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Highly contrversial topic - input?

So the other day, a friend from college posted on FB about seeing a pregnant woman smoking at an amusement park. One of her friends commented that she would've walked up to her, snatched the cig out of her mouth, and given her "a dressing down" about how stupid she was being.

I made a comment that while yes, she was being stupid, please don't think that it's okay to do this to a pregnant woman if you wouldn't to anyone else. To me, that's assault, and a pregnant woman is not automatically public property. She likely knows what she's doing is not healthy, but it's not illegal, and it's up to her doc/husband/family/whoever to say something, no a complete stranger.

Of course, everybody started talking about how she shouldn't be doing it in public if she doesn't want input, she's abusing her baby, etc. ad nauseum. 

What do you ladies think? Maybe it's because I'm currently pregnant, but I think that just because I am does not give you the go ahead to verbally assault me based on a decision that I make as a parent (I broke it down to it not being about the smoking, but about the decision she made).

I've had people tell me I was being irresponsible by taking a sip of wine (even though my doc is ok with a glass here and there after the first trimester), comments on how much weight I'm gaining, telling me not to pick up my toddler because I'm hurting the baby (right, try NOT picking him up), I shouldn't clean, shouldn't eat certain things, shouldn't be driving, etc. At some point, people need to realize that just because pregnancy is obvious, it is not a request for public opinion.

Am I wrong?

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Re: Highly contrversial topic - input?

  • I pretty much agree. Especially to someone I don't know. If I had a friend who smoked while pregnant, I would only approach them in private and with genuine concern. Certainly not a dressing down in public to a stranger.

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  • You are not wrong.

    And there is a decent chance that woman was just fat/recently given birth. 

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  • I agree with you.
  • image wise_rita:

    You are not wrong.

    And there is a decent chance that woman was just fat/recently given birth. 

    That was my other argument.


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  • I'm a big fan of individual responsibility... from whether you want to have a kid, to whether you want to risk caring for a kid w/ additional/special needs b/c of your stupid choices (ie low birth weight, asthma, etc.). 

    I also agree that it's a slippery slope.  While, we can all agree cigs don't help babies develop, how far do we take this... booze (effects of moderate wine are often disputed-- I'm not talking a 1/5 of Jack a day), coffee, chocolate, what if you drive in a smoggy area of town?  I mean, essentially, living isn't healthy... you'd gotta make a call at some point.

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  • I saw a documentary-type show where a pregnant woman sat at a sidewalk table (I think in NYC) with an empty beer bottle in front of her and they filmed what happened.  And a lot of people did exactly what you're describing--totally laid into her about the danger to the baby, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc., when she hadn't actually even had any beer at all.  It was really interesting.

    I've never been pregnant but I just know when I am, I'm going to get sick of all the unsolicited "advice."

  • image VABeach08:

    I'm a big fan of individual responsibility... from whether you want to have a kid, to whether you want to risk caring for a kid w/ additional/special needs b/c of your stupid choices (ie low birth weight, asthma, etc.). 

    I also agree that it's a slippery slope.  While, we can all agree cigs don't help babies develop, how far do we take this... booze (effects of moderate wine are often disputed-- I'm not talking a 1/5 of Jack a day), coffee, chocolate, what if you drive in a smoggy area of town?  I mean, essentially, living isn't healthy... you'd gotta make a call at some point.

    Yeah ... I mean, are you going to tell a pregnant woman she can't eat chocolate?!? That's dangerous territory!

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  • I agree with you.

    And I have honed my "mean face" skills at getting people to shut up with the advice and the "my god, you're huge!" comments. They've all stopped... except for MIL. 

  • Oh, and I also get the opposite. My SIL drank (in moderation) during her pregnancy, so every time I'm at the in-laws, there is a discussion how I could have a glass of wine if I wanted to. 

    Gah.  

  • You are totally right. A pregnant woman is not public property. I hear people speaking to their kids in a way that I consider abusive, but in no way to I think it is my right to intervene. 
  • image brainie:

    I agree with you.

    And I have honed my "mean face" skills at getting people to shut up with the advice and the "my god, you're huge!" comments. They've all stopped... except for MIL. 

    You are not huge! You look great! 

  • I completely agree with you.
  • image cakenbake:
     I made a comment that while yes, she was being stupid, please don't think that it's okay to do this to a pregnant woman if you wouldn't to anyone else. To me, that's assault, and a pregnant woman is not automatically public property. She likely knows what she's doing is not healthy, but it's not illegal, and it's up to her doc/husband/family/whoever to say something, no a complete stranger. 

    No, you aren't wrong at all. The public property comment I especially agree with. I very much doubt that this woman was smoking because no one had thought to mention to her that smoking is bad for the baby. Do I think she is wrong? Sure. But it isn't the place of some stranger to walk up to her on the street and grab something out of her hand and verbally attack her. How is that going to help? 

    It kind of creeps me out that someone would consider doing that, actually.  

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  • While I don't agree with pregnant women smoking, it has nothing to do with me.  These are adult women who are old enough to make their own choices, its not my job to go around and correct everything I see wrong.  I would be very busy if I had to fix all the problems I see.
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  • image snowyowl:
    I very much doubt that this woman was smoking because no one had thought to mention to her that smoking is bad for the baby. Do I think she is wrong? Sure. But it isn't the place of some stranger to walk up to her on the street and grab something out of her hand and verbally attack her. How is that going to help?  

    My thoughts exactly.  

  • I agree that it's rude for people to go up and judge a pregnant woman

    pregnant does not mean public property

    and what good does it do? it is common knowledge now that smoking is not good while pregnant, and most places say a drink here or there is fine

    people know - there's no need to go and harp on them for their actions

    if they choose to make those decisions - it is up to them!

  • image MoniqueJW:

    people know - there's no need to go and harp on them for their actions

    This reminds me of how people in Ethiopia were always coming up to me and telling me, "You are too fat.  You should exercise."  I always wanted to say, "Well GOSH, I hadn't thought of that!  I should just exercise!  Thanks!"

  • I completely agree with you all.
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