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Dear Sushi: I Still Love You

Sushi Love


I found out I was pregnant just days after attending a wine tasting—whoops!— but actually very early on, so I wasn’t worried about the wine, although I didn’t drink any more of it. I went to the doctor and was given a prescription for prenatal vitamins and a folder full of information on coping with nausea and the like. This folder also included a list of seafood restrictions that was further broken down into three categories: mostly safe, sometimes safe, and never safe. There was a lot of overlap between the categories, which indicated variations in safety based on where the fish were caught, or whether they were fresh or farmed. I soon discovered that these lists vary from source to source (some listings don’t make a distinction between Pacific and Atlantic salmon safety, for example), and that the restrictions don’t end with seafood.

In brief, there are restrictions on meat (no deli or cured meats, nothing rare), vegetables (no sprouts), beverages (caffeine’s an issue, and herbal teas are best avoided), cheeses (nothing unpasteurized) and everything else under the sun. In my first few months of pregnancy, I ran just about all of my daily activities (far beyond food) by Google. I might have stopped myself and thought, “Now Taylor, this is excessive,” except that there was plenty of evidence online of others asking the same questions of their search engines at 3 a.m. Not that there were a lot of useful answers to be found.

I chilled out as the pregnancy progressed. My doctors told me to basically live life normally (exercise, sex, and nail polish were all cleared), which relieved some pressure, and the baby of course kept growing as he should, which helped a lot. He’s now kicking up a storm, so I just don’t feel as nervous about things. I did, I’ll admit, freak out for a few minutes upon taking a Pepto Bismol last week, desperate to relieve heartburn, and then realizing I shouldn’t have… I called the pharmacist, who said nothing bad would happen, but to stick with Tums going forward.

I’ve eaten seafood without knowing the source (I don’t overdo it), soft cheeses in moderation (and enjoyed them!), and one really good steak (juicy, but not rare). I haven’t had any alcoholic drinks, but I’ve met a number of women who have had a glass of wine here and there -- often citing French women, or their grandmothers' generation. I’ve placed an official request with my husband for sushi and champagne at the ready as soon as our baby is born, but I’m waiting patiently on those items until then.

Have you had a glass of wine while pregnant? Soft cheeses? Sushi even? How strict have you been about all of the pregnancy rules? I’m curious.