People are very angry about Sarah Harris’ pregnancy routine. It's ridiculous.

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They’re known as “sancto-mummies”; judgey parents who hang out in online baby forums ready to “help” (read: criticise) your pregnancy or parenting decisions – and TV presenter Sarah Harris says she’s their latest target.

In her column in the Daily Telegraph, the Studio 10 host, who is pregnant with her first child, said she has been “struck” with criticism over her decision to drink coffee and bleach her hair.

“I’m only half way through my first pregnancy and I’ve already been stung… Giving up soft cheese is one thing but I work in morning television – coffee is a necessity,” she wrote.

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“It it’s hard not to feel like a failure when viewers tell me that if I really cared about the health of my unborn baby, I wouldn’t dare wear stilettos to work… or bleach my hair.”

"Giving up soft cheese is one thing but I work in morning television - coffee is a necessity."

While some women decide to stop dyeing their hair completely during pregnancy, a study published in Canadian Family Physician in 2008 found that using hair products containing chemicals is unlikely to increase the risk of adverse effects on the fetus.

In a review of data on the topic, co-author Dr Angela Chua-Gocheco concluded that given the evidence "suggests there is minimal systemic absorption of hair products... personal use by pregnant women three to four times throughout pregnancy is not considered to be of concern".

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While it's important for pregnant women to consult their doctor about their pregnancy decisions - because every individual is different and needs tailored advice - it's certainly disappointing that people feel the need to cast judgement on Sarah and the way she's dealing with her pregnancy.

If she feels comfortable doing what she's doing (and rightly so), who are we to say anything?

If you're pregnant and not sure about dyeing your hair, the NHS recommends wearing gloves, leaving the dye on for as little as possible, working in a well-ventilated room, and putting the dye onto the hair only (not the scalp) to reduce the risk of any chemicals being absorbed. (Post continues after gallery.)


As for Sarah's coffee consumption, Australian guidelines recommend pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day. Accredited dietician Melanie McGrice told the ABC this works out to about one to two instant coffees a day or two to three cups of tea.

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This is because caffeine can raise your blood pressure and heart rate - both of which need to be monitored during pregnancy. It can also reduce your body's ability to absorb iron.

So, yes, the anger over your daily cappuccino order is unfounded, Ms Harris.

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While the "sancto-mummy" comments about Harris' pregnancy habits are being thinly veiled as "concern", it's felt like harassment for the journalist.

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Our verdict? It's entirely up to Harris to do what feels right for her. Not happy with it? It's none of your business.

Did you give up coffee while pregnant?