Baby buying brain18 Mar 11 11:00AM EST |
Something happens to a woman when she becomes pregnant. Before you get up in arms about that statement, I’ll clarify. I’m not saying pregnant women get crazy, just cautious - very cautious. I can say that because I was one of them.
Suddenly everything matters. Everything is potentially dangerous.
You have no control over the life growing inside of you, so instead you try to exert control over every other aspect of your life and environment.
What’s the easiest way to do this? Changing how you spend your money.
Where you once focused on style, you now worry about safety. You once prioritised having the right product or item of clothing for a special occasion, nowadays you know your paychecks will be taking a hiatus and you start to consider how long things you buy will last.
Now that you’re bringing another person into the world, you begin to think more about your impact on the environment and the type of world they will be growing old in.
The foods you’re consuming might not be pure, organic or free-range enough. After all, baby needs a healthy start. It must be free of any poor food habits formed in utero by a mother’s lax dietary practices. Does it matter that there’s no evidence for this? No.
Take fish. You need the goodness found within – protein, iodine and omega 3s are all good for baby. But what about mercury and dioxins? Not good. And what about overfishing? There won’t be any fish left for your baby to enjoy if we eat them all now. OK, must choose sustainable fish.
Women who never worried too much about pesticide residue on fresh fruit and vegies - a quick wash (and let’s face it, sometimes no wash at all) and she’ll be right – are suddenly consumed by the unknown possibilities: What might future research tell us about the links between low-IQ and imported apples? Farmer’s markets here we come.
The type of laundry detergent you use could infect your baby’s sensitive skin with a horrible, itching rash. Better start buying the sensitive stuff, no doubt at a premium.
Household cleaning chemicals – are you kidding? Your baby could somehow reach the bleach on the top shelf of the locked laundry cupboard, swallow some and need an emergency stomach pump in hospital. It’s all bi-carb soda, vanilla and vinegar from this point on.
And don’t get started on pest control. Why would you need a can of poisonous spray when you have a slipper and a firm hand? Do you really care about a few cockroaches when you could risk your baby becoming sick after ingesting insect killer?
And it doesn’t stop at worrying what gets inside your body through your nose, skin or mouth. You also start to think about what you put your body in.
A small car is sure to come off second best in an accident, isn’t it? While many succumb to the urge to place their baby high above everyone else’s in a 4WD, others decide a medium car – with good ANCAP safety ratings – is a necessary upgrade.
And then what about what your baby might put their body in - once they’ve been born, learned to hold their head up, roll over, crawl, walk and then run faster than you.
While I've stuck with most of the changes I made to my dietary and cleaning shopping lists many of the safety products bought while pregnant still sit unopened in a box labeled "eBay" in the garage. There's an anti-roll pillow I absolutely had to have, a bath thermometer (because apparently I was planning on baking the perfect chicken in the baby bath), plastic corners for the dangerous edges that would certainly take out an eye and child-safe door brackets that don't fit our doors. All in all, over $100 of safety products successfully marketed at one anxious mother-to-be.
If you think these fears of toxins and accidents are extreme, you’re absolutely right – but that’s the beauty of hindsight.
Did becoming a mother change the way you consume? What products did you start or stop buying? Did you buy anything you never ended up using? What about the men out there – did your spending habits change when your partner got pregnant or when the baby finally arrived?