Coffee, sushi, eggs: Breaking all the pregnancy rules

Monica Reyes admits to not adhering to all the rules that pregnant women are supposed to follow.

PregnancyRules-August2013-iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

When you're pregnant, there are a million things you’re not supposed to do. You can’t drink alcohol, have unpasteurized cheeses or fruit juices, and you can't eat sushi, etc... In certain cultures some foods aren’t considered safe, like pineapple. In a book I’m reading, the author suggests that pregnant women shouldn’t point their toes (to avoid leg cramps). I take all this information with a grain of salt. Women have been producing healthy babies for centuries and it’s only been recently that we’ve become hyper-aware of the do’s and don’ts.

According to a recent article, a man in the US threatened a pregnant smoker with a gun. It goes to show the lengths that some people will go to in order to force their opinion on others. I don’t condone smoking, but she shouldn’t be threatened by someone else due to her choice. I don’t know the situation of the smoker. It’s possible that her doctor thought that reducing the amount she smokes was better than quitting. I know that was the case for a friend’s mother. In the end, it’s up to the mom to decide what choices to make.

I don’t smoke, but like the pregnant smoker, I don’t follow all the pregnancy “rules.” I have caffeine, eat sushi and I’ve had the occasional runny egg. Research is always changing with what you can and can’t do during pregnancy. Before, sushi had to be avoided but now Motherisk considers it safe to consume as long as it’s from a reputable place. There are concerns about getting listeria from eating prepared salads. I find it unsettling that a salad is considered risky, but a fast food burger is fine. I will take my chances and eat the salad. For me, the benefits of eating healthy outweigh the risk. I’ll admit that there really isn’t a benefit for eating slightly runny eggs other than preference, but I am an adult and will deal with the consequences in the rare instance something happens.

You can go to the extremes while pregnant. You might stop driving in case you get into a car accident. Or stop going to restaurants because you’re uncertain of how the food is prepared. Some may disregard all the rules and continue with their regular lifestyle. I’ve decided it’s not worth the extra stress (again, another thing that’s bad for the baby!) to monitor my lifestyle habits with a microscope. Nobody is perfect and it’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to be perfect and to do things the “right” way.


Pregnant women are judged constantly. You don’t need to be Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton to be judged by someone else. I’ve had my choice of care (choosing a midwife), my weight and my eating habits criticized. Some criticisms irked me more than others, but I realize that people have strong opinions about pregnancy and this is something I have to deal with.

How closely did you follow the rules? How did you deal with criticisms?

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This article was originally published on Aug 16, 2013

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