Oh, Hell No: Starbucks Barista Tries Caffeine-Shaming Pregnant Woman

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Trying to stop a woman from buying a coffee while pregnant is yet another instance of “womb bothering”

Pregnant people put up with a ton of bull crap from strangers, from answering private questions, to unwelcome tummy pats, to listening to story after story of people’s terrifying labors (do not do this to pregnant people!). But that’s not where it ends. Nope. People also like to tell pregnant people what to do, as well as what not to do. And then they like to judge them if they don’t listen to their usually non-expert advice.

There’s no better example than this one, where Tiffany Stevenson, a comedian and third-party observer to a very infuriating exchange, had to look on in shock as a Starbucks barista in the United Kingdom tried to stop the pregnant woman in front of her from ordering a coffee drink. “Unbelievable bit of womb bothering in Starbucks at services,” she tweets. “A pregnant woman got her Caramel Macchiato and the guy behind the counter said ‘Oh , it’s for you. Do you want me to make a decaf?’ She said ‘No, thanks’ Him ‘No I should because caffeine is bad for the baby,’” and now our heads have exploded.

It was a flabbergasting situation, although we do have to pause here to appreciate Stevenson’s use of the phrase, “womb bothering,” which we will file away for future use.

Then the pregnant woman stands her ground, calmly explaining that it’s fine, but then the barista stands his ground, too. Was he absent from school the day everyone learned about minding their damn business?

Then Stevenson intervenes, in hopes that the ridiculousness will stop, everyone can get their coffee, and no one will be murdered for mansplaining pregnancy health hazards to a pregnant person.

There’s been a lot of research about the effect of caffeine on fetuses, but not much of it is conclusive and not much of it has been conducted on humans. What we do know is that caffeine that the mother drinks can travel to the baby and alter its heart rate, and that limiting caffeine intake is better than mainlining espresso shots all day.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, due to the conflicting research on caffeine intake during pregnancy, women should limit their intake to 200 mg per day – although some health professionals recommend no more than 150-300 mg per day. The Caramel Macchiato that the woman above was ordering has 150 mg. So, she’s officially good when it comes to following the guidelines of medical professionals. And really, even if she was drinking more than that? It’s not our business unless the baby’s in real, actual danger.

Lots of moms, parents, and pregnant people sounded off about the Starbucks incident, all with the same point: unless you’re an OBGYN, leave pregnant women alone – after getting them the coffee they are paying you for.

We greatly enjoy this person’s tactic of telling all strangers that your baby bump is a tumor:

An this guy might have had the best idea for a response that would have shut everyone up.

And this woman asked what we were all thinking:

And Tiffany had a lot to say to men who thought she should have let the nice Judgey McMansplainer alone:

Stevenson tells Scary Mommy that after the ridiculous incident, she had a talk with the pregnant mom. “I went and chatted to the woman who was telling her friends. They thought it was outrageous, then my fiancé and my stepson came over and we told them. My fiancé joined and apologized on behalf of all mankind and we left. I don’t know whether she made an official complaint but lots of people have since tagged Starbucks. They haven’t responded.”

Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this is that the very funny Tiff Stevenson is getting exposure – she’s a British comedian and actress who is worth catching at a comedy club (she’s on tour now) and definitely worth following on Twitter.

We raise our (caffeine-filled) glasses to her!

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