It Is a Truth Universally Acknowledged: if You Want Unsolicited Advice, Get Pregnant

"People start touching you and everybody has an opinion on how you should act, what you should wear—everything.”
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
August 6, 2019
hand holding starbucks coffee cup
Image: iStock

It’s inevitable—the peanut gallery is louder than ever when you have a baby on the way. Despite the fact that you have frequent doctor appointments and are inundated with enough information as is, people still feel the need to give you their own two cents. And the one topic bypassers love to weigh in on? Pregnant women and their coffee intake.

The latest victim was Jaclene Paolucci, a New Yorker who is six months pregnant. Like several other moms-to-be who have been verbally assaulted while attempting to get their cup of joe at Starbucks, Paolucci was minding her own business when she placed her order to the barista. That didn’t stop a stranger in line from trying to (falsely) educate her on why she shouldn’t be drinking coffee while pregnant. Instead of firing back to defend herself, the New Yorker hilariously put the stranger in their place by simply stating “I’m not pregnant.” Thrown off and likely feeling very awkward, the Coffee Police proceeded to apologize profusely for the misunderstanding. “And that’s what you get for giving unsolicited advice,” Paolucci writes via Twitter.

The woman’s funny interaction surely hits home, where it has been shared by thousands and thousands of people. As a result, her story has been picked up by a ton of media outlets, and she was even interviewed by BBC.

“I’ve discovered that if you want unsolicited advice, then you should get pregnant," Paolucci tells BBC News. "People start touching you and everybody has an opinion on how you should act, what you should wear—everything.

The only advice the soon-to-be mom is interested in hearing is that of her doctors, whom, in case anyone wanted to know, she has consulted with about safe caffeine consumption during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say a “moderate amount” of caffeine during pregnancy—defined as less than 200 milligrams per day—“does not appear to be a major contributing factor in miscarriage or preterm birth.” So you likely won’t be able to down coffee like you used to during pregnancy, but a simple cup every now and then is okay.

Whatever someone’s intention may be when they give unwanted advice to someone who appears to be pregnant, they’re comments are almost always better left unsaid. "What if I hadn’t been pregnant,” Paolucci points out during her BBC interview. “There are many postpartum women who find it hard to get rid of their bellies. Comments like this can be hurtful, so unless someone is having a baby in front of you, you shouldn’t get involved.”

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