As a mother, you are subjected to other people's many opinions on how you should or should not be conducting yourself or raising your kids. This seems to start immediately, from the moment a woman is expecting she is typically inundated with suggestions and advice, whether it be well-intentioned or otherwise.
Such was the case in an interaction at Starbucks that Tiffany Stevenson, a comedian, witnessed and tweeted about later. At a Starbucks in the U.K., Stevenson witnessed a barista passing judgement on a pregnant woman ordering a caramel macchiato, as he insisted that he should make hers a decaf. His reasoning? That caffeine was bad for the baby. Stevenson even had a brilliant term for this behavior, referring to it in her tweets as "womb bothering".
Unbelievable bit of womb bothering in Starbucks at services . A pregnant woman got her Caramel Macchiato and the guy behind the counter said— Tiffany Stevenson (@tiffstevenson) May 18, 2019
‘Oh , it’s for you . Do you want me to make a decaf?’
She said ‘No, thanks’
Him ‘No I should because caffeine is bad for the baby’
First of all, there us conflicting research about what is safe in terms of caffeine use during pregnancy. The general consensus seems to be that its best to limit your intake, with the American Pregnancy Association recommending "less than 200 mg per day" (Source). Which was exactly what this woman was doing.
Her ‘It’s fine I have one a day’— Tiffany Stevenson (@tiffstevenson) May 18, 2019
Him ‘But...you shouldn’t’
Me *almost spontaneously combusting* ‘Are you a man , telling a woman what she should and shouldn’t have during a pregnancy?
Then he says
‘Oh just because it’s bad for the baby so that’s why I’m saying it’
The pregnant woman that Stevenson witnessed ordering her drink even stated that it was fine and she only has 1 coffee daily, and yet still the man continued to interject with his insistence that she have decaf.
Me ‘Unbelievable. Stop it’— Tiffany Stevenson (@tiffstevenson) May 18, 2019
Then he continues to try and justify policing a complete stranger for 5 minutes. He was maybe 30 years old max.
Are they also doing Ob/Gyn training at Starbucks these days?
The Twitter thread she posted was full of hilarious clapbacks, as well as people sharing their own stories and personal opinions on the matter.
The truth is that most people would never dare to police someone else's body or give unsolicited advice, however once a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth there is more than enough of this behavior to go around. As a barista, it was not his job to make choices for the woman about her drink. Although babies are inherently loveable, and we all want to look out for them, we do need to keep in mind that a pregnant woman's body is not community property and therefore up for judgement or debate. Pregnancy is hard. Just let the woman have her damn coffee. Believe me, there will be more than enough judgement and unsolicited opinions in her future.