Pregnancy is a condition that is shrouded in a lot of myths and misconceptions. Whether you have been pregnant or not you have probably heard not one but a lot of pregnancy stories. Here are the some of the common myths dispelled with facts
1. EAT FOR TWO
The number one favorite myth, imagine eating double portions thinking the other is for the baby. Sounds crazy, don’t you think so? These extra calories will only lead to excessive weight gain and possible complications.
FACT – extra 300 calories is enough for the baby. You need to gain a little extra and not give in to all the unhealthy cravings. Focus on a healthy diet with iron-rich food, proteins and folic acid.
2. DON’T DRINK COFFEE
People will normally encourage you to drink tea rather than coffee and it is odd how to date people believe most of our everyday tea has no caffeine. Another odd thing is that in African tradition you are encouraged to drink the very same coffee after giving birth and I mean a lot of it with a belief of helping with “production of breast milk”, is the same caffeine not going to the baby via that breast milk? Maybe I am missing something here. Decaf coffee contains some caffeine, the darker the chocolate the more the caffeine it contains, some sodas and energy bars also contain certain amounts of caffeine.
FACT – there’s no reason to stop consuming coffee or caffeinated drinks completely. The main issue here is to reduce to at least a cup or two a day. It is true that caffeine can affect your heart rate and blood pressure and the other effect of caffeine is that it increases your bathroom visits and it may lead to dehydration. Moderate consumption is safe during pregnancy to protect the health of both you and your baby.
3. DO NOT DYE YOUR HAIR
Chemicals in a dye are not strong enough to do any harm to your baby.
FACT – It is safe to colour your hair while pregnant. You can dye, highlight or perm especially if the placenta has formed (12weeeks) because it protects the baby from any substance that may penetrate the skin. To avoid inhaling the strong chemicals it is important to do it in a well-ventilated room or outside using gloves. Use products safe for pregnancy or consult your gynecologist/obstetrician.
4. DO NOT TRAVEL BY AIR
Generally, it is considered fine until 36 weeks but it is always best to let your doctor know as he/she will be the one who understands your complications better if there are any. If you have no existing complications then traveling does not increase the chances of pre-term labor.
FACT -Most airlines allow pregnant women to travel up to at least 36 weeks or 32 weeks for twin pregnancies for domestic flights and 28 weeks for some international travel. After 28 weeks they would normally ask for a doctor’s note and a record of your pregnancy. The amount of radiation you are exposed to is too low to cause any complications. It is said that going through security scanning is roughly equal to a 2minutes flight and pregnant women are not excluded from going through the scanning that poses more exposure to radiation. The tip here is to stay hydrated, wear fitted stockings or tights to avoid blood clotting, and go for a cabin seat that will allow you to go for a short walk at least every 30 minutes if it is a long flight or stand up now and then.
5. NO SEX
Perfectly safe to have sex during pregnancy for as long as you have a healthy pregnancy.
FACT – most women enjoy sex more during this time due to an increased blood flow to the pelvic area while others experience a complete reduction of libido. If you experience complications like bleeding or severe pain after sex then you need to consult your doctor and he is the one who will recommend if you should either stop having sex or reduce.
6. DO NOT EAT FISH
As a woman who has been pregnant several times, I know for a fact that seafood is completely safe for mother and baby. It was worse with my last pregnancy because the seafood was the only dish I could stomach and even on the day of labor my partner and I stopped for a platter of seafood and came back with a healthy baby.
FACT – fish that is high in omega 3 fatty acids and proteins are good as well as vegetable sushi or cooked sushi only shellfish or raw fish should be avoided due to parasites. The fish you need to avoid also is the one that is very high in mercury like swordfish, shark, marlin or king mackerel. Small cold-water fish is considered safe because it does not store mercury. Other fish low in mercury are the canned light tuna, shrimp, sardines, salmon, herring and anchovies.
7. MORNING SICKNESS ONLY HAPPENS IN THE MORNING
It is common in the morning or can be worst in the morning with some women and that can even change after the first trimester.
FACT – it can happen any time of the day and maybe due to an empty stomach in the morning, it might feel worst.
8. NO SPICY FOOD
Spicy food has no effect in causing miscarriage or inducing labor or even burning the baby.
FACT – spicy food can cause you heartburn and heartburn is common during pregnancy. If spicy food were to induce labor I am very convinced that women would eat a lot during their ninth month to induce labor because it feels like you have been pregnant forever during that time.
If you have been pregnant you will know that most things people say are not proven facts but just limit you from enjoying your everyday normal pregnancy journey. Most of them can actually scare you to point of paranoia especially with first-time pregnancies. When or if you get to the second or more pregnancies that’s when you start to relax and take each day as it comes.
If you are the first time, please take it easy and take advice from your trusted doctor with your personal experiences or anything you hear that might give you concerns.
**PREGNANT WOMEN CAN FEEL LIKE CRAP EVERY DAY, THEY DONT NEED ALL THE MYTHS TO ADD ON. ALLOY THEM THE 9 MOTHNS TO HAVE AN EXCUSE TO GET AWAY WITH A LOT**