Pregnancy Etiquette

I have a pretty good friend who's 6 months pregnant. About a week ago, she made a comment on Facebook about attempting to do a "cleanse" but not having the willpower to stick with it. Despite every fiber of my being telling me I should remind her that diets and cleanses are not a good idea during pregnancy, I resisted. Why? I've never known her to be stupid or careless, and maybe I was wrong to be so concerned.

I did mention the situation to my husband, who felt I was well within my rights to comment: after all, this is a friend I care about, and maybe she just wasn't thinking clearly when she decided to do a juice cleanse in her 6th month of pregnancy. He even went one step further... Since I hadn't commented on it, he decided to do it!

Fortunately, my friend didn't get upset or offended though she still doesn't really think she was doing anything wrong. She was trying to be healthy by drinking fruit & vegetable juices. I just urged her to please discuss it with her doctor if she's thinking about doing it again.

Where is the line you shouldn't cross?

When you see a pregnant woman doing something you know (or believe) is harmful to their pregnancy, is it acceptable to comment? What if it's a close friend? Or a family member? Is it acceptable to comment on a perfect stranger drinking a glass of wine while obviously pregnant? Is it OK to voice concern over your sister, who is planning to fly to Florida in her last trimester?

I am an advocate of education and information, and I do think some pregnant women (just like anyone else) make decisions and choices without being informed of the consequences. And, despite what we may think is common knowledge (or even common sense), I'm sure there are women out there who aren't aware that it's not a good idea to do any kind of a fast or cleanse during pregnancy or who don't know that doctors usually advise against air travel in the third trimester.

But is it OK for a complete stranger, or even a close friend or family member, to tell them what they're doing is ill-advised?

As with a lot of things, it comes down to using your best judgment. If you are truly concerned about something that may affect the pregnancy of someone close to you, I think it's OK to (very tactfully) voice that concern. Ask your friend if her doctor has approved what appears to be a radical eating plan. Recommend to your sister that she hold off on flying until after the baby is born. Gift your daughter some Elastin3 to get rid of the stretch marks she's been lamenting. If it's someone you care about, they will likely see that your motives are good. And even if they don't, they will probably get over it.

May 18, 2013
By: sharon

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