Some of them are false and socially constructed (e.g. you cannot lift anything at all, not even an empty box), others have a scientific basis (e.g. avoid listeria like the, errr, plague, because it is particularly likely to cause miscarriage or stillbirth - that one's for you Eric Roy). The first type will no doubt be spouted to the pregnant one repeated, for free, and possibly even when they are not pregnant. The second variety is generally supplied by the lead maternity carer at the earliest possible opportunity.
But there's a third set of stuff I reckon you should avoid during pregnancy that is rarely discussed. I thought it might be a useful service to create a bit of a list here.
I refer of course to media. Here's a few ideas I've had:
Books to avoid during pregnancy
- Eleven Hours by Paullina Simons - woman at full-term car-jacked, awful torturous experience ensues
- The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenberger - miscarriages galore
- Midwives by Chris Bohjalian - about a delivery gone very wrong
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - actually I'm unsure about this one - miscarriages and bad outcomes galore, but actually a very positive story about midwives, pregnancy and birth too
- The Mesmerist by Barbara Ewing - while the pregnancy bits are fine I found the idea of having your children so unfairly taken away from you even more awful to contemplate whilst growing one
- Is Anybody Out There and Watermelon by Marian Keyes - the first might make you too sad, the second might make you too angry, particularly with your partner if a he.
Movies/TV to avoid during pregnancy
- Pan's Labyrinth - horrific delivery scene, which does not end well for the mother
- The Sound of Music - just awful to think about the possibility of going through pregnancy and delivery that many times
- Juno - I haven't seen this at all, but I have heard some comments that it's not good to watch while pregnant, anyone able to share why?
- Private Practice - the final of the last season shown here, and I suspect the first of the new season - stalker cuts baby out, that's all I'm going to say
- Actually pretty much any episode of ER, Grey's Anatomy etc that features a birth scene - they are already in a hyper-dramatic hospital setting so chances that things are going to go well are low. Plus personally the noise the heart rate monitors make freaks me out everytime.
- Jack and Sarah - mother dies in childbirth
Music to avoid during pregnancy
- That song by Pink Floyd that features prominently the line "and the worms ate into his brain" - kind of makes the building of new life feel pretty futile
- "Stan" by Eminem - I used to quite like this song, before I had ever been pregnant. Saw the video again the other day and felt sick.