33 Replies to “Attn: Women — You’re all “Pre-Pregnant.””

  1. “It’s simple – and it costs nothing.”

    Buuuulll shit. It only costs the woman’s autonomy and self-perception. I can see why there’s an urge to do this, and I can see why some people might not see the danger of this kind of dialogue.

  2. Considering that this is a higher standard of care than normal from the health care system, I don’t see it as entirely a bad thing. Especially considering the stats on accidental pregnancies.

    I know at least a few people who had one heck of a panic attack when they discovered they were pregnant and then thought back over their drug use, smoking, and how they had been handling their other medications for chronic diseases over the prior three months.

  3. Honestly, EVERYONE should treat themselves as indicated – taking care of long-term health concerns properly (like diabetes) and monitoring drug intake.

    My first reaction to the article was very negative, mainly because of how it is phrased, however, since I first read it yesterday, I’ve discussed it at length with a few friends and we do feel that the underlying sentiment – that people should take care of themselves – is a positive one.

  4. It’s absolutely postivie EXCEPT that it’s only directed at women, meanign once again the responsibility is entirely put on her shoulders. Bah to discourse!

  5. Not completely sure how I feel about this. (requires more pondering)

    The one common tread I get from this, and remembering back to my human sexuality course, is that you are actually setting up the female body to more easily become pregnant. The only thing missing here making sure you have an small excess of calories, and you just about hit my all the points that were in my text book.

    Need to hunt that book down again to double check.

  6. mainly because of how it is phrased

    That’s the entire issue, right there. Of course people should take care of their health and work to be as healthy as possible, but treating all women as potential baby-factories regardless of their personal plans IS offensive. It’s yet another way of telling women that they shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions about what happens to their own bodies.

  7. My biggest concern with this is that it is the government yet again intruding into how the individuals choose to live their lives. If you took out the “pre-pregnant” and gender-specific language, I would venture you would hear very little outcry for it does seem like a reasonable way to live.

    What tends to follow these government “suggestions” is financial penalties to ensure we go lock-step along with them.

    Imagine we actually had Federal health Management or whatever you wnat to call it. Then, if a particualr individual did not go along with the “good for you” program, they could be penalized or denied care.

    ~Is sick of intrusive goavernment~

  8. Frankly, I’m also a bit surprised by why they feel a need to encourage doctors to focus on this. I’ve been asked by every primary care physician I have ever gone to about whether I plan to become pregnant since the time I became physically capable of doing so. I always thought of it as part of the annual physical routine. Guess not.

  9. Obstacles to preconception care include getting insurance companies to pay for visits and putting the concept into regular use by doctors and patients. Experts acknowledge that women with no plans to get pregnant in the near future may resist preconception care.

    May “resist preconception care”? How about we address “desperately wants to be treated for what’s *actually* wrong with me without being driven into bankruptcy” before we start layering on bullshit about getting enough folic acid, just in case? 46 million Americans have no health insurance. People are going without routine preventative health care, whether or not they’re “pre-pregnant”. Women are skipping pap smears, mammograms, and tests to detect diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

    This policy comes after America was once again embarrassed to see that our is second to last in the industrialized world (only Latvia is worse), in typical fashion. Why address the *real* problem of access to adequate health care, when we can just push women to take folic acid and make infant mortality and unhealthy pregnancies seem like a character flaw.

  10. This is both offensive and frightening, simultaneously.

    As someone suggested in another thread, how long until smoking and drinking are banned for pre-menapausal women?

    Then what happens to those of us who have our tubes tied?


  11. Women should also make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and avoid contact with lead-based paints and cat feces

    I guess that leaves it up to the guys to always clean the litter box, then.

  12. I love that they’re wanting to *start* referring to women as “pre pregnant”. As far as I can remember I’ve been having to pay more for health insurance as any man I’ve worked with because I *could*, I *might* have a baby, “sometime” in the future. Oh. Three times as much extra a month for a “possibility”. Sure. Ok. While my mother is scared to leave a job she hates because she’s afraid she won’t be able to get new coverage since surviving breast cancer three years ago. That they’re even pretending to be seriously concerned about this is @#$%ing ridiculous and a joke.

  13. Wow. I want to officially retract my prior statements.

    I’m used to living in a nation where health care is a benefit paid for by our taxes, not something we pay for out of pocket. We even have a funded drug plan program finally, so we can get the money abck on medicine for diabetes and so on if your employer doesn’t provide a drug plan.

  14. Have to agree with that one. helath care costs are staggering every year. But my question is .. How did we ever survive in the days before some beurocrat was telling us we needed to take folic acid?
    We survived becuase we had a less luxurious, more physical existance. Most people did physical labor and the wealthy were sickly becuase of their lack of physical exsertion.
    We have been hearing it sung from the rooftops that we, as a society, need to eat better, become more active and moderate the portions we do intake. Do we listen..hell no. Most of us eat take-out at least once a week because actually eating what is good for us would bankrupt us month to month. We spend more time in front of the television or computer rather than at a gym or anything else physical because it costs too much to buy a membership or get the equipment.
    Lets face it..we are approaching a society where only the middle class and upper classes will be healthy becuase the poor just can’t afford to be.

  15. It’s scary even for a menopausal woman like me who never, ever intended to have children. I’ve been without insurance for most of my life and have been damned lucky that I’m so amazingly healthy.

    Scary, very scary and disgusting. Our society increasingly reminds me out of something from a Heinlein novel..the ones abou the theocracy that everybody seemed to find hilarious and unthinkable twenty years ago. Here we are sliding right into it.


  16. The terminology here is decidedly offensive, but isn’t it true that all public health recommendations/policies are necessarily overinclusive?

    Imagine a recommendation from the CDC to individuals and doctors that men eat dandelions because it makes their sperm less prone to genetic defects, and therefore any offspring less prone to genetic defects. When the doctor tells you at your next visit that you should eat dandelions, is he or she trying to commandeer your scrotum and testicles to the State? Doesn’t strike me that way. Provided there are no negative side effects to eating dandelions, the recommendation simply strikes me as sound pubic health and medical practice.

  17. I believe the previous terminology was “at risk,” and has been used to include all women between the ages of 15 and 44. The high end may be higher by now, but this was the cap roughly 7 years ago.

  18. Not just eating in, but eating healthy. If i eat a quick takeout meal, it will cost me about $5-$7. If I prepare food at home, the cost of the gorceries for that meal can total $10 really quickly.
    Now, if you do grocery shopping regularly, the cost is less. But when you try to include fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, the grocery bill rises very quickly.

  19. For a family of four, I find it a lot cheaper to cook or prepare food at home than to deal with take-out. Even with my eldest daughter’s obsession with beef, it remains far more economical to cook at home. Again, this may have a lot to do with geopolitics because I’m in small-town Canada, where takeout doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as cheap as you describe.

  20. I think it has to do with location as well as number of people being fed. It is definitely less expensive for us to feed a family of three at home then it is out, despite the fact that we live in a college town full of cheap restaurants, because we are paying for three separate meals whenever we go out. On the other hand, most fresh foods, like meats and vegetables, do not come in sizes that are aimed at individual meal planning, which means that if you are only trying to feed one person, you end up having to buy more than you need for that meal, so unless it can be frozen or you eat the same thing for a week, you end up wasting food.

  21. How about they focus on preventing surpise pregnancies and give preconception advice to the folks who actually want to conceive. Oh, wait, isn’t birth control evil?

  22. I have to agree with some of the commenters-

    “I still object to ‘pre-pregnant’ being some kind of normative description for women, because it implies that really, pregnant’s the way we should all be. And I’d be much more mollified by the CDC did I not see such things as ‘targeted interventions’ listed as recommendations. And, for that matter, the emphasis on hypothetical babies juxtaposed against real women.

    No. Not good. Neutral with shady leanings, at best.
    cinnabari | Homepage | 05.17.06 – 2:57 pm |”

    “What turtlebella said. Universal heathcare. Planned pregnancies. Access to birth control and education on how to use it for both women and men.

    And how about we see some recommendations for pre-pregnant men, while we’re at it? There are certainly chemicals, environmental contaminants, etc., that cause birth defects when men (and their ‘nads) are exposed to them. Is there a CDC report on that?
    Mara | Homepage | 05.17.06 – 3:20 pm | “

    “Indulge me in repeating a comment that I posted on Ezra Klein’s blog, which has an interesting thread about this:

    The most objectionable thing about the report is what is does NOT say. The single most important recommendation to improve pregnancy outcomes would be that sexually active men and women who are not actively trying to conceive should always use contraception. This is particularly true for teenagers, who experience more and more severe complications in pregnancy than older women. The seond most important is that couples should use condoms to prevent the spread of STDs including AIDS, which complicate pregnancy and may be transmitted to newborns.

    But the word contraception is mentioned precisely ONCE in the report and only in the most passive manner.

    Although each recommendation on its own is perfectly reasonable, the fact that women and couples have control over their fertility is simply ignored. That is why the guidelines are offensive.
    JR | 05.17.06 – 5:16 pm | # “

  23. Re: I have to agree with some of the commenters-

    Valid points, all.

    I do think I see where the CDC is coming from, though. What percentage of pregnancies carried to term start out as an Oops? And how many women will, at some point, choose to have a child, planned or not?

    Though they probably should have had someone with a little more sensitivity to gender go over their report with a bed red pen.

  24. Re: I have to agree with some of the commenters-

    Though they probably should have had someone with a little more sensitivity to gender go over their report with a bed red pen.

    But the wording in what was produced is indicative of the attitude towards women in the current administration. Unfortunately, it also is indicative of the attitude towards women throughout the American health care system. Because of that, even a red pen wouldn’t have helped.

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