Little Women: NY newcomer Katie Snyder found herself at the center of the drama on the latest episode of Lifetime’s hit reality show after costars Jazmin Lang and Dawn Lang expressed their concerns over their friend’s lifestyle choices. They were so worried that they held an intervention to share their fears for Snyder’s unborn child.
The mom-to-be’s crime? Smoking while pregnant. When invited to what she thought was an innocent barbecue, Snyder was asked, "Are you smoking?" She claimed it was a misunderstanding but did admit to having the occasional puff of friend Jessica Capri’s cigarette.
All health organizations and medical professionals advise against smoking during pregnancy. Study after study warns of potential complications: tissue damage in the unborn baby, a link between maternal smoking and cleft lip, a relationship between tobacco and miscarriage and a greater risk of preterm delivery.
So if a mom decides to smoke during pregnancy, it’s not because she thinks it’s good for the baby or that it poses no risks. She’s most likely aware of those risks and has made an informed decision. It may not be a decision many of us would make, but does that give us the right to call her out on it? Isn't being pregnant hard enough without being policed by friends, family and sometimes even strangers? If she’s not doing anything illegal, what right does anyone have to judge her/scold her/hold an intervention disguised as a barbecue?
Of course, Snyder’s situation is in the context of a TV show, and we can’t ignore the fact that the more drama, the higher the ratings. But there’s no doubt that pregnant women face the same sort of scrutiny and judgment in real life. What they eat, what they drink, whether they pile on the weight or keep up an intense exercise program — it seems as if every little move is open to criticism.
If Snyder's Little Women costars are genuinely concerned about her health, then we have to assume they have her best interests at heart. But if there's an element of shaming going on, they need to back off.
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