Every other day it seems like there's another study about how pregnant women are doing terrible harm to their unborn children ... sleeping on your back leads to stillbirth! Eating tuna causes autism! Taking anti-depressants causes autism! Breathing causes autism! (You know that's gonna be the next one.)
It's getting so out of hand that I flat-out don't believe the British researchers who claim that mothers-to-be are smoking on purpose so that their babies will be smaller (and therefore easier to deliver). I just don't. Yes, I believe that some pregnant women still smoke and, yes, I understand that smoking results in lower birthweight babies. Are they doing it on purpose? Doubt it.
It's just another symptom of a raging illness in our society today, what I like to call "Let's All Demonize Mothers" syndrome. Hmm, the world is messed up and everybody's sick or poor or in jail or all three ... who can we blame? Of course! MOM. And let's start picking apart every mother's actions from the moment of conception so we don't miss any harm done, however unintentional.
I'm not excusing the behavior of expectant moms who smoke, so don't even go there. I quit smoking the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child, which is not to say that I haven't sporadically started up again since, but I never smoked while I was pregnant. I get that it's a bad thing. I'm just so sick of this whole witch hunt mentality -- honestly, I feel like it's sucking all the joy out of motherhood for many of us. We're being brainwashed to walk around feeling guilty and afraid of being busted by the Mom Police when we haven't even done anything wrong.
Do you think we're being too hard on pregnant women?
Image via Erik Langner/Flickr