When my wife was seven months pregnant with our first child, we decided to reconsider how we make important decisions about our family. Why? Receiving and trying to digest an overabundance of information and opinions is overwhelming. So, to make a more focused decision as a couple, we started looking to just three main sources of information. We aren’t concerned with making the best decision, but one that minimizes risk and maximizes our time enjoying family.
Let’s take an example (but a true story, I swear) of this decision-making process.* Our midwife didn’t recommend eating food made with white flour while pregnant. That statement immediately lit up multiple warning signals in my critical mind, so I looked into this thought because my wife loves food paired with a crunchy French baguette!
I found only one scientific paper about carcinogenicity2 that mentions some bleaching products could cause kidney cancer in mice when diluted in drinking water, even at low concentration. There is no extrapolation for humans, nor about the toxic residual quantity in bread. Even though one single article doesn’t reflect all the research done on the topic, that seems to be a reasonable warning to me, but not enough to ban every food made of white flour.
Given that information, I would discount white flour as a risk to my wife and baby. It doesn’t mean there is no risk. It just means any negative thinking isn’t really supported by facts. This is a belief you have the freedom to follow or not.
Critical thinking is a long but rewarding path. It reduced my anxiety and, I believe it improved my decision-making. And because you’re reading this article, you’re well on your way to making confident decisions, too.
1 World Health Organization. 2018. Healthy diet. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
2 DeAngelo, A.B. 1998. Carcinogenicity of potassium bromate administered in the drinking water to male B6C3F1 mice and F344/N rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9789944
*This post is not intended to offer medical advice. If you have any concerns about diet and pregnancy, please contact your doctor.