Coffee and wine are ok for pregnant women, while gardening is not, according to Harvard grad, economist and author, Emily Oster.
In her new book, Expecting Better, Oster contradicts conventional pregnancy recommendations. She advocates for a more relaxed approach to pregnancy.
She concludes that the weight of evidence does not support limiting coffee consumption. She also claims that one or two alcoholic drinks a week is fine during the first three months – and up to one a day after that.
Sushi, Sardines, Herring and deli meats are back on the menu, but raw milk cheese is still a no-go. Dyeing your hair is also ok and you should be more worried about too little weight gain, rather than too much.
Exercise is not unsafe – but there is little evidence, according to Oster, that it has any benefits during pregnancy. She also maintains that outdoor gardening is indeed unsafe due to the increased risk of exposure to toxoplasmosis parasites living in the soil (acquired from contact with cats and their faeces).
She says, “I think it’s very important for women to take their pregnancies into their own hands and make decisions for themselves.”
Ms Oster argues that as an economist, she is well trained in analysing evidence and considering trade-offs. While it’s important to have all the information, it’s best to make informed decisions with your health care professional.
Check out one of her interviews and some of the feedback above.