The pregnancy police are coming. Too bad they don't have flashing blue lights like the real thing.
No, the real pregnancy police, the ones who think your bulging belly is an excuse to weigh in on each and every decision you make, are disguised as little old ladies and sexy barmaids, as young grocery store clerks and grinning moms at the library. They may look sweet and innocent, but if this is your first pregnancy, these are the people who will make your life a living hell by spouting know-it-all-type statistics at every turn.
They will leave you crying in the back corner of a bathroom because you drank the one caffeinated soda you were craving or sobbing in the frozen food section because you used the hand sanitizer with triclosan near the front door of the store.
You need to learn how to shut them down before you end up hiding in the delivery room screaming, "Take it back, I can't be a mother!"
First step? Admitting you have a problem.
A first-time pregnancy makes you especially vulnerable because you are like a sponge. You want to know anything and everything about what you're going through and how to do it right.
You're also a babe in the woods here. You'll take everything at face value. It's no wonder the scariest pregnancy book on the planet is also the best selling. So a statistic that drinking every day will produce a fetal alcohol syndrome baby will easily be used against you for having one sip of champagne at your Granny's party.
Second step, however, is figuring out why it's a problem. Here's where you separate the moms from the ninnies who spend every 5 seconds on the phone with the pediatrician because the baby might have possibly sort of sniffled. A little. Not a lot. But, oh wait, no, that was the dog. Oh no, the dog is in the room. Should I get rid of her?
If you're letting the pregnancy police tell you you can't eat that lettuce because it will turn your baby green, and you can't have a sip of champagne at your granny's 80th birthday party, you'll be dealing with the baby police next.
Good news. Having once been in a womb does not a pregnancy expert make. Most of these people are about as educated on fetal development as the average graduate of Google University.
You have the upper hand here. This may be your first rodeo, but you have some common sense. Get educated. Then get mad. You've thrown up. You've had someone bouncing on your bladder. And you've got a killer backache, but you're not allowed to take anything for it. Use that crankiness!
When the woman at the library says, "Gee, you shouldn't be carrying that box of books, it will give your baby two heads," you can oh-so-sweetly inform her that you've read "two heads are better than one" before flouncing (OK, waddling) out of there.
Are you feeling handcuffed by the pregnancy police?
Image via conner395/Flickr