Mum of two Kirsty McCabe is a meteorologist and TV presenter, who has presented weather forecasts across the entire range of BBC television and radio channels, including Breakfast, BBC One, BBC News and World News, Radio 4 and Radio 5Live. She has also presented on GMTV and Daybreak and was weather presenter for BBC Scotland before going on maternity leave. Despite planning a good few months off work she's already popping up now and again on Channel 5 weather. She lives in South London with her husband and their sons, Ethan (age 2) and newborn Logan.
A different kind of pregnancy scan
One of the trickiest things about being pregnant is keeping up with what you should or shouldn’t do, especially when it comes to food. I’m pretty sure smoked salmon was a no-no when I was pregnant two years ago, but this time apparently it’s OK (at least in the UK). Although I’ve never quite gotten over finding out about the small worms that can live in the fish and that the smoking process doesn’t always kill them off...
Anyhow, I was in Heathrow Airport on my way to visit family in Scotland last week when I realised I’d never flown when pregnant before and didn’t know if I should go through the security detectors. So while removing my coat, shoes and bag, and making sure all my liquids were in the little clear freezer bag, I asked the security staff what I should do. They advised me it was perfectly safe to go through but if I preferred I could opt for a pat-down. I decided to err on the side of caution and go for the pat-down.
However, on my return journey from Glasgow Airport I found myself shepherded into one of the new-fangled body scanner machines with no option of a pat-down. I was assured it was safe, used radio waves not X-rays and apparently a pregnant lady had just gone through in front of me.
I did feel a bit uncomfortable about it, but in true British style I didn’t want to make a scene/be kicked off my flight. Oddly enough the scanner showed my knees needed further investigation. Oh, it doesn’t do the scary unflattering nearly naked images anymore, just a cute little cartoon figure that even has a belly button. But no pregnant bump sadly!
A quick check of my knees revealed…nothing. But when I did some research via the power of Google later, apparently the scanners can throw up false positives. Still, rather that than a false negative.
So how do I feel about going through airport security again? I’m sure it is all perfectly safe, but I’d hate to find out something I did or didn’t do had an effect on my baby so I’ll ask for pat-downs and hopefully avoid being made to go through the body scanner again!
I asked a few other pregnant friends what they did and most had similar views, but one really wasn’t fussed and had even gone through one of the 'back scatter' body scanners that does use X-rays, although the amount of radiation you get exposed to is a lot less that you get just flying in a plane. I suppose it's like most things pregnancy-related, once you've read up on the risks, the choice is up to you.
To make matters more confusing you can add in all the fears surrounding mobile phones. It’s enough to drive one to drink! Of course, these days the advice is not to drink at all when expecting. Unlike when my mum was pregnant with me and was positively encouraged to drink things like Guinness and Sweetheart Stout. Rather her than me (a champagne girl at heart)! I have, luckily for a Scot, gone off the taste of booze but I do love the sound of bottles being opened and drinks being poured.
And with that in mind, I’m off for some mocktails with the girls tonight.