Smoking in pregnancy is the ultimate taboo, breaking all our social and medical expectations of how a pregnant woman should cherish her unborn baby.
But, here, one educated, middle-class woman admits that she smoked while pregnant.
'Ok, hands up to the health police - I smoked during all three of my pregnancies.
I didn't do it in public; too much pride and self-preservation not to stand at the bus stop or outside work, puffing over my pregnant bump and risking the accusing stares. But in the evening, in the solitude of my own home, I did smoke the occasional cigarette.
Did I feel guilty? Yes, of course. Could I have stopped? Yes, probably.
But when I shamefacedly admitted to my GP I'd been sneaking the occasional cigarette, her response was: 'Don't beat yourself up about it. It's far more important for your baby that you're relaxed and happy.'
So I carried on. And guess what, my babies were all born healthy, calm and perfect. They all have an 100% attendance rate at school; they shake off colds, have never known an allergy and as for asthma - ha!
Oh, and I also had the occasional piece of salami or brie and, after a four-day killer headache, I took an aspirin.
The idea of being breathalised for smoking, then given a lecture as if I was some sort of criminal, would have raised my hackles - not to mention my blood pressure!'
What do you think?
Does she have a valid point that women should be left to make their own decisions?
Or is she simply lucky and stupid?
More:Advice And Health
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