In a scene from a recent film depicting the 60’s, a very pregnant woman was sitting at a bar smoking a cigarette and drinking a martini; in the new television series set in the 60’s (Mad Men) there was another scene of a pregnant woman drinking and smoking at a party. I think there are even scenes in I Love Lucy with her smoking while she was pregnant. That was simply the way of life back then and nobody thought a thing about it.
I would imagine that many of us on this board were born in age when women did the same thing. I know that my mother smoked and drank (moderately) while she was pregnant with all three of her children. We all turned out OK.
Now, it is considered reckless and irresponsible for a pregnant woman to even be within 100 yards of smoke, let alone light one up, and a sip of wine seems to be a sin that will most certainly cause fetal alcohol syndrome.
While I don’t doubt that chain smoking and drinking into a stupor is probably not the healthiest of habits for a pregnant woman, I wonder if research has shown a marked decrease in infant mortality and/or illnesses since these activities have reached the stigma of moral (and partially legal) taboo?
Don’t get me wrong: I am not suggesting turning back the clock and have pregnant women turn into barflies and go through a pack of Kools in an evening! There are enough problems with childbirth that every step in the right direction towards the health of a baby should indeed be taken into consideration.
I am just wondering aloud if this rather huge change in public perception of good and bad habits for pregnant women has actually paid off in the long run?
Also, how many women here on the boards have stopped smoking and drinking cold turkey when they discovered they were pregnant - assuming you smoked and/or drank prior to the news?