The Hidden Perils of Pregnancy

December 16, 2009

Despite several warnings that it’s unnecessarily alarmist and will freak me out about all kinds of dire consequences that never before entered my head, I am perusing the modern-day preggo classic What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

It’s not really freaking me out, though some of it seems to be written as if we’re a little dim as well as pregnant (e.g., p. 90: Instead of fried chicken, try grilled chicken…Instead of sugar cookies, try whole-grain Fig Newtons.) I read this as: Instead of eating what you really want, try eating something indisputably healthier that will ultimately leave you snarfing down massive quantities of the thing you originally wanted three hours earlier…

But it’s the comments on exercise that really got to me. On p. 219, she tells us to avoid “risky moves” like “pointing, or extending, your toes…[doing this] at any time in pregnancy could lead to cramping in your calves. Flex your feet instead, turning them up toward your face.”

That’s a risk she’s concerned about? Calf cramps? Really? Clearly we’d all be much safer camped out on the couch, feet firmly flexed, a bucket of KFC close at hand.

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