Being bilingual gives you a serious advantage when it comes to research, which I decided to put to use to see what I could and couldn’t eat/do/
think during pregnancy. Usually you can cross-reference your material and see what it all has in common. I decided to start with what I could and couldn’t eat. I had my work cut out for me: there is a LOT of information on the Internet on what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy, in French and in English.
After several bewildering hours of comparing contradictory sources, I came up with a very long list that I then asked my doctor to verify. She rolled her eyes and tutted. To give you an idea of the kind of misinformation we’re dealing with here, let’s compare the two lists:
Things You Can’t Eat Or Drink While Pregnant (according to the Internet):
– Alcohol, obviously
– Unpasteurised milk products: soft cheese etc.
– Raw vegetables that have not been rinsed, peeled, rinsed, cut, rinsed, let soak in water with salt and vinegar
and probably bleach, and then rinsed, ie – anything you haven’t prepared yourself.
– Herbs and strong spices (sneaking suspicion this may be bollocks because INDIA)
– Raw meat and fish AND YES THAT INCLUDES SUSHI PUT THAT DOWN.- Herbal teas, normal tea, coffee
– Fatty foods
– Refined sugar
– Fruit juice, because after a couple of day it actually starts to ferment slightly and becomes a tiny bit alcoholic (may be a bit paranoid)
Things You Can’t Eat Or Drink While Pregnant (according to my doctor):
– Alcohol, obviously.
– Vegetables that haven’t been EITHER peeled and rinsed OR soaked in salt water for five minutes OR washed and cooked, and this is only a precaution I have to take because I’m not immune to toxoplasmosis, which some people are.
– Raw fish and meat and yes I’m afraid that really does include sushi. Sorry.
– Runny egg yolk because salmonella.
– Honey (WHAT?!! NO!!!)
Other Precautions According To My Doctor: (Because The Internet Won’t Let You Do ANYTHING)
– No stroking cats
– Garden with gloves and wash hands thoroughly afterwards (we live in an apartment)
– Don’t let people tell you what to do unless they’re qualified medical professionals and you’re paying them for it.
Which means I can in fact indulge my current cravings for pickled onions, chocolate muffins and these candied tamarind sweets with chili I found in the Asian food shop in town. Which is great, because I’m starving.