At the end of the day, wasn’t it “Her body, her choice”?
Are you finding it difficult to focus when your co-worker is crying about her miscarriage? As someone who majored in medieval studies, do you feel compelled to give medical advice? If a little lady you barely talk to has experienced a miscarriage, my sincerest apologies you didn’t find this article sooner. I’m a male unsolicited advice columnist here to help you navigate a difficult conversation: explaining to a woman that a miscarriage was entirely her fault. The internet is full of boring medical jargon on this topic, so I developed an easy guide that will be applicable to any woman, regardless of her circumstances. Studies* have shown that if women just followed my advice, they can prevent most miscarriages completely on their own. During this time women don’t need empathy, they need explanations.
*Studies conducted by my friends at the anecdotal evidence coalition*
- Drinking alcohol
…in moderation before you were pregnant
Even if we removed the elephant in the room, it wouldn’t forget about the time you were tipsy at NYE two years ago. Taking a bow may have been iconic then, but what garners applause now is proactively keeping your body a beautiful oasis instead of tainting it with that second glass of Pinot. As a good host, the woman must always be ready for surprise house guests and all those wine nights in your 20s are why no child wants to stay in your Airbnb now. You should be thinking of your body like an IHOP – available 24/7, known for its saggy flapjacks, and a little sticky on the seat.
- Exposing yourself to high-risk foods
…like pineapple on pizza
In the first to third trimester, you are constantly throwing up because your body is decluttering your past life’s bad choices, Marie Kondo style. Because you know what’s going to bring your baby joy? A clean space where the baby can enjoy the fruits of your womb. The womb is a sanctuary, not a place to experiment with pickles on peanut butter sandwiches. Balanced diet? Never heard of it. I recommend using a baby growth size chart to dictate your diet. For example, eat blueberries at 7 weeks, coconuts at 31 weeks, and pumpkins raw and whole at 40 weeks. It’s not about what you like anymore – the selfish acts stop NOW!
- Overexerting your body
…by doing light yoga twice a week
While pregnant, it’s important to keep your body balanced so the fetus can find the nearest exit. All those prenatal yoga classes essentially transform the fetus into a human shake weight. I’ll tell you who’s NOT doing a happy baby pose in there with your deep breathing – the fetus! The more mindful thing to do would’ve been planning how you’ll live vicariously through your fetus. You’re growing fingers and toes, not hosting an EDM festival.
- Operating any heavy machine
…like driving a minivan to a grocery store
When we don’t put enough regulations around women’s bodies, they forget that it’s a uter-US, not a uter-YOU. Heavy machinery like cars, microwaves, and phones should be stripped of your possession the day you create a baby registry on Pottery Barn. And if you thought “bad vibes” were a concern, then picture your phone’s poisonous radio waves emitting harmful stuff like “news” onto your embryo. Also, this will be the only time I’ll tell you to step away from the kitchen and focus on keeping your oven toasty for that bun, hun. Remember, it’s not you; it’s your lifestyle that’s causing this.
- Raising your blood pressure
…by worrying about becoming a parent
There is an unwritten contract between you and that cluster of cells that requires you to be as Zen as a Buddhist monk for the next nine months. Each time you forget to enter your time at work, have a slight tiff with your partner, or skip a laborious chapter of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, you are causing that cluster to deteriorate. You can’t go on roller coasters so don’t send the cluster on your emotional one either. If you’re not ready to surrender to complete serenity, then maybe you weren’t ready to be a mother anyway.
You may be wondering, “Can I bring these talking points up to a woman who had a miscarriage years ago?” Yes, because a stranger’s opinion is ESPECIALLY empowering. However, if she rejects these reasons, do you think she was ever pregnant to begin with? What if she’s just doing this for attention? You should ask her to show proof. I mean, I wouldn’t ACTUALLY want to see the pictures.
That’s nasty, woman.
Ian is a contributor to Mansplainers Weekly