Top 10 Most Common Pregnancy Myths You Need to Know
Being pregnant is a struggle, especially if you have to deal with myths formed by your society. To make things complicated, your mother may believe an old pregnancy myths that she learned from her mother and your friends got their own myths too.
The problem is how we classify myths from facts and the influence of culture and traditions in forming such myths.
1. Champagne is good, even for pregnant women
Myth! Any type of alcoholic drink is not okay when you’re pregnant. While drinking is your personal choice, according to studies, drinking while pregnant increases the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Alcoholic drinks have alcohol content that might affect your baby’s growth and development, especially if you’re still in your first trimester. Aside from birth defects, it might cause miscarriages.
Instead of drinking alcohol, it might be better to drink fresh fruit juices instead.
2. You have to eat more because you’re eating for two
While it’s true that you’re eating for two, it doesn't mean that you need to eat too much. Pregnancy requires a healthy and balanced diet.
Eating too much can result to other health complications that are not good especially when you’re pregnant.
Having a baby inside your tummy doesn’t mean you should eat anything as long as it’s loaded with carbohydrates. Too much carbs may cause diabetes while pregnant.
3. Cheese is a big no
Anything cheesy is okay while pregnant. Well, only those that are pasteurized since unpasteurized cheese products are exposed to food borne illnesses.
Cheese can be a good partner for your crackers (we know crackers are highly recommended during the early stages of pregnancy for morning sickness).
4. Pain and suffering is part of being pregnant
Nope. Pregnancy can be challenging, yes painful yet exciting. Experiencing physical changes is absolutely normal.
You may have backaches from time to time. Your hips may hurt since your body is preparing you for the baby and delivery.
You may have trouble sleeping since you can’t find the most comfortable position on the bed with a bulging tummy.
And when you get sick, the common advice that you hear is to endure it because you can’t do anything about it.
Pregnancy is not about suffering when you’re sick because you’re not supposed to take medicines when you’re pregnant.
There are certain medicines that your OB can prescribe to you that are safe. When you have allergies, there are over the counter meds for you like Benadryl.
It is best to ask your doctor first before taking any form of medicine to ensure the safety of your baby. Not much has been revealed about the link of herbal medicine and fetal defects.
If you’re regularly taking herbal supplements and drinking tea before you got pregnant, then you might want to check with your doctor first for some healthier alternatives in case you are having doubts about herbal medicine.
Fact: Some women experience allergies only when they become pregnant. They become allergic to foods they weren't allergic to before they got pregnant.
5. Forget about your gym membership, you’re pregnant
False! While exercising is a good preparation for your baby’s delivery, it also depends on what kind of exercise you engage in and for how long do you do such exercise.
Also, don’t forget your body’s capability to exercise while pregnant. Yoga is the best form of exercise that is highly recommended for pregnant women since it’s related to breathing, which is a good way to relax and prepare for labor.
Pregnancy can be stressful sometimes, especially if it’s your first time. Gaining weight, having weird food cravings, headaches or strange sleeping patterns can be challenging. Meditation is a great way to release your stress and enjoy your pregnancy.
Walking is also a good exercise especially if you live far from the gym and you don’t have much time to join gym sessions.
You can also try enrolling to dancing classes to help you stay fit even with a bulging tummy. You just need to inform your dance instructor before the session. In some gyms, they offer dance sessions specially for pregnant women.
Being pregnant doesn't mean you don’t need to exercise and move those muscles. Exercise is a good preparation for the big day.
However, you must take note that any form of exercise that involve lying on your back is a big no because it interferes the blood flow to your brain and uterus.
Twenty or thirty years ago, it was shocking to see a pregnant woman being in the gym in her comfy yoga pants being on a treadmill, doing aerobics or even lifting weights.
Now it’s becoming a normal thing that you can see everyday on the social media. It’s now accepted by the society.
Fact: Some pregnant women aren’t allowed to exercise and are advised to stay in bed all throughout the pregnancy. It is important to consult with your ob-gyn first.
If you plan to exercise at home, you can do so by dancing and doing very easy steps or doing some simple stretches.
6. No more manicures!
Pregnancy doesn't mean you have to stop taking care of your nails. While there aren’t further studies about nail polish connected to short term exposure to the products that can be harmful to your health, it’s best to choose a well-ventilated salon to avoid breathing in fumes.
Make sure to choose a salon that practices proper sanitation such as sterilizing its tools to avoid having serious infections while you’re pregnant.
Getting infections can be troublesome for pregnant women because you need special treatment that won’t cause any harm to the baby.
You can choose nail polish brands that do not contain dibutyl phthalate or formaldehyde for your own safety. There are actually nail polish brands that are 100% vegan and do not contain chemicals. They are healthy for your nails and safe your baby too!
7. Dyeing your hair is bad for the baby
Big false. Remember the time when your friends told you about not dyeing your hair when you’re expecting? You can forget about it after your first trimester and just dye your hair.
While there are risks when you color your hair, such studies are not totally conclusive. During the first trimester, your baby’s organs are still developing that’s why it’s recommended to be careful with what you eat, smell and drink.
Go for organic and vegan hair color products. They do not contain harmful chemicals and are semi-permanent. Or you can make your own hair dye to make sure that you’re using natural hair dye.
You can also try using crepe paper sheets. Here’s how you can color your hair using color crepe paper sheets:
- Choose the color of the crepe paper that you want to use for your hair. Anything wild is okay.
- Divide your hair into two sections.
- Cut the paper into small strips
- Place the strips in a cup filled with warm water
- Color your hair with the solution
- For best results, let it stay for 40-50 minutes before rinsing your hair
It stays for days and weeks (depending on how often you wash and take care of it) and gives you the chance to choose another color again, which is pretty exciting.
Choose a well-ventilated salon when you decide to have your hair colored or treated. Also, you can ask your hair colorist to choose very mild hair products instead.
8. Seafood is poisonous to pregnant women
Pregnant or not, eating food has its own risks. Your safety depends on the restaurant, the people who handle your food and eating moderately.
While it’s true that bad kinds of bacteria live on anything raw, if you only eat sushi once a week, there’s nothing to worry about.
Yes, you also need to worry about mercury poisoning. The mercury level is very low when you eat seafood with moderation.
For example, if you only eat salmon or tuna once a week or once every two weeks then you are okay. Eating seafood only becomes dangerous if you eat it daily.
It all depends on how often you eat seafood. Also, don’t forget that there are some types of fish that have very high mercury level such as swordfish and tile fish.
9. Say bye to coffee
Just one cup is okay. Of course too much caffeine is not good, whether you’re pregnant or not. Moderation is the key.
If you’re the type of person who can’t live without drinking coffee in the morning, then you can go on drinking coffee even when you’re pregnant as long as you drink only one cup per day.
Recent studies confirm that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day increases risks of miscarriage. And the common myth is pregnant women should just stick to decaf.
However, such studies did not clearly confirm how it should be brewed and which type of coffee is bad for pregnant women.
You can try mixing your coffee with milk. Black coffee is too strong so it’s definitely out of the list. This is same with sodas and drinks that contain caffeine.
10. Eat three meals a day
False. Eating five or six small meals a day is even recommended. During pregnancy, most women suffer from diabetes because they can’t control their sugar intake.
Frequent meals not just focused on one food group can help maintain your blood sugar level, keeping you and your baby safe.
Being pregnant means having to adjust your food intake, ability to choose healthy options and carefully identifying myths and truths about your body and your baby. Your body responds to what you eat and the activities that you engage in.
When you’re pregnant, everything should be balanced. Don’t hesitate to make healthy meal plans. If you feel stressed, don’t hesitate to meditate and relax your mind.