Informed Decision Making

***Before I even get started, I want to remind everyone that I’m not a medical professional. The words on these pages are opinions and they are no more and no less than that. Do your own reasearch and talk to your own doctor/midwife…just like I did. We clear? Excellent, read on, my good fellows. ***

There has been a lot of buzz (on both sides of the fence) regarding Emily Oster’s Expecting Better, and it’s gotten me thinking a lot about the choices I’ve made in all of this and why. (For anyone who hasn’t heard the hubbub, basically Emily is an economist who wrote a book about how all the stuff we’re told to do and not do in pregnancy tends to be a bit…or a lot…unfounded statistically.)

There are certain things I’ve heard since being a small child about pregnancy. You can’t drink, or eat sushi or soft cheese, or dye your hair. I mean, everyone knows those, right?

Right. But.

I eat sushi (and sashimi, when it comes to it), I just watch what types of fish I’m consuming because of mercury. I have no issues with soft cheese (as long as they’re pasteurized). I haven’t stopped dying my hair either. (Well, I definitely dye it less, and I use a dye without ammonia. Still, I dye it.) I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since February, but I do not believe that it is damaging to have a glass of wine or beer while you’re pregnant. (There’s a reason Europeans have no issue with wine while preggo and yet have a staggeringly lower instance of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome then we do in North America.)

Why do I do all this?

Well, informed choice. I use it every single day in my life, so I don’t see why that would stop with pregnancy.  It’s why I opted for NT testing in the first trimester. It had nothing to do with getting rid of the baby or even going forward to the point of an amio, what it had everything to do with was being informed. So that if we did get results back that were not favorable, I had TIME. Time to research and look into down’s syndrome. Time to find out what sort of support our government gives to people with special needs. Time, to make sure that I was the most prepared and informed mommy I could be, the day the Spawn was born. If the Spawn was born without that unfavorable outcome, the only thing I’ve lost is my ignorance on the subject.

It’s also why I took a Neocitran (Thera Flu for those of you in the US) the other night when I ran out of Benadryl and literally could not sleep for sneezing. At two AM, I started googling. There was not a single baby board posting that said Neocitran was in any way okay to take. So I did what I always do in situations like these: I went to the research myself.

One of the reasons I LOVE MotherRisk is they always sight the research. Where it was done, and by whom. From there you can follow the rabbit hole down as far as you want to. But you know what I’ve found out? It seems like over half the time, the thing we’re not supposed to do as preggos? Either the study used animals (as in the case where a recent study said even a drink a day was bad because the sheep they fed alcohol to had weird lambs. You don’t say?!?) , had less than 1,000 people, or simply did not use/consume the item the way a normal human would (You say I shouldn’t use my face wash because when you INJECTED it into preggos bad things happened? Good thing I’m just washing my face with it then, hu?)

MotherRisk told me that decongestants are probably not a great thing to take daily, but also that past the first trimester, no one has been able to come up with any research that there is anything wrong with taking one when you need it. I made myself a hot mug of Neocitran and was asleep in twenty-five minutes, breathing normally.

Now, will I take it every night to ward off my possible allergy attack? Absolutely not. But if I find myself in that circumstance again, won’t suffer for hours again either.

And I think that’s sort of the point to Emily Oster’s book. It’s not about all this stuff that’s not supposed to be okay, being okay. It’s about informing women (and interested men) so that she can make the choice for herself.

It’s also one of my favorite things about having midwives. M1 and M2 will tell me what my options are…they might even STRONGLY suggest that I do something. But, at the end of the day, it’s my choice what I actually do.

If that’s not empowering, I don’t know what is…

On a completely and entirely unrelated note, I finally got my business cards in. I designed them myself and, as I’m rarely able to showcase my skills on here (my silly little drawings are hardly evidence of any skill), I wanted to show off a bit.

Custom Business Card


Did a matte finish on both sides. The front design got a high gloss pass. The edging was done in bright pink to add some colour. (Sorry for all the blurring, but I’m trying to keep this semi anonymous. In the SHARPE design on the front, I’ve hidden some of my favorite things (Stars, a horse, the CN tower) and while I can easily spot them…I’m curious if anyone else can see them?

It was a lot of work, but I’m quite pleased with the outcome.

Next time on MiT, my first trimester roundup. :p




8 thoughts on “Informed Decision Making

  1. Putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow will help ya breathe a bit better too and relax you so you can get back to sleep faster. Just do not apply it to your skin while pregnant because it can start contractions.

  2. oh WICKED business cards!! great job! as for making informed decisions – i’m absolutely down with that, 100%. for me, the only thing i don’t dabble in when push comes to shove is alcohol because i teach special education and i’ve seen the terrible damage that FAS (or not even as extreme as FAS, but afflictions such as ADHD that can result from alcohol-related brain development probs) can cause. that’s just a precaution on my own part because i’ve seen far too much (other fun experiences include major mental illnesses, severe Autism, Down Syndrome, etc. absolutely horrible things that make me completely paranoid as a parent). as for sushi, my mom ate sashimi literally throughout her entire pregnancy with me and nothing bad happened. :p (me, i’m just scared of it for now due to sanitary reasons – i friggin’ love salmon sashimi but apart from mercury issues, i don’t need my usual stomach virus problems on top of pregnancy. good lord i can’t any more action in that whole region until the baby’s OUT). can’t wait to hear about your transition to second trimester!! 😀

    • Exactly! That’s what I mean…if we all get the proper information, we can all make these choices based on ourselves. AND we call all give each other a bit of a break for making different choices. I certainly understand your choices completely, even though they don’t match up with my own. There’s just no one-size-fits-all pregancy…

      • precisely. it’s our child, our body, our choices. things can happen outside of our control as well due to so many factors even if we do as whatever-book says.

  3. Pingback: Correlation and Causation – DMB III | Made in Toronto

  4. First of all, Ack! I can’t believe I missed this post. It’s awesome. Being chronically ill, I know all about putting the risk/benefit system to work. Some of the things I’m doing because I need to would horrify other people (Take a pain killer with aspirin in it? Well, I’ve had no bleeding problems, and it’s no more than twice a month, and my OB is on board, so yeah. I’ll do it and not have days and days of horrible pain. That’s the same reason I’m keeping up with a very low dose of my main medication. The pain is a worse option than a possible cleft lip repair.)

    Second, I love the disclaimer you put at the top of the post. It’s kind of sad that we need to put stuff like that out there (doctors and midwives should still be the go to for info), but the internet has made it a requirement.

    Third, those business cards are awesome! I love the contrast of the matte background with the high gloss. You, my friend, have some talent!

  5. LOVE this! I’d like to do something similar for my little parasites nursery. Any way you can share where or how to get it printed? I live in a tiny one Walmart town LOL

    • Hi Holly! It depends on if you’re just looking for printing or for design as well. As a designer, I set up printing for my clients. In towns like yours, I really recommend that you do some google searching for the nearest closest big town printer. Get quotes including shipping!


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