Policing pregnancy is bad for babies

By Jennie Bristow.

When pregnant women are told about yet another thing that they should avoid doing in case it compromises the health of their fetus, barely an eyebrow is raised. Smoking? Of course not. Blue cheese? Don’t be daft. A glass of wine? Best not to, just in case. Eating anything at all? Well, if you must – but don’t get greedy now. Remember, being pregnant is no excuse for putting on weight.

So Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s first female chief medical officer, demonstrated her sisterly solidarity just before Christmas by claiming that obesity should be treated as a ‘national risk’ alongside terrorism. Women, in particular, are in the frame; because, the Daily Telegraph reports, ‘rising levels of obesity in pregnancy are jeopardising the health of future generations’.

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Helicopter or hands-off: today’s parents can’t seem to win

By Jennie Bristow.

Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University in California, has criticised “highly educated parents and academic schools” for producing, in the words of a Sunday Times headline, a “generation of no-copers” who achieve perfect grades in school but “cannot cope with the real world”. Continue reading