Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged One Day In The Line At Starbucks

One of the things that's been really interesting to me about pregnancy is how strangers act towards you when you're pregnant. For the most part, they seem to smile at you and ask you how you're feeling a lot more than they do when you're not pregnant, and every once in a while you'll get some kind soul who'll insist you go in front of them in line at the grocery store even when you assure them that you're fine and you don't need to. People, for the most part, seem to like pregnant women, and this is lovely. I like when people like me, even while I am under no delusions that it's going to be over the moment I pop that baby out and they're cooing over my sleepy, soft-skinned little munchkin instead of my beachball-sized belly. I will, at that point, be regarded as merely "the remaining husk that brought this precious, perfect gift into the world," as the hilarious Pregnant Chicken puts it in this post, and that is totally cool with me. 

What is more interesting, however, is the people who operate at the two other ends of the spectrum when confronted with a pregnant person. There are those who absolutely, categorically refuse to acknowledge your pregnant-ness—like the people on that crowded MUNI train I was on last week, who were suddenly all very, very interested in their reading material when I lumbered on board with my big belly and my heavy bag and looked around for a free seat—and then there are those who see that pregnant-ness as total public domain, carte blanche to say exactly what they please to you about your current physical state. 

Let me tell you a story about a woman in the latter camp!

On our way back from Palm Springs last week, our plane was delayed at LAX for two and a half hours. While we'd been planning on a late dinner at home once we got back to San Francisco, we suddenly realized that we were going to have to get something to eat at the airport instead, and the only options in the terminal were Burger King or Starbucks. I wasn't hugely hungry and Starbucks seemed like a marginally more wholesome choice than Burger King, and so I lined up to buy a banana nut muffin, which is my favorite kind of muffin and which, I tried to tell myself, would at least contain some modicum of fruit. 

The banana nut muffin turned out to be hideously stale and so I took it back to Starbucks, figuring that if I was going to eat a softball-sized, butter-laden baked good for dinner, I might as well enjoy it, and the guy behind the counter asked me if I'd like to switch it for chocolate or peach instead. "Chocolate, please," I said, like any other sane person would—who eats a peach muffin?—and this is when the woman next to me in line tapped me on the shoulder and said the five words that I don't really think any stranger should say to any other stranger, pregnant or not.

"Should you be eating that?"

(I would just like to pause here and reiterate, in case I was somehow unclear, that I had ordered a chocolate muffin, and not a bushel of oysters, six tequila shooters, and a brick of hash.) 

I turned towards her slowly, realizing that it was important to keep my tone calm and bemused, rather than, say, IRRITATED AND SMASHY, and looked at her curiously.

"Why should I not be eating a chocolate muffin?" I asked. 

"Well, you know," she said, flapping her hands about her face and gesturing at my midsection. "Because, you know, because of the baby. Because you're pregnant." 

(This is the point, in retelling the story, at which my friend Patrick said I should have just looked at her quizically and said "Huh? I'm not pregnant!") 

"Oh," I said instead. "You're telling me I shouldn't be eating chocolate?"

"Yes," she said. "You shouldn't be eating chocolate because of the caffeine. I didn't eat any chocolate when I was pregnant. My doctor told me not to."

"Huh," I said. "That's weird. Because my doctor told me that it was perfectly fine for me to have up to 200 miligrams of caffeine a day. In fact, some days I actually have a small cup of coffee in the morning." 

"Oh!" she said, clearly taken aback not only that I hadn't immediately thrown the chocolate muffin into the nearest trash receptacle upon her recommendation, but also by my scandalous caffeine-related debauchery. "Well. Okay. Well! I'm sure it's fine. I'm sure you're fine!"

"I'm sure you're fine!" her husband chimed in, because let me tell you, if there's anything more patronizing than a woman telling a pregnant woman that it's "fine" that she's eating or drinking something, it's a man telling a pregnant woman the same thing.

"Thank you," I said. "I'm sure I'm fine too." And then I smiled tightly at them and walked away and spent the next twenty minutes fuming to Sean about some people and really, it was a MUFFIN, and god, it's not like I was BUYING A CRACK PIPE. 

But come on, that's crazy, right? I mean, it's not only the misinformation and scaremongering that pissed me off—let alone the colossal balls it has to take to say something unprompted like that to a stranger—but also the fact that she was trying to shame me, publicly, for something she didn't think I should be doing. I mean, I know I was in the airport and everything, but I wasn't really expecting to be taking a guilt trip. 

(And it was a chocolate muffin! It was a chocolate muffin! I cannot stress enough that it was a chocolate muffin and not a plate of steak tartare and a Long Island Iced Tea!)

Listen, I know you often hear pregnant women grizzling that they don't like strangers touching their belly, but I am totally fine with strangers touching my belly.  I'm not going to get all bent out of shape if they express surprise that it's bigger or smaller than they expected it to be, and I generally welcome all the unsolicited advice anyone wants to give me about pregnancy and motherhood because man, it's not like I've done this before, you know? Tell me everything you know about baby aspirin, dude wearing an Ergo in the medicine aisle at Target! Put your hand on my tummy to feel the baby kick, random lady at the DMV! Pregnant women naturally invite commentary, I get it, and that is okay. It's exciting! You want to talk about it! I'm happy to talk about it too! 

But asking another person if they "should be eating" a chocolate muffin is pretty rude behaviour, whether they're eight months pregnant or not. So yes, to answer your question, lady, I should be eating this delicious chocolate muffin. Because if it had been the stale banana one, I would have thrown it at you. 

Jun 23, 2013

OMG. You ran into my uncle's fiancée, didn't you?! Now you know why we all hate her and wish shed go away.

Jun 23, 2013

OMG. You ran into my uncle's fiancée, didn't you?! Now you know why we all hate her and wish shed go away.

Jun 23, 2013

Well, if it was the LAST chocolate muffin, and I REALLY wanted a chocolate muffin, and the pregnant lady in front of me ordered the last muffin, I guess I might be tempted to at least TRY talk her out of it. I really like muffins.

Jun 23, 2013

Eek! All I can think about is that she has children. Can you imagine the life? I wish I knew her so that I could send over a gift basket full of Koop-aid and Pop-Tarts. I so hope you still enjoyed that muffin. I was pregnant three times and never heard such crazy-talk.

Jen (SaitoAbroad)
Jun 24, 2013

You've got me so fired up reading this. Speechless really. WHERE DO PEOPLE GET OFF!?!? So obnoxious.

You handled it SO well!!!

Now go and enjoy all the chocolates.

Jun 24, 2013

Makes me wonder if anyone is telling Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, that she can't have a chocolate muffin? I think not, and if so I hope she pregnant hulk smashes that person as proper and lovely as she can.
Unless the crack pipe is dangling from your lips and/or the brick of hash is rolled up in your tshirt sleeve, people really need to mind their own business.

Jun 24, 2013

Makes me wonder if anyone is telling Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, that she can't have a chocolate muffin? I think not, and if so I hope she pregnant hulk smashes that person as proper and lovely as she can.
Unless the crack pipe is dangling from your lips and/or the brick of hash is rolled up in your tshirt sleeve, people really need to mind their own business.

Jun 24, 2013

I once saw a middle aged woman buying a pack of cigarettes for her pregnant, teenage daughter in line at the store. It took a lot of willpower for my jaw not to drop, but I kept my thoughts to myself. (Though they were quite loud and judgy in my head, I assure you.) Why? Because it was none of my business. If people want to do things that are bad for them, whether they legitimately are or you just think they are like the lady you dealt with, let 'em. Gene pool has a way of working itself out when we remove all the warning labels so to speak. It's still a free country last time I checked. And I had a couple of sodas a day when I was pregnant within the caffeine limit, so take that random Starbucks lady! Haha!

Jun 24, 2013

Wow, I thought this was going to be about defending yourself for purchasing a caffeinated beverage. A muffin? Wow. I may have had to ask, "And what are you ordering? Watch those calorie and fat counts!"

Jun 24, 2013

I was 8 months pregnant and at Hibaci for dinner with my brother. Now, you know how the seating is and it was a packed dining room. I ordered the basic chicken and vegetables and once I started eating I heard someone yell from ACROSS THE ROOM "Um - you are not allowed to eat that!" In a yelling voice (becasue she was on the OTHER SIDE of the room)i said "excuse me?" she said, "you cant eat that becasue it was cooked on the same grill as the shrimp and we all know pregnant women cant eat shrimp" (yes they can). My brother let out a not so nice statement that seemed to shut her up. People are freaking RUDE.

i hope you enjoyed every delicious bite of that muffin :)

Jun 24, 2013

I was 8 months pregnant and at Hibaci for dinner with my brother. Now, you know how the seating is and it was a packed dining room. I ordered the basic chicken and vegetables and once I started eating I heard someone yell from ACROSS THE ROOM "Um - you are not allowed to eat that!" In a yelling voice (becasue she was on the OTHER SIDE of the room)i said "excuse me?" she said, "you cant eat that becasue it was cooked on the same grill as the shrimp and we all know pregnant women cant eat shrimp" (yes they can). My brother let out a not so nice statement that seemed to shut her up. People are freaking RUDE.

i hope you enjoyed every delicious bite of that muffin :)

Tiffany in Pittsburgh
Jun 24, 2013

I am also pregnant and 31.5 weeks along...if a person dared to shame me about what I was eating, I would also be fuming like you. Some people need to mind their own business, especially when it is not their baby or their body. I drink a cup of coffee every day and my baby is growing and active. Shame on that woman for freaking about a stupid chocolate muffin!

Jun 24, 2013

I am 30 weeks pregnant and my parents came for a visit last weekend, so when I went to the grocery, I bought a few bottles of wine. You see where this is going, right? A male employee kept walking by my cart, making "tsk tsk" sounds and looking from my belly to my cart. Eventually he started singing some song about Jesus while doing it. I wasn't standing there popping corks and downing bottles in the aisle!

Jun 24, 2013

It really never fails to amaze me how comfortable people are giving out unsolicited opinions (not compliments. No one minds an unsolicited compliment).

I have a very clear memory of being out with my pregnant aunt and my grandmother, and someone walking up to my aunt and saying they would "never do something something something" and my grandmother looking at the woman and saying "well, she here would never walk up to someone who didn't ask for her opinion and give it, because I taught her by age 3 that to do so was hideously rude. So I guess it takes all kinds of people to make this world go round"

I took that one home and memorized it straight away, so that I would be able to recite it calmly when I needed to. As opposed to flinging a muffin someone's face, which is an impulse I would share with you.

Jun 24, 2013

I'm not nor have I ever been pregnant but I can appreciate unsolicited advise. My skin is a bit more pink tinged than your average pale person, so I get a lot of strangers walking up to me and telling me to put on sunscreen/go inside. Even when I am not sunburned. At all. In Spain a man actually pantomimed to me that I should put on sunscreen because he assumed I was 1. burned 2. could not speak spanish.

Depending on my mood you may got some made-up horrible story about my blood vessels all being burst or I'll just smile and say yeahh I'm really burned and hit you up for free sunscreen.

Jun 24, 2013

Wow, you handled that a lot better than I would have. It was a MUFFIN! If you had been doing espresso shots I could *maybe* have understood their concern but a muffin? STFU.

When I was maybe 6 months pregnant, I was getting food from the hot bar at Whole Foods and was scooping up this stuff called boureki--it's zucchini, tomatoes, feta, potatoes, and presumably a lot of olive oil. It's amazing. Some woman came up to me and asked if I should really be eating that. Sadly my response was more of a bumbling "uh yeah uhh" when what I should have said was "First of all, it's none of your business, and second of all, I'm on the low end of the recommended weight gain so if I want to take this whole TRAY home it should be just fine!" Gah.

P.S. I hope your spite muffin was delicious.

Jun 24, 2013

A very heavily pregnant woman would regularly smoke in the stair well at work (in the days when it was still ok to smoke in the stair well at work..!)and it took everything in me not to say something to her each time I walked past, but I never did - her life, her baby, and its not like she couldn't have know what she was doing.. And anyway - a chocolate muffin..?? And how rude..!! That lady in Starbucks was just plain craaaaazy..! So good of you to remain calm and polite - I probably would have been un-necessarily rude to her..;D

Jun 24, 2013

Courtney, I bet they were commenting on the feta cheese and not the quantity of food! My sister-in-law was one of those no unpasteurized cheese, no lunchmeat, no caffeine, no fun, pregnant people and so I know all about the crazy things that the nuts of the pregnant world would have you not eat because you might harm the baby!

Jun 24, 2013

I really wish that you would have kicked her straight up in her peach muffin. Ridiculously rude and seriously none of her business.

Jun 24, 2013

I think a cool "I'm not pregnant" would have been amazing. In fact, I'd like to re-create this whole scene and get it on candid camera just to see her reaction.

Jun 24, 2013

That is completely, insanely rude. A chocolate muffin! She would have fainted at the decaf mochas I drank while pregnant. I even ate the chocolate covered espresso bean Caribou puts on the lid! Every time! One time they gave me three!

I once had a co-worker tell me I should not be wearing high heels while pregnant. I think that and asking me if I was sure I was not having twins were probably the two most baffling comments I received.

Jun 24, 2013

You handled it perfectly! I think she's a bit of a banana nut muffin. ;)

Jun 24, 2013

I could understand if she were an acquaintance who had been recently pregnant, confused over the fact that your doctors gave you such different information. And you talked it out while you met for (decaf) coffee. But a stranger? Some people, y'all!

While we're at it, I've not been pregnant yet, but my friends have been varying degrees of PG for the past 8-10 years and I have to ask a q. What is UP with the varying information on what the mother should/shouldn't consume? Seems to me everyone agrees that crack, cigarettes, and vodka shots are very bad, but everything else is up for interpretation.

Jun 24, 2013

When I read the title of your post, I really thought it was going to be someone judging you for ordering a coffee at Starbucks . . . which would also have been out of line, BTW (judging you for ordering a coffee, I mean - not ordering one). But a MUFFIN!?!?! That's just crazy. And the restraint you showed in your response was admirable.

Jun 24, 2013

You have far more restraint than I - at a meeting at work, a man chided me for drinking a Coke ("should you really be drinking that?"). I turned around and threw a piece of ice at him. My hormones *may* have been a touch out of whack, but seriously, shut your mouth, dude.

Jun 24, 2013

Hmmm. Yes, she was out of line, but in our "it takes a village" society, I think I'd cut her a little slack. I had four boys, and let me assure you that you will not lack for unsolicited advice even after Hamish has graduated from beachball to baby. Take it as an opportunity to examine whatever behavior the advisor is calling out, then accept or reject as appropriate. If someone told me my kid wasn't strapped into the shopping cart, I'd be horrified because I was a stickler for this and obviously had forgotten and I would be eternally grateful that said stranger was looking out for my baby's brain. But one of my friends was more of a free-range parent and never restrained her kids in carts so she would have ignored the advice. There's no way to tell who belongs in which camp without speaking up, so when you're on the receiving end smile and move on. (That's just my advice--now you know what to do with it.)

Jun 24, 2013

I was once eating at a lovely Italian restaurant and heard a patron bemoaning items on the menu that she couldn't order because she was pregnant - mostly having to do with raw or smoked fish. Then she ordered a pasta dish that is made with raw eggs and although I wanted to jump and say "OH SWEETIE. IT DOESN'T SAY RAW EGGS ON THE MENU, BUT SADLY THAT IS WHAT MAKES IT SO DELICIOUS" but I kept my damn mouth shut because hi, NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

Jun 24, 2013

I can't even say how thankful I am that no one ever gave me any unsolicited advice (especially as I ate a kit kat for breakfast damn near every day of my first pregnancy. How's that for chocolate consumption lady!) because, seriously?! I would have paid for 2 chocolate muffins and I'll let you guess where one of them would have ended up.

Jun 24, 2013

Wow. I believe that people say those kinds of things out of insecurity (or maybe jealousy?). I could see someone thinking "I gave up caffeine (sushi, alcohol, etc) for 9 months, and so should you!" Nevermind the fact that perfectly healthy babies are born every day to people who enjoy an occasional glass of wine or cup of coffee while pregnant. But a chocolate muffin!!! Get ready. Everyone has an opinion on how you should raise your child, too.

Jun 24, 2013

I am terrible, because my first thought was "well, I love chocolate so I'm trying to foster a love of chocolate in my child before he is born. To do that, i must eat chocolate. This muffin is delicious!"

I'm a terrible person, though. ANd really, over a chocolate muffin???

Jun 24, 2013

Can you imagine a whole pregnancy without the comforts of caffeine and chocolate? No wonder that lady was rude - it's a side-effect of the torture her doctor put her through!

Jun 24, 2013

Wow! Nice restraint! As some other commenters have mentioned the crazy thing about jumping in on a stranger's life with advice is that the advice given these days is so varied. Now this would not be recommended these days (I don't think)but my mother was told to drink a beer a day to improve her milk production. She happily obliged and had a sufficient milk supply and we only occasionally speak wistfully of the genius I could have been. :-)

Jun 24, 2013

Wow! Nice restraint! As some other commenters have mentioned the crazy thing about jumping in on a stranger's life with advice is that the advice given these days is so varied. Now this would not be recommended these days (I don't think)but my mother was told to drink a beer a day to improve her milk production. She happily obliged and had a sufficient milk supply and we only occasionally speak wistfully of the genius I could have been. :-)

Jun 24, 2013

I hate people. Also, Starbucks would be so much more amazing if they carried oysters, tequila and hash.

Jun 24, 2013

MomQueenBee: But that's the thing, I really DON'T mind unsolicited advice, as I mentioned in the second to last paragraph, and of course I'd absolutely want to know if I was legitimately doing something potentially harmful to my kid so that I could immediately correct it. But this.....wasn't that! It wasn't "advice" so much as it was totally inaccurate judgment designed to make me feel ashamed. And so I did exactly what you said: smiled and moved on!

Kristin H
Jun 24, 2013

I hate things like that not only because of the judgey-ness of it all (rude!) but because I'll spend hours afterward thinking up a great response and wishing it would happen again just so I could casually reply, "Oh, I have to have chocolate after shooting up heroin. Otherwise I get the shakes."

Jun 24, 2013

What. Is. Wrong. With. People?
It's a question I ask myself a lot these days. Most recently after having a BART experience nearly identical to the one you reference. I get so pissed. Also, have you noticed it's always women who give up their seat (when it happens)? NEVER the men.

You handled the S'bux offender with SO much more decorum than I think I would have. FYI, my cousin ate dark chocolate every day of her pregnancy because she heard an old wive's tail that it made for a sweeter baby. What really gets me is what, exactly, that woman was hoping for as an objective? That you'd be all, "omigod, REALLY, I had no idea. Thank you for saving my fetus from poison" and then chuck it in the bin? And then she could feel all sanctimonious about it after, exchanging smug smiles with her husband about the whole thing? Those are NOT good intentions, if you ask me. You're right--she was shaming you. Publicly. And what's worse? She was doing it with BAD information.
I think I would have been tempted to say "you know what, cancel the muffin. I'd like a triple espresso, please."

If it makes you feel better, I often have to attend work meetings at UCSF Medical Center and a few months ago had one involving their neonatal group. A clearly pregnant neonatal nurse sat through the entire meeting eating a bag of Cheetoes and washed them down with a Diet Coke. I just don't think it matters all that much, in the end. But along the way, we have to deal with the crazies. A woman at the Corte Madera mall, who was clearly off her meds, asked me if I made a lot of money whoring myself out. I was stunned into silence but weeks later am STILL coming up with responses to her. Sigh.

Jun 24, 2013

People can be just... gah.

Funny though that you experienced an intervention over a chocolate muffin and not over the 6-pack of beer!

Jun 24, 2013

When I was quite pregnant with my daughter I had a rude lady at Target come up to me an say "Such a shame, babies having babies". Granted, I look a little young for my age, but I was 28! Who does that? Even if I was younger why would anyone say something so rude. Some people! I hope you were still able to enjoy your chocolate muffin!

Jun 24, 2013

Super rude. Also - was she a little bit older? The 'rules' people are handed from their doctors tend to change with time. And the thing about Americans (and their doctors) is we are afraid of moderation. When I was pregnant with my first I worked in a lab in which everyone else was European. They tried to pour me wine when we went out to dinner like it was nbd, but I was too afraid of getting horrified looks from the other diners to even have a sip.

Franca Bollo
Jun 24, 2013

I once worked with a woman who smoked throughout her pregnancy. It was difficult not saying something but I figured her ob/gyn had filled her in on the hazards.

Jun 24, 2013

I know it was a small point in your post, but some of the angriest moments of my pregnancy were experienced on Muni, including a memorable time when a woman offered me a seat when I was seven months pregnant and then, when the train broke down, LOUDLY told her male companion that she wished she hadn't given up the seat. I still can't believe there are no signs on the trains asking people to stand up for pregnant women (or, I hate to tell you it's not over) moms with small children and giant strollers.

Jun 24, 2013

LOL!! -- I insist: That baby of yours is one of the luckiest kids EVER!

Jun 24, 2013

You know, I started out my Monday morning (today) with a client gasping and asking if I was pregnant. I am not. I am a size 8. It's soured my whole day.
And yet, it's still not as rude as shaming a pregnant lady over a chocolate muffin just because the bad-advice-giver apparently had a doctor dispensing very stupid information. Really? No chocolate? I'd die.
I almost lost it this morning. I have a feeling when I actually am pregnant, I will never be as cool a cucumber as you. Watch out everyone!

Jenn Amano
Jun 24, 2013

I used to drink my morning caffeine on the way to work so I didn't have to deal with the "shamers". I wasn't ashamed of my behavior, but I wanted to enjoy my small amount of 'pep' in peace.
I hope that chocolate muffin was delicious!

Jun 24, 2013

I hate over-opinionated people. My problem is that I can't think of a retort until at least 1/2 hour after the event.

Jun 24, 2013

Wow. What a total cow. That is so rude and inappropriate. There's a pregnant woman who smokes outside my office nearly every day...and I'll admit that the first time I saw her smoking with her tiny frame and enormous pregnant belly, I did a quadruple-take and almost walked into a parked car, but I certainly didn't lecture or shame her. None of my business!! But this, a freaking chocolate muffin??! Some people's children....honestly...

Jun 24, 2013

Wow. Just imagine how delightful she is to be around ALL THE TIME! I bet everyone who knows her likes to talk about the ridiculous things she's said to them!

And, smashy as a vocal tone? Love it. : )

Jun 24, 2013

OMG this makes me furious!! I don't know what it is about being pregnant that makes people think that you are now public property. My OBGYN said up to two cups of coffee a day is totally fine, especially now that I'm in the third trimester (caffeine is mostly a concern for miscarriages). Also, the other thing that is so annoying is how often I catch people staring at my belly, I want to say "my face is up here!"

Good luck making it through the final weeks!!!

Jun 24, 2013

She's lucky that you are both well-raised and British. I'm neither and probably would have ended up on the news. "Pregnant woman assaults busybody with chocolate muffin, new tonight at 11 p.m..."

Jun 24, 2013

It's only the beginning. God forbid you take him outside in a light jacket on a crisp fall day, or fail to achieve the impossible goal of keeping a knit cap on a round little head for more than a few minutes at a time. Someone will call you out.

Jun 24, 2013

Ha! I probably would have ordered a Venti espresso in front of her just to see her reaction (and then, out of sight, give the drink to my husband, who is totally immune to caffeine). I am 27 weeks along with my second and have been having a cup of regular coffee a few times a week since my 17th week, and all seems to be well. (Otherwise, how would I have the energy to work and keep up with a 3-year old?)

In my first pregnancy, I commuted to work in downtown SF using BART from East Bay. One morning, when I was about 8.5 months along, I boarded a slightly crowded train where all the seats were occupied. I took a quick glance around to assess my seating options and decided to ask a young(er)-looking guy occupying one of the "disabled" seats if I could have his spot. In response, he looked down at his left leg, which was encased in a black air-cast from the knee down. I immediately backed off and apologized - I had missed seeing it because he was wearing dark jeans! The able woman next to him got up and let me have her seat. I was pretty mortified during that entire ride and didn't have the nerve to ask for a seat for the rest of my pregnancy. Luckily, I only had about three more weeks from that point until I took maternity leave!

Jun 24, 2013


Seriously, she was VERY out of line and rude- what restraint you had!!! Her husband must have been dying a little inside while this was happening. Surely his little condescending "Oh I'm sure you will be fine" was his way of trying to get his try-hard-nutrionist-life-coach-sticky-beak-wife to shut the eff up!

Arghhhhhh. Arghhhhhh. Arghhhhh. Im irritated for you!


Jun 25, 2013

PS Auburn, loved your entire post. Cant stop laughing!

Jun 25, 2013


Julie in NC
Jun 25, 2013

Wow. People continue to amaze me. I'm in my 15th/16th week and I can't wait to hear the commentary when I start showing. I work in a small town where people publicly opine about all kinds of things... like my not changing my last name when I got married "because you must not like your husband very much." To reference Dawn (#19), that woman is awfully lucky you didn't kick her in her peach muffin. Yikes!

Jun 25, 2013

If it wasn't for the small cup of coffee I allowed myself each day (and that was it-my only vice, no iced tea, no soda, no deli meats, no hot dogs, a one very small glass of wine at Christmas-the month before my due date when I figured the baby was "done" and just fattening up) I wouldn't have made it through my pregnancy awake due to debilitating fatigue. So when my friend's husband looks at me on vacation while I am standing at the coffee pot pouring my one small cup in the morning and SHAKES HIS FINGER AT ME and says "should you REALLY be having that"? He is lucky that coffee pot didn't land on his head. The only reason it didn't is because I would have had to wait for more to brew.

Jun 25, 2013

This is hilarious to me, because when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was completely ADDICTED to Edy's Double Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream with Chocolate Chocolate Chips and Extra Chocolate. Or something. I just know it had a lot of chocolate! I could NOT stop eating it for nine straight months-- and today my daughter is 9 years old, completely healthy, and in the gifted program.

I say if that woman is THAT worried about the food intake of complete strangers, she has WAY too much time on her hands.

Jun 25, 2013

As I was reading this, my eyebrows shot farther and farther up my head until I thought they'd shoot off the top. I admire your restraint, for sure. And Leah's comment above is spot-on: gird your loins for the "other mothering" that's coming in the months and years ahead. I try to remember that most people are well intentioned and likely do think they're being helpful, but when you've spent 20 minutes trying (and failing) to keep a hat on a baby's slippery little head and then somebody walks past you and says -- TO THE BABY -- "Aww, where's your hat, little one? You really should be wearing one"? That right there made me want to stay inside with my kid until my skin was thicker.

Jun 25, 2013

Ha, I told my friend that at about 9 or so weeks pregnant I would still eat an occasional raw salmon roll and she looked like I told her I liked to break dance while smoking crack during this pregnancy. "BUT WHAT ABOUT PARASITES?" And I was all, "Eh, the big risk is food poisoning and parasites. I'll only eat it from the same sushi place that we've always gotten it delivered from, and I haven't had a parasite or sushi related food poisoning from them ever. So?"

A friend of mine is breastfeeding now and someone gave her a case of 5 Hour Energy drinks, and I thought to myself, "huh, can you have caffeine while breastfeeding?" A thought that is relevant to me as I would like to at least attempt it, but I kept my mouth shut and took it to Google. (PS - supposedly you can have up to 300 mg, so keep on keeping on.)

Jun 25, 2013

Oh gosh! Some people have real boundary issues, especially when it comes to babies and parenting in general.

One time I got a comment from someone in the grocery store who didn't feel that my baby daughter's winter coat was thick enough for the weather for that particular day. Oy vey.

I hate to say it, but be prepared for *more* invasive comments and advice from people when the baby is actually born.

one trick that I learned from Miss Manners is that when someone asks you a "MYOB" question like "Are you breastfeeding?" or "Why are you/why aren't you...[fill in the blank]..." A good retort is to simply ask, "Why do you want to know?" If they are ballsy enough to actually say something like "I'm just curious..." or whatever, you can always just smile and say "Oh." and just move on with the conversation. You don't owe anyone an explanation for your choices. But you did handle that lady (and her husband) really well.

Jun 25, 2013

Not only can you have caffeine in moderation, but some genius in Finland conducted a study on the effects of neonatal consumption of chocolate and found that women who ate chocolate while pregnant reported having happier and more active babies! Whether the happiness is attributable to the endorphins in chocolate or just having a happier, more adjusted mother who hasn't been forced to abstain from EVERY LOVELY THING KNOWN TO MAN while pregnant, who can say? The end result is the same. Now - THIS - is science that we can use!


Jun 25, 2013

Hubby and I are TTC and one of the first things I asked the RE was regarding caffeine intake. I was thrilled when she said 150-200mg on average and that my list of "no-no's" only included tofu (due to medication I'm taking) and peanuts (due to hubby's allergy). Now if that blasted stork would use its GPS to locate our house...

Jun 25, 2013

You handled that perfectly and I hope your chocolate muffin was delicious.

abc mama
Jun 25, 2013

One of the biggest shockers of my pregnancies was finding how rude people are to pregnant women. I can not tell you how many doors were not opened for me by people, the lack of basic polite social courtesies, such as offering a seat up on a bus etc., it was simply stunning.
I'll never forget when some a-hole denied me the aisle seat I had requested on a transatlantic flight. I explained that due to my "condition" I may have to get up frequently(babies & bladders do not get along!)He would not budge so it was a long damn flight.
A stranger approached me in the mall towards the end of my 2nd pregnancy and said "Don't worry, I gained about 80lbs. when I was pregnant too and I lost it after."
BUT A MUFFIN, seriously? I assumed it would be a weight gain comment, but caffeine? How much caffeine could possibly be in a chocolate muffin? I would never have made the connection. Once she said that, I would have gone ahead and ordered every chocolate muffin left in that case. What the hell did her mother ingest while she was forming that damaged her brain so badly? I bet it was a lot worse than a chocolate muffin!

Becca Masters
Jun 25, 2013

But it's caffeine!!!! *rolls eyes* seriously. How utterly stupid and rude some people are!

When I was 35w pregnant I made my myself one of those one cup coffees (because I hate instant) and the filter ruptured (I would have strained it into a new cup but I had no strainer) so my coffee was full of granules and I had to throw it away and it was my LAST one cup filter.
So I posted on my Facebook about it and someone commented "you shouldn't be drinking that" and I was like "why?!" And the reply was "caffeine!"
I almost lost it, and then a few pregnant friends jumped on it. Boy was that a mess, a load of hormonal heavily pregnant women getting raged up.....

Becca Masters
Jun 25, 2013

I just wrote a huge comment and it got flagged as spam :(
Will try again!!!!

But it's caffeine!!!! *rolls eyes* seriously. How utterly stupid and rude some people are!

When I was 35w pregnant I made my myself one of those one cup coffees (because I hate instant) and the filter ruptured (I would have strained it into a new cup but I had no strainer) so my coffee was full of granules and I had to throw it away and it was my LAST one cup filter.
So I posted on my Facebook about it and someone commented "you shouldn't be drinking that" and I was like "why?!" And the reply was "caffeine!"
I almost lost it, and then a few pregnant friends jumped on it. Boy was that a mess, a load of hormonal heavily pregnant women getting raged up.....

Jun 25, 2013

Thank you for this post. I am 26 weeks pregant with my first (and 20+ lbs heavier). Last week someone asked me "How many babies I had in there?" I find solace in the fact that I am not the only person to encounter rude, inconsiderate people.

Jun 25, 2013

As my womb is a CFZ (child free zone), I can only commiserate by sharing my similar reaction to my wedding photographer, who actually commented on the size of the piece of wedding cake that I cut (to feed both my husband and myself). Not only was it not his job to make comments on my wedding cake intake, he made the comment in front of the videographer, who was getting the whole exchange on film. My reaction was very similar to yours, tight smile and all. I had been on the Atkins diet, balls to the wall, for three straight months, and I can tell you I had NO patience for comments like that!

Jun 25, 2013

I agree that people can be amazingly rude (and very misinformed) about pregnancy. The notion that some people believe it is okay to say something about what other people are doing, particularly when it is not clearly an issue of danger (i.e. a crack pipe) amazes me.

Here's a similar (but opposite) story. When I was pregnant a 50-ish year old male "friend" of my husbands was staying with us for awhile when I found out I was pregnant. Not only did he have the nerve to tell me that I probably was carrying twins because I had such terrible morning sickness; but he also informed me that I was worrying WAY too much about the no-smoking or alcohol "rule". On a near-nightly basis he informed me that it was JUST FINE to have a beer each night, as long as I didn't finish it, and -- in fact-- I SHOULD be having a beer each evening to help me be calm. Not only should I be consuming beer daily, I should NOT have asked him not to smoke near me because smoking isn't the big deal doctors make it out to be. Oh yea! Best part, he should know because his wife smoked through all of her pregnancies. The fact that she had a significant number of miscarriages was completely unrelated. *AHEM!*

Needless to say, he didn't stay with us much longer after that. Fortunately for me, if peer pressure didn't work during high school and certainly wasn't going to influence me in my 30s.

Jun 25, 2013

We are becoming a society that thinks it has the right to intrude on others rights. It is up to a person's personal responsibility and you know we may not agree with it but too darn bad. We have got to learn to draw our lines and stay out of each other's business,period.

Oh, and I hate it when people don't get up for a pregnant woman, ugh. We just lack manners.

Barbara Dooley Whiffen
Jun 25, 2013

I nearly fell off my chair when I read what she said. THE NERVE of some people. I would love to know what world she lives in where that is acceptable. Probably the world that involves her dinner parties where everyone talks about how perfect they are and how perfect their babies/lives/husband/you-name-it are.

I think you look fabulous! I feel like if you would have taken a bite out of the muffin in front of her it would have really ruffled her feathers :)

Jun 25, 2013

My friend is pregnant and went to order a plain bagel with plain cream cheese because that's the only thing that sounded good to her. The stranger next to had the audacity to tell her that it was not only an unhealthy choice, but a BORING one! What? These people's mothers should be ashamed of themselves. I'm sure Hamish will never act in such an appalling way!

Jun 25, 2013

Huh. I bet your mum drank several cuppas every day she was pg with you. I know mine did with all her pregnancies, and while we are admittedly quirky, the caffeine doesn't seem to have harmed us a bit.
The point, however, is horror at the rudeness of that woman! Breath-taking! And also, amazing.
As other comments have said, don't think the unsolicited advice will stop anytime soon. I personally found France the worst place for this. Random old women (majestic in long black coats with very red lipstick and small dogs on long leads) would stop us and explain what we were doing wrong with our children. We soon came to just smile and nod. It's my goal to be like them someday, but so far I'm failing because I just can't bring myself to tell someone else how to deal with their own children!

Jun 25, 2013

oh wow, you were incredibly gracious. I'm surprised you didn't add, at the end of the doc's ok "But more importantly: should you be telling perfect stranger what they should and shouldn't be eating?" ;-)

Next time, order a triple-shot java chip frappuccino, just to see if some smartass makes a comment! ;-)

Jun 26, 2013

1) That woman is nuts.
2) The Starbucks peach muffins are HEAVEN.

Jun 26, 2013

Oh my goodness. I loved this story, even though I get that it shouldn't have happened in the first place. : )

Jun 26, 2013

I just heard on NPR (so it must be true) that when moms eat chocolate during pregnancy, their babies tend to be happier. True!

Jun 26, 2013

C'mon, let's not overreact to a random couple's random blabber to a pregnant woman. People do tend to give advice to pregnant women and it can't be helped. IGNORE THEM. Definitely, do not (over)react.

What happened to the good-old stiff smile and exaggerated eye-roll? No words needed; message conveyed; mood still relaxed.

Jun 26, 2013

I drank coffee during my first pregnancy on doctor's orders. I had severe, drop-me-to-my-knees migraines during the second trimester and my doc told me to "hit 'em with caffeine" when I felt one coming on. I drank coffee during my second pregnancy because I'm a horrible mother. hahaha.

Jun 27, 2013

Woah, that woman was straight-up crazy. No doubt. I don't know how you didn't go off on her.
I hated when I would go to starbucks and get something de-caf and people would either stare or murmur. I want to shout "It's DECAF!" or if I was getting my weekly or biweekly real coffee (w/caffeine) *gasp* I'd want to yell that it was my weekly/biweekly/whatever caf drink.

Home Sweet Sarah
Jun 27, 2013

I jut cannot even with that shit. SOME PEOPLE. But you handled it smashingly, I must say. I fear I would've told her to fuck off.

NOW. A story.

It has long been my dream (when I was pregnant at least) to respond, "What? I'm not pregnant!" when someone commented and while I never got to say it, I saw it happen LIVE a few weeks ago. It was so great and afterwards I told the woman she was my hero. (I did feel bad for my colleague, who was the person at the other end of the conversation, but still. IT WAS AWESOME.)

Jun 27, 2013

Ok but to be fair (hear me out!!) the lady did say her doctor told her not to do it, so presumably she did THINK she was being helpful. Right?

I don't know.

When I was pregnant I just scowled constantly and everyone knew to stay far, far away. ;)

Jun 30, 2013

I didn't get very many comments at all from strangers. Maybe once or twice. I chalked it up to living in reserved New England! I was dying to talk to someone about my baby. :)

Jun 30, 2013

I asked my doc at our very first appointment if I had to stop drinking my daily double espresso. Her answer was "no, it's perfectly within the suggested range" but how many times do you think I had to repeat that to people that questioned it? All the damn time. It didn't stop me from drinking my daily allotment all the way up until the day I delivered Miriam last week, it just made me happy that I worked from home and own an espresso machine.

The rudest comments I got when pregnant were from when I would jokingly reference eating for two and women would look at me and say you don't really need to double your intake. You only need a few hundred more calories and that's not even until the third trimester. You don't want to get fat.

No shit, lady. I'm not actually going to order double my normal intake. Annoying.

I'm sure being a mother I'll get plenty of unsolicited advice now that the baby has arrived. Parenting is fun!

Jul 20, 2013

Not pregnant, but on my way home from work the other day, I decided to treat myself to a Wispa Gold. A man I didn't know from Adam stepped in front of me and rudely barked at me not to eat that because he didn't want to see me get fat. I asked what business that was of his. He said because I was an attractive lady but I wouldn't be if I put on weight. I told him in no uncertain terms that women shouldn't have to starve themselves to be attractive to random strangers, that I will eat whatever I like, and to p*** off and mind his own business! He had the nerve to tell me not to swear at him and to get out of his face. I roared at him, "Don't stick your nose into my life then! I didn't ask your opinion! YOU get out of MY face, a***hole!" We stared each other down for about five minutes, and he was the first to end the standoff and slink away down the street.

And not to fat shame anybody myself, but he wasn't exactly Mr Svelte with his beer gut. He's the last person who should be doling out advice about what to eat or not eat. I know it's different for men - by the same logic he wouldn't have said jack squat had I been a guy eating a chocolate bar. Double standards.

OP, I agree with everyone else that you handled it really well.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

Just to make sure you have a pulse
Enter the characters (without spaces) shown in the image.