We weren't born to follow
Come on and get up off your knees
When life is a bitter pill to swallow
You gotta hold on to what you believe
Being pregnant in China has perks, such as other people giving up their precious seats on a crowded subway so I can rest my weary feet. I also have a new answer for ever annoying and ever nosy questions--“How many children do you have? Why don’t you have children?”--- thus avoiding the imminent unsolicited advice on how to get pregnant or mild chastising for not having any kids.
On the other hand, I now just get scolded for a host of other stuff. I am apparently doing everything wrong as pregnant lady.
Here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts when pregnant (according to what I have been personally told):
- Don’t let your feet get cold. That means don’t wear flip flops even if its 90F outside.
- Don’t consume cold things like ice water, watermelon or ice cream. I guess the baby might get brain freeze.
- Do drink warm water. Obviously, the baby must be kept warm.
- Don’t eat hot pot. Who knows what goes in that hot pot broth?
- Don’t chew gum because of the preservatives.
- Don’t wear earrings or necklaces. Rings are okay.
- Don’t wear make up. Don’t do your nails. (On that note, I think Chinese makeup should be avoided by pregnant and non-pregnant women alike.)
- Don’t wear tight clothes. Do wear humongous underwear that covers the belly.
- Don’t wear a belt, including a running belt for carrying a phone and money. The baby will get tired.
- Don't get in a crowded elevator. It’s too tight for the baby. I assume this would also rule out riding the subway, the bus, or being in any public place during rush hour.
- Don’t stand in front of a fan or air conditioner. You’ll catch a cold and obviously that is bad for the baby.
- Don’t exercise. No running, jumping, or putting your feet above your head (that rules out split dog). Walking is okay.
- Do rest--a lot. The baby needs to rest, so you do too.
- Do wear a special radiation-defensive belly apron to guard against cellphones, computers, and microwaves.
- Do eat a lot of seaweed and walnuts.
As I get further along in my pregnancy, I expect this list to get longer. How do I respond to this advice? After all, I have blatantly violated all of these DON’Ts in the presence of others. Poor westerner doesn’t know any better.
Usually, I merely smile and nod. Yeah, sure. I will stop drinking ice water (in front of you). Sometimes I say, “I am a westerner. We don’t believe that,” or “Don’t worry, I wear special make-up that is OK for pregnant women.” My remarks and nonchalant attitude usually evokes the reasoning that western bodies must be different from Chinese bodies.
Well, I guess if that reasoning gets them to stop asking questions and giving more advice, then ok...western bodies are different from Chinese ones.
For now, I am going to drink ice water and hope the baby doesn’t get brain freeze.
Chinese Word of the blog: 肢体不一样 Zhītǐ bù yīyàng
English Translation: different body