Say Sayonara to that Forbidden Pregnancy Food List

By Sarah Smith, REDBOOK.

To Brie or not to Brie?Before I told anyone I was pregnant, I was at a small party where our lovely host had put out some Brie. I wondered how bad it would be to eat it. If I had some, and then my friends learned two weeks later that I was pregnant, would they look back and think, "Bad Sarah, she ate Brie in her first trimester!" It was miserable-and it was just the beginning.

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Every pregnant woman hears the specific list of what not to eat or drink (the short version: alcohol, caffeine, soft cheese, raw fish, certain kinds of cooked fish, deli meat), and the vague but troubling reasons why (behavior problems, developmental delays, pregnancy complications). But now, Emily Oster has a well-researched new book debunking a lot of those pregnancy eating no-nos. Deli meat? It's really only turkey that has a decent chance of carrying listeria. Coffee? The research doesn't really show cause and effect. Wine? If you aren't binge-drinking, it's actually-shocker!-probably just fine.

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I love this idea that we can eat normally during pregnancy and take a nuanced view of the dangers to make more educated decisions. To be honest, however, I think it's going to be a long, long time before her very sane, very smart ideas take hold. When you won't be able to see the results of your decisions for months, and you are absolutely, 100 percent responsible for feeding an as-yet-unformed human, it's just scary. That's why a lot of women (including me) just figure, "It won't kill me to give up all this stuff for nine months...just in case." It's the "just in case" that's really the hardest to shake.

And yet: at that party? I ate some Brie. My son is fine. (So far!)

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