Common Myths About Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very exciting and important phase for any woman but many weird and conventional myths also surround pregnancy which involve incorrect information or confusion in the mind of pregnant women. SO LET’S discuss common myths in pregnancy and bust these myths by scientific explanations. Myths can be regarding food, exercise, various physical activities traveling etc. Let’s deal with myths regarding food first

Pregnancy Myth 1:

Eating For Two

No, it’s not true. A pregnant woman has to just eat a bit more. Always eat a balanced and nutritious diet. She should divide the meal into three major meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) along with three snacks in between. In snacks, she can have peanuts, eggs, dry fruits, jaggeries, etc. That means she should always take small, frequent meals instead of prolonged fasting.

 A pregnant woman only requires approximately 15% more calories than a non-pregnant woman. That means about 300 to 500 kilocalories per day is required depending upon the prepregnancy BMI. She should aim for a gradual increase in calories throughout the pregnancy.

 In the First trimester, usually, no extra calories are required. In the second and third trimesters Additionally, 300 to 400 kilocalories per day are enough for the growth of the baby.

Certain food items to be avoided in pregnancy -should not eat raw eggs, raw meat, Chinese food containing Ajinomoto. Avoid smoking and alcohol intake completely. Always use pasteurized milk and in seafood fish containing mercury is to be avoided because all these food items are not good for the growth of the fetus.Also always washes raw fruits or vegetables thoroughly before eating.

Fatty food is not required as such. She can have various cravings but just keep portions of unhealthy food a little limited. Even tea coffee is allowed if taken in moderation like she can have one to two small cups of tea or coffee in a day. In fruits also pineapple and papaya in small quantities have no harmful effects. Don’t take unripe fruits. 

So the bottom line is to have healthy food ,a balanced diet, frequent meals and don’t skip meals at all.

Pregnancy Myth 2:

The color of a baby is determined by the type of food the woman is eating

For example, certain old or conventional beliefs claim that having saffron, coconut water, etc in pregnancy can lead to the birth of a fair-colored baby. That’s not true. It all depends upon the genes of the parents and no food can do so.

Pregnancy Myth 3:

Regarding the physical activity

One of the most common questions that are asked by a pregnant woman is whether she can drive, climb stairs or do basic household or office work.
Current guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise in pregnancy. She can divide her physical activity into various intervals like five times of moderate exercise per week for 30 minutes or 10 times of exercise per week for 15 minutes depending upon her convenience. In the 3rd trimester, special exercises like squatting or pelvic tilts can be done which help to prepare for labor and delivery. These exercises are beneficial because it reduces the risk of obesity and its complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension. SO in short, pregnancy is a normal physiological process, it is not a disease so she should continue to be as physically active as she was before pregnancy.
Hence, basic household work and office work is to be continued. Only if she has any complications, her doctor will put her on some restrictions in physical movement or activity in pregnancy. If she was doing any exercises before pregnancy she can continue with that also. Only very hard-core gymming exercises, boxing, jogging, etc are avoided in pregnancy. Exercises also help in reducing back pain which is very common in pregnancy and reduces insomnia in pregnancy too.
Certain precautions should be taken during pregnancy. While exercising wear loose clothes, drink plenty of water, stay well hydrated before and after exercise to avoid any dehydration. She can safely drive and air travel in pregnancy and she should put a seat belt below her belly. In cases of prolonged travel by air where the risk of blood clot formation in the legs or swelling in the legs can happen, she should use tight stockings and maintain hydration and try to move lower limbs often.

Pregnancy Myth 4:

Morning sickness only occurs in the morning

Despite its name, morning sickness can affect pregnant women at any time of the day. Only in less than 2% of women, it occurs in the morning. Morning sickness usually starts by the 4th week and ends by the 16th week. To avoid morning sickness she should have small frequent meals and avoid food that triggers the symptoms of morning sickness like the food that causes gastritis etc.

Pregnancy Myth 5: 

About Baby Gender Prediction

The conventional beliefs range from using the shape of the pregnant woman’s face or belly or preference to certain food items like certain food cravings in pregnancy to guess the sex of the baby. All these beliefs have no scientific basis.

Pregnancy Myth 6:

Regarding hair coloring and makeup in pregnancy

Occasionally these are allowed if doing it off and on. If an allergy to these products then it is better to avoid them. Laser treatment and chemical treatment of the face is not at all recommended in pregnancy. Hair coloring is better if it is a semi-permanent hair color and she should wear gloves while applying the color or these chemicals. There should be a limited time-period exposure, do in a well-ventilated room and less skin contact should be there. She can apply henna also.

Pregnancy Myth 7:

Taking ghee helps in normal delivery

GHEE will not make the baby slip through the birth canal. Rather need exercises and active lifestyle for that, so be active.

Pregnancy Myth 8:

Regarding labour pains

Certain foods and drinks can bring in labor for example spicy food, Castor oil, etc. But these cause heartburn diarrhea etc and there’s no scientific evidence that these things induce labour pains.

Pregnancy Myth 9:

Regarding having a glass of milk and ghee or having almond ghee before going to the hospital during labour pains

This is not true. She should always eat something light before going to the hospital in labor and because if she takes some heavy food she might feel like vomiting, so it is not recommended.

Pregnancy Myth 10:

VAGINAL delivery is not possible after caesarean section.

In reality, she may be able to… It depends on how the current pregnancy is progressing, the woman’s labor, and the risk of any potential complications.

Pregnancy Myth 11:

Regarding Pregnancy and Eclipse 

That going out, eating, drinking, stitching, etc can harm the developing baby which is also not true. It’s just a wrong belief and not to be taken seriously.

Pregnancy Myth 12:

Should pregnant women not eat non-vegetarian food

It’s not true non-vegetarian food if properly cooked is perfectly fine in pregnancy. Only raw meat or raw eggs are not to be consumed.
Mercury-containing fish is not recommended also.

Pregnancy Myth 13:

Applying vitamin E or cocoa buttercream will prevent stretch marks

No cream can prevent stretch marks. It depends upon the genes or her skin type. Also how much stretching is there in current pregnancy like in cases of good size baby or during twin pregnancy, there is more stretching of the skin and hence more stretch marks are there. Keep the skin well moisturized but she cannot prevent the stretch marks fully.

Pregnancy Myth 14:

Pregnant Women should only lie in the left lateral position in pregnancy

Lateral position is definitely better in pregnancy as its leads to more blood flow towards the growing fetus. But she may lie down in any position left or right depending upon her comfort.

Pregnancy Myth 15:

Sitting all day long will turn the baby into the breech position

The baby is well protected in the uterus and is surrounded by liquor or the amniotic fluid all around and the baby is continuously moving inside the uterus. So her movements or her posture are not going to affect the movements of the baby inside the uterus in any way. So this is not at all true.

Pregnancy Myth 16:

Intimacy in pregnancy

Sexual relations in pregnancy are not contraindicated unless and until there are complications in her pregnancy like cervix is short, risk of preterm labor, placenta previa, etc.

Take out all these myths from your mind and enjoy the pregnancy happily.

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