These guys found out firsthand — the pregnancy diet is no picnic
Everywhere pregnant women turn these days, there’s something they’re told they’re not allowed to eat, lest they harm their unborn child. From deli meat to unpasteurized cheeses, and from alcohol to sushi, the list of items they’re warned to avoid for nine-plus months is endless. Women are used to making such sacrifices for the benefit of their children. Men? Not so much.
Last week, Buzzfeed released a video that featured a bunch of men giving the “pregnancy diet” a shot. Either out of solidarity with a pregnant wife or just to see what the deal was, these five young dudes were faced with a mere two weeks of eating – or, more accurately, not eating – the way pregnant women do.
As you can see in the video – and as you can probably guess without watching a second of it! – most of these poor guys struggled; especially with the alcohol bit. And there’s a lot more to the pregnancy diet than no alcohol.
When my wife became pregnant with my second child (now nine weeks old and healthy as a horse, if as uncooperative as a bronco), I decided to be a good husband and forego some of the same stuff she was being forced to sacrifice. Mostly that translated to beer. I lasted a month or two (probably less, if you ask her). It wasn’t a lot of fun, but guess what? I felt a little better, and actually lost some weight. Meanwhile, my wife is being scolded for having a glass of champagne once a month, while her belly is ballooning and she’s feeling progressively worse. I’m pretty sure my half-assed attempt at solidarity only made her angry.
The attitude of the expert they brought in to advise the guys was right on. Her “moderation in most things” approach is very reasonable, and she even stopped short of vilifying any woman who has the occasional glass of wine. Personally, I never begrudge a pregnant woman a drink. I rarely begrudge pregnant women anything. As one of the guys in the video mentions, he likes to have a drink when he’s stressed out, and if just living with a pregnant woman is any indication, pregnancy is pretty stressful. I made sure to cut her plenty of slack.
The fact is, whether I’m joining her diet or not, I have little idea of what she’s going through, so far be it from me to judge her for having a piece of salami! Most of the time, when my wife agonized over whether it were okay to “break” a diet rule, I usually told her not to worry about it. Not only did I know how rarely she ingested one of the verboten items, I am also aware of the generations of children who developed just fine despite much more lax restrictions.
The worst part is that despite our agreement that some of the food limits are a little crazy, most pregnant women probably also still adhere to them. Because once the idea is planted in your head – that if you eat blue cheese you’re endangering your child! – the risk becomes untenable. The shit our parents ate and drank while we were percolating would probably give our doctors heart attacks. But guess what? We’re doing just fine. Hell, in Europe they’re still living like it’s the 60’s and no one is freaking out over there. And haven’t you heard? Their kids are thin and disciplined and all-around better than ours!
So the video above was a fun little experiment, but it’s nothing compared to the rules pregnant women have to follow, and for 18 times as long as those frat guys did. I’d say the mothers of our children are getting a raw deal, but they can’t even have that.