I’m not much of a drinker, but I like to make people think I am hard core, so when I am out in bars with friends, to draw attention away from this shameful weakness, I often pick on other people who are drinking soft drinks and ask why they’re not drinking alcohol.
Last week I was out with some friends and I noticed one girl, a friend of a friend, was drinking orange juice. A perfect target I thought, like a lamb to the slaughter.
“Why aren’t you drinking?” I asked, in an accusing tone.
“Because I’m pregnant” she replied confidently.
“Oh, well, that’s certainly a valid reason, probably the ONLY valid reason for drinking orange juice in a bar ….. but then, why are you smoking?”.
“The doctor said smoking is okay” she replied.
I’ve heard quite a lot odd medical advice coming from Chinese doctors which really is quite surprising. It’s not like asking a middle aged Shanghai housewife her thoughts on cold remedies. I expected that a doctor would have studied human biology as a science and that their advice would be based on science, but this seems to be far from the case.
For the record, smoking while pregnant is dangerous for many reasons. For a start, the combination of carbon monoxide and nicotine deprives the baby of essential oxygen. There is an increased chance of miscarriage, babies born to smokers are generally smaller and more at risk to infections and other health problems.