dogs I've had this week.
  • I've had sushi in the last month or so (and had some before I knew I was pregnant including my beloved but very much warned against scallops).
  • I had a sip of beerita over the weekend and a glass of wine before I knew I was pregnant.
  • Our diet has been almost exclusively from restaurants lately which explains why I'm blown up like a balloon (thanks salt).
  • I don't eat organic.
  • I drink skim milk, GENERIC skim milk.
  • I still drink my 16 oz of tea (usually black, some mate for the migraines, some green or oolong) every workday now that I've gotten the taste for it back.
  • The main veggies in my diet are fried.
  • I helped paint the linen closet doors (outside though) and plan on helping to paint the dresser we're refinishing but that's mostly low or no VOC paint.


Yea, I'm not too concerned.  In fact, it's funny timing because I just posted on facebook that I kinda like eating the "forbidden" foods because I liked to think it was my way of ensuring I was growing a badass.  


I have avoided harsh chemicals like stain and I haven't done any of the sanding work on our projects.  I do watch that I don't lift too much and take breaks if I need to.


Trying to do better, mainly to help with the weight, but again, I'm not too concerned.

post #19 of 28

So interesting to see where each of us draws the line. I was actually thinking about this on my drive to work today as I ate my lunch meat breakfast. I don't want to have any ultrasounds because of possible unknown risks and most every pg woman in the US has them, but I will eat lunch meat to my hearts content (of a certain quality, however), which most women avoid - HUH??? In that example, for me, its the difference between a known and unknown risk, I know what lunch meat could have, listeria, but how likely am I to eat lunch meat with listeria, kwim? The most recent listeria outbreaks have not been in lunch meats, but in cantaloupe! I just find it really interesting to see where people are coming from in terms of what they choose to avoid or not avoid.


Most food things I don't worry about, I am fairly picky about quality and wouldn't buy just any meat/eggs/cheese. I probably have more concern over whether it is full of hormones and antibiotics rather than if its fully cooked (I like runny egg yolks and rare steak), but you have a lot less risk with those types of things if you are eating better quality foods. So I might not eat those things in a restaurant. Sushi I would eat, but since I live about as far away from an ocean as you can get, I opt for the cooked variety. But if I were near the coast, that would be a different story. Although no high mercury fish.


I definitely try to avoid chemicals, so use non-toxic cleaners, stay away from paint, fumes, smoke, nail polish, stuff like that... I don't drink caffiene or alcohol, but will have sips of wine here and there and would have an iced tea on a special occasion. I do use my cell phone freely. I don't have a land line and have to carry one for work anyway - that I don't love, but its an aspect of my lifestyle that would be difficult to change and I'm not so sure how much less exposure I would have anyway since everyone around me has them.


I don't wear makeup, so the fact that some people avoid surprised me, I didn't even know it was an issue! I normally avoid parabens, so use natural deoderant and lotion, although I have switched to Pantene for my hair. I used baking soda/vinegar and natural/organic shampoo/conditioner for years, but my hair is down to my butt and what really makes it easy to manage and feel awesome is Pantene, and I am at peace with that.


Anyway, regardless of what you do or don't do, I think that being ok with your choices and not worrying is the very best thing you can do for yourself and your babe.

post #20 of 28
Oh yeah, hot dogs, I don't avoid those either, forgot I was "supposed" to be smile.gif I do try to get the Hebrew National hotdogs which are at least a little better than average, but I also get them at restaurants, so oh well!
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