Pregnant ladies should just relax, drink wine & eat a little sushi

Yep, that's what the author of a new book out today is saying about being pregnant. Expect Better was written by Emily Oster and it debunks all kinds of conventional wisdom about pregnancy from the point of view of an economist. Why should anyone listen to an economist when it comes to pregnancy? Well, apparently, because she spent a lot of time reviewing available research and came to her own controversial conclusions.


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Besides there being nothing wrong with having one alcoholic beverage per day, pregnant ladies need not worry about drinking coffee, dyeing their hair or following bed rest recommendations. According to Oster, none of the studies done about any of these practices prove that they can affect a pregnancy one way or the other.

Oster, the mom of a 2-year-old girl, decided to investigate when she was pregnant and was told she had to give up her four cups of coffee habit. Trained to question everything she is told, the economist set out to find out how much truth there was to all the prohibitions imposed on pregnant ladies by those in the medical field.

Oster was surprised to find the following:

  • Nothing wrong with exercise, but there's no proof either that it's beneficial while you're pregnant.
  • The only foods pregnant moms need to avoid are raw meat and poultry, unwashed veggies and fruits, raw milk cheese and deli meats. 
  • Gardening while pregnant can be extremely dangerous.
I'm sure Oster came to all these conclusions after doing extensive work, but I'd still take her finding with a grain of salt. I honestly wouldn't feel too comfortable taking pregnancy advice from an economist. I believe it's good to be informed, but I think it's even better to be safe than sorry. 
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Topics: advice  child birth  pregnant