When you know you’re expecting, you might be more interested to hear about pregnancy myths, stories and beliefs. Some stories might be entertaining, but others might cause unnecessary worries that might be harmful to the expectant mother and the baby in her womb.
Before you believe in these pregnancy myths, hear the facts out about them.
Myth 1: You’ll carry your baby for nine months.
Fact: The length of a woman’s pregnancy varies by five weeks, based on a study published in 2013 in the journal Human Reproduction. The due date also varies based on the mother’s age, weight, the mother’s birth weight, and several other factors.
Myth 2: You’re feeding two people – yourself and your baby.
Fact: Having a baby in your womb does not necessarily mean that you need to eat for two, hence you shouldn’t use your pregnancy to eat two servings of your favorite food.
A regular woman with a normal weight before pregnancy requires only 300 extra calories to help in the fetus’ growth, as per the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). At her weight, she’s bound to gain around 25 to 35 pounds of pregnancy weight.
Take note that it’s even more challenging to shed baby weight after birth, hence women tend to gain more with every pregnancy.
Food for thought: women who gain over 50 pounds during one pregnancy may have to undergo a C-section or an extra difficult vaginal birth. Babies who are heavier at birth are also at risk of becoming obese later in life, so eat healthy.
Myth 3: Sex during pregnancy is harmful for the baby.
Fact: Sex should not affect your baby in any way. Shari Brasner, M.D., assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, reproductive science at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine have confirmed this.
However, sex might not be safe if you are being monitored for a preterm birth, or if your placenta is located between your vagina and cervix. Consult your doctor first.
Myth 4: Morning sickness ends with the first trimester.
Fact: This is not necessarily the case as it may continue well into the second trimester, depending on the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body. The good news is that nausea and vomiting indicate a healthy pregnancy, according to Sharon Phelan, M.D., a University of Alabama associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology. Morning sickness is a sign of high levels of hCG, a hormone produced by your placenta that keeps your pregnancy on track.
Since the hCG levels are at their peak between 8 and 12 weeks, moms usually feel better after the first trimester. If the queasiness doesn’t go away, you just have to wait for it to subside. In the meantime, avoid foods or odors that trigger it. Remedies also include eating high-carbo snacks, sucking on a mint, or chewing gum.
Myth 5: The baby’s gender affects the form and placement of your bump.
Fact: As popular as this belief is, it’s just not true. Your baby’s gender cannot be determined by simply looking at your baby bump.
Myth 6: Running is a no-no during pregnancy.
Fact: You can keep running during pregnancy if you were able to do so before having the baby. Running on the treadmill won’t have your baby tumbling about in your tummy. To ease your worries, ask your doctor for help in coming up with a cardio workout plan for each trimester.
Myth 7: You’d freak out at the lack of privacy during delivery.
New moms usually dread the thought of being too exposed in the delivery room. They might be too conscious about embarrassing situations, such as moving bowels during labor.
However, you’d be too focused on the contractions to mind anyone who’s looking after you. It’s also good to note that the doctors and nurses in the room are there to help you let your little one out into the world. Also, they’ve probably heard or seen everything you’re about to do with other moms, too. The best thing you can do is to focus on the delivery of your baby.
What pregnancy myths have you heard before? Before you believe in those myths, do your research first instead of worrying over something that is not isn’t actually true.