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Pregnant women could use support

<p>I’ll say it over and over if I have to — being a woman is an honour and a privilege. But when it comes to being pregnant and experiencing childbirth, it’s an enormous responsibility and can even be a burden.</p>





Pregnancy can require a lot of effort from an expectant mom, including taking daily vitamins for the baby’s health.





I’ll say it over and over if I have to — being a woman is an honour and a privilege. But when it comes to being pregnant and experiencing childbirth, it’s an enormous responsibility and can even be a burden.


Trust me, guys, if the day ever comes when you can start bearing kids, I don’t think a woman out there will complain about sharing that job. Imagine!


In the meantime, we women can only do our best — and that’s not so easy since pregnancy is so, well, involved. I appreciate that many men today are right there beside their partners, attending all of the prenatal appointments, taking evening or weekend classes on labour and birth, and helping choose the name and the nursery.


But there’s just so much more to it! For example, pregnant women are instructed to take a prenatal vitamin. This may not sound like such a big deal since many people take a daily multivitamin, but the difference is this: if they miss a day, or even a week, it’s really not an issue. With prenatal vitamins, a woman is taking them for her and the baby, so every pill counts.


And there are studies done on these vitamins. According to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, taking multivitamins which include folic acid during pregnancy can help a mother reduce her baby’s risk of developing the most common childhood cancers by nearly 50 per cent. That’s huge!


These vitamins were found to lower a child’s chance of developing a brain tumour by 27 per cent; leukemia by 39 per cent; neuroblastoma, cancer of the peripheral nervous system, by 49 per cent; and spina bifida, a malformation of the spine, by 80 per cent.


So, as a pregnant woman, how can you not take your vitamins? It’s an absolute responsibility!


Then there are the rules and regulations about what you can and cannot eat when pregnant. Many non-pregnant people regularly take the risk of getting brainworm from eating raw fish, such as sushi and sashimi. As adults, that’s our choice. But unfortunately for pregnant sushi lovers, raw fish can contain parasites that are harmful to the fetus, so it’s best to abstain while pregnant.


Like smoking, drinking, and doing drugs — we know the repercussions of each and we choose to take the risks for ourselves. But when you’re pregnant, you’re putting another human at risk. One whom you are totally responsible for creating, and should be doing so to the best of your ability.


So a large variety of edibles and drinks can be potentially dangerous, or at least, unwise to ingest when pregnant — even something as simple as Diet Coke, as it contains both caffeine and saccharin, both known to cross the placenta, and therefore not recommended.


Getting and being pregnant, for most women, is a blessing. But it’s also hard work. So for all you partners, here’s a heads up: Go the extra mile in helping out and complimenting. It’s the least you can do.



letters@metronews.ca

 
 
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