This week’s celebrity outrage is over Chrissy Swan admitting to smoking while pregnant. If you are on twitter, there’s all kinds of opinions out there. Here are some examples.
cant believe #ChrissySwan!!! harming yourself by smoking is your stupid choice.. Harming an unborn child is selfish and unforgivable
— Securetronics (@Securetronics) February 6, 2013
Poor Chrissy Swan – hate to think of the abuse she’s getting right now…
— Nic Carrington-Sima (@headoverheels74) February 6, 2013
Dear world, What goes in Chrissy Swan’s mouth is NONE of your business! So many perfect ppl around, huh?
— RedheadEdition (@RedheadEdition) February 6, 2013
Some people are outraged that she did it, some are outraged that people are crucifying her for it (or are “judging” her for it), and others seem to fall somewhere in between, perhaps pitying her. Ordinarily I’m an advocate for women (and people in general) doing what they want with their own bodies. If you want to drink heaps, smoke pot, do drugs, eat junk food 7 days a week, not brush your teeth, not wear your seatbelt, insert any other irresponsible activity here, then by all means go for it. But when you are pregnant and you do these things, you risk causing significant harm, possibly death, to your unborn child. The warnings can not be any clearer, nor simpler.
To the people who say a pregnant woman’s body is her’s and her’s only, I say this. It is her body, but she is sharing it with a baby, she is growing another human being, she is creating the miracle of life. That is not a right. It is a privilege and an honour.
To the people who say smoking is an addiction, I say this. If smoking is ok, then what else is ok? Alcoholism? Heroin? Cocoaine? All addictions that carry severe warnings and risks for anybody, let alone women who are pregnant!
To the people who feel sorry for Chrissy right now, I say this. What about the babies – born and unborn – who are subjected to parents who give them the worst possible start in life? Would you walk in the middle of the road and risk getting hit by a car? Would you let your toddler in the pool unsupervised? Then why do anything while pregnant that carries a higher risk of stillbirth, SIDS, premature birth, heart defects and more.
Is it really none of our business? If we know a pregnant woman who is abusing her body and her unborn child, then who’s business is it? Who is going to stand up for the child when they certainly have no voice of their own? It doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect. It certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t made some mistakes. My son fell off the bed when he was an infant. Twice. He fell out of the car when he was a toddler. I am not a perfect mother. There is no such thing. But for the love of healthy babies, if you KNOW something is “wrong” – she admitted that much – please seek help from a GP or other health practitioner.
If you really think smoking while pregnant is not a big deal, please read this. I don’t say all this to judge Chrissy. I don’t say it all because I think I am better than her, or because I think it is easy to stop smoking. I say it because people need to be educated about issues such as this, and I say it because people need to be held accountable for their actions. They also should know there are plenty of places to go to get help. All you have to do is go to the movies to see the Quit For You, Quit for Two campaign.
I don’t think issues like this should be brushed under the rug. I don’t think it should be excused for any reason. As women and as mums, we don’t have to crucify Chrissy Swan or the other 14.5%* of women who smoke while pregnant in Australia. Most of them will be disappointed in themselves enough, without having to worry about what we all think about them.But we also shouldn’t enable them and make excuses for them. Let’s educate them and get them help! For their sake and their child’s.
* Quitnow.gov.au source