Pregnancy is an amazing phase in a woman’s life. Of course your family and friends will have something to say and an advice to give you. Some of them will make sense, and some… well…
The Internet will also work hard to confuse you, along with magazines, books and TV programs. With all of the information you get, some of them will be at loggerheads.
Problem is, you can’t follow every advice your get blindly as it will have adverse effects on your health as well as your baby’s. Some theories can be helpful, others, however may harm you.
It’s important therefore to know what facts are true and what is a myth. Plus, every pregnancy is different so you should follow your doctor’s advice.
Pregnancy Myths you should Know About
Myth #1: Eating for Two
It is a common notion that a pregnant woman should eat more during pregnancy. The idea is that she’s eating for two. However, this isn’t true at all. During pregnancy, a woman should simply focus on healthy eating, making sure everything she eats is nutritious. A pregnant woman only requires about three hundred extra calories per day.
Eating for two will only make you gain weight that is unhealthy, leading to an increased risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, backaches and may potentially need a cesarean birth because of the size of your baby.
Plus, gaining extra weight increases the risk of your baby having low IQ, psychosis and eating disorders.
A good way to eat healthy is to include high-quality proteins like meat,
fish, eggs, pulses and beans, fruits, green vegetables and carbohydrates in your diet.
Myth #2: Refrain from Exercise
You may have heard at some point that you should not exercise, because you should be resting more during the nine months.
This of course does not hold water. If you see a doctor regularly, you should have heard doctors encourage exercising and doing some light house work. This is because, staying active during pregnancy helps build your endurance such that labour is shorter for you.
Studies also reveal that women who stay physically active during pregnancy have less chances of experiencing post-partum depression and also sleep better than the ones who don’t.
Exercising also helps you keep fit and regain your prepregnancy shape much quicker after delivery.
A 2017 study states that physical exercise during pregnancy provides physiological benefits for both baby and mother.
Examples of light exercises you can carry out include walking, cycling on a stationary bike, swimming and low-impact aerobics. As a rule of thumb, it’s important that you first warm up, stretch and cool down before and after a workout session.
Although we say it’s important for you to exercise during pregnancy, it’s also important that you make sure the activities are not intense or high impact.
Myth #3: Backaches are Unavoidable
It is believed that backaches are an inevitable part of pregnancy. However, even though there may be frequent pains during pregnancy, it’s nothing that you cannot treat or prevent. The reason your lower back may hurt during pregnancy is as a result of posture changes, relaxed muscles and weight gain. It can be easily minimized if you stick with a correct posture by making sure your spine is straight. Try to not arch your back by pulling your shoulders back but not your abdomen.
This can be helped too by exercising. According to a 2016 study, exercise is beneficial in managing back pain related to pregnancy.
You can carry out pelvic floor exercises to stretch the muscles of your back and keep it pain-free. Also, heels may not be your best choice of foot wear.
Myth #4: An Occasional Drink is Fine
If you’ve been told that it’s okay to have a little drink occasionally, then you’ve been a victim of pregnancy myths.
Pregnant women are not meant to drink at all. As a matter of fact, you should not indulge in any alcoholic drinks, no matter the occasion
According to several studies, it’s been found that alcohol is linked with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome and attention deficit /hyperactivity disorder.
Myth #5: Carrying High Means It’s a Girl
This myth is a common one. It says that the shape of a pregnant woman’s stomach tells the gender of the baby. According to this myth, a woman who carries high is said to be heavy with a girl while a woman who carries low is said to be heavy with a boy.
Unfortunately, there’s no scientific basis for this assumption. The size and shape of a belly heavy with child depends on a lot of different factors like your body type, your uterus’ shape and your abdominal muscles.
the shape of your uterus, your unique body type and your abdominal muscles, position of your foetus and amount of fat deposited around the abdomen. The only trusted way to know your unborn baby’s gender is to check with your doctor.
Myth #9: Heartburn Means Your Baby Will Have Lots of Hair
The myth that your experience of a heartburn means your baby will have a lot of hair on its head after birth is a popular one. There may be some truth in this though. Heartburn is common in pregnancy and happens as a result of acid reflux because of certain things like eating spicy foods.
Scientifically speaking, heartburn has nada to do with the hair of your baby. A study, however, says that there may be a correlation between an unborn baby’s amount of hair and the severity of the mother’s heartburn. This is most likely as a result of the fact that the same hormones that cause heartburn is also useful in the modulation of fetal hair growth.
It’s also true though that woman who suffer a lot of heartburn have given to bald babies.
Myth #10: Craving Salty Foods Means It’s a Boy & Sugary Foods Means It’s a Girl
Some people say that if you crave salty foods during pregnancy, it means you should be expecting a boy while a sugar craving indicates that your baby is going to be a girl.
There is no proof of this theory that your food cravings show the sex of your baby.
Cravings are intense urges to eat a particular food but it’s not known why pregnant women have different urges for specific tastes textures or flavour combinations.
Some people have brought up the idea that these cravings are usually as a result of the rapid hormonal changes in the pregnant woman’s body. It could also happen as a result of extra work your body is doing to support the new life developing in your womb.
Cravings, in no way, predict the baby’s tender. It’s not a bad thing iif you enjoy these predictions for the fun of it though.