Let’s admit it ladies – in pregnancy your relationship with food changes. At least mine did. I loved to eat before, but then food transformed from something I enjoy to something I need. As in NEED. To keep my baby alive. No surprise they say you wouldn’t want to stand between a mum-to-be and her meal. If you did, you would be practically threatening her baby’s well-being and she would not be a happy bunny. So don’t you dare to eat that last yogurt in the fridge. No! Don’t touch it! It’s hers.
As my bump started growing I realised that my passionate relationship with food is nothing to be ashamed off. What is more, it seemed to be socially accepted, if not even encouraged. My baby’s Dad was always the “control-yourself-girl-or-you’ll-be-huge” kind of man. Then, when I noticed him trying to serve me the bigger portion of his beloved pasta, I started to realise that there is a whole lot of things a pregnant female can get away with. They are:
- Eating loads.
Obviously. When you have a bump, suddenly, inhaling a whole pot of Ben and Jerry’s is something you can be proud of, rather than ashamed. Amazing! Although, don’t do it every day because let’s face it – calories are still calories and they add up no matter how pregnant you are.
- Taking the last of anything.
You know when people share some food and at the very end there is this last piece left that just sits there looking sad because no one dares to be the one who takes it. Well it’s waiting for you. You’re entitled to it. Enjoy!
- A midnight snack.
Traditionally, on the list of my priorities nothing would be above sleep. Then one night I found myself sitting in bed at 3 am and feasting on a bowl of Special K. I was certain if I didn’t have that bowl of cereal, I’d die of hunger before my morning alarm. Initially I found it embarrassing, but apparently it is just a common pregnancy “side effect”.
- People will buy you food.
Let them! People believe that they should feed pregnant women. It’s their way of “helping”. Whether it’s your bestie paying for your lunch or a colleague bringing you a homemade cookie – accept it, eat it, be grateful.
- Pick & Mix quality control (aka stealing)
Okay, first let me explain to those non-Brits what Pick & Mix is: the best thing ever! You basically grab a bag or a paper cup and load it with your favourite sweets. Yum!
You pay for the content of your bag, but not for what ends up in your mouth before you weigh your bag. Munching on jelly sweets before making a purchase is practically stealing, but I can promise you that if you come to the checkout till, heavily pregnant, chewing on two fried eggs and a sour cherry, no one will say a word.
- “The baby asked me for it.”
This is the best excuse when you are caught scoffing something naughty like a muffin just after you ate a croissant. Blame your unborn child. They can’t defend themselves. Plus, no one will dare to question this statement because you are the one carrying the little creature around.
- Eating weird stuff.
The funny thing is that you probably had some weird food habits before you got pregnant. Like dipping a digestive biscuit in strawberry yogurt, or pouring sweet chili sauce on literally anything. People found it disgusting. Now they find it cute and quirky. So indulge.
- Free food.
That’s right! It’ll be coming your way! I can’t pop to my local pub without being served a free toastie or a cheese plate by the owner. The other week we went for a ladies afternoon tea session with friends. While I got a free homemade macaroon from the waiter, my friends got nothing. #sorrynotsorry
- Food hoarding.
This is an extreme case of stocking up that somehow sneaks upon you and before you realise, your cupboards are not big enough to hold all the “just in case” products and “can’t live without” items. I suddenly found myself owning eight different types of breakfast cereal, because I didn’t want to wake up and fancy a type of granola that I didn’t have access to.
I suppose there are ladies who are fortunate enough to have a dedicated man that rushes to buy the specific food item she fancies in that particular moment. Those lucky ones probably don’t experience food hoarding as intense as mine. But I live alone and am certainly not prepared to run to a shop twice a day, so I had to stock up.
Initially I was worried that I might be perceived as little crazy, but none of my visitors ever said “look at all the cereal boxes you have” so I guess it’s just another thing one can get away with when pregnant…
My overall belief is the following: I am sacrificing everything to grown a human being (from ruining my body and my sex appeal, to messing up my sleep and increasing my stress level, to draining my life savings), so I sure as hell am entitled to get away with some things that non-pregnant people never could. So now if you excuse me I need to phone my local curry house to order a lamb korma for me and a chicken tikka masala for my baby.