Head exploding. While on vacation, Carolyn Hax publishes reader advice. Today a reader explains how s/he feels obliged to warn/criticise pregnant strangers when she sees them smoking. Because maybe they’ll listen to a well-intentioned stranger haranging them about something that probably *no one* else, like a doctor, has mentioned?
I seldom comment, but want to ask the advisor if s/he also points out the error of their ways to:
1. Random smokers
2. People drinking alcohol
3. Anyone riding a bike without a helmet
4. Motorcycle riders without helmets
5. People who don’t put on their seatbelts
Because some of that shit is actually illegal, as opposed to just getting Surgeon General warnings.
What is it about pregnancy that makes people lose their minds and assume their opinion or advice is relevant to strangers?
I don’t want to trivialize the health effects on the fetus, but frankly, if I were a smoker my response would be to tell a random, meddling stranger that if s/he wanted to manage a pregnancy, s/he should get pregnant herself and to otherwise take a giant step back.