Pregnancy is a time when you receive love and adoration from all around. Sometimes, even from strangers on the streets! You are inundated with do’s and don’ts. Everyone you meet will have an advice for you, suggestions for a healthy diet, helpful tips to ease your back pain, or exercise recommendations.
While it is all very sweet of them, so many voices can leave you in a confused state. Some of the tips can be really useful, while the others are often myths.
So, whom to believe?
Here are a few pregnancy myths and the truth behind them.
Pregnant mothers must eat for two
If you are expecting, you will hear this phrase often: “You have to eat for two now”. Well, false.
During pregnancy, it is important to have a balanced diet. While you will need to add extra calories to your diet, it certainly does not mean eating meals for two. Typically, pregnant women need to consume about 300 additional calories each day. How much food you exactly have to eat depends on your weight, height, and also which trimester you’re in.
Severe heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will be born with lots of hair
Sounds like a load of crap, right? But according to a Johns Hopkins research study, there exists an association between severe heartburn during pregnancy and newborn’s hair.
If you’re suffering from a bad case of heartburn, there is a high chance that your baby will be born with a head full of hair. Heartburn is caused by the growing foetus pushing against the stomach, which forces acid into the oesophagus. Researchers noted that the same pregnancy hormones that relax the esophageal sphincter may also regulate foetal hair growth.
Lifting your arms above your head can cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby's neck
You might hear from some well-wishers that raising your arm above your head during pregnancy can cause your baby’s umbilical cord wrap itself around the baby’s neck. To them, you may politely reply, “You’re wrong”.
There is no scientific evidence behind this myth. You can anytime stretch your arms above your head without any fear during pregnancy. However, ensure that your arms are far away from the ceiling fan! (Pun intended).
Exercise during pregnancy is unsafe
Do not activate your HULK mode, right from the word go. Sometimes be a THOR (the lazy one with that fat belly). Don’t completely stop your activities of course but keep your power saving mode on.
Exercise and pregnancy - Let’s take a quick look.
This is not true. Regular, moderate exercise is perfectly safe during a healthy pregnancy. In fact, it might help your body to cope with labour.
Sometimes, during a high-risk pregnancy, doctors may limit your physical activity. But if you’re having a normal pregnancy, 30 minutes of light exercise every day will help to keep up your fitness levels. You can set up a daily routine of light stretching, moderate exercises, and brisk walking. Always make sure to check in with your doctor about your exercise routine, and modify your workout accordingly.
Pregnant mothers crave for pickles and ice cream
This is less of a fact, and more like a popular belief.
While food cravings during pregnancy are common, they are not always universal. Different women may want different types of food. If you crave for pickles, know that your body is actually craving for salt. Similarly, if you are craving chocolates or ice-cream, it is because your body wants sugar. Ice-cream is also seen as a comfort food and produces serotonin in the body, making the mother feel good. Why just during pregnancy! Chocolates and ice creams are our all time comfort food.
You can't exercise your abs during pregnancy
Again, not true.
Traditional abs exercises are perfectly safe for you during the first 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy. It is even recommended, as having strong abs might prevent back pain that occurs during the later stages. After the first trimester is over, you can also try your hand at some modified abs exercises after consulting a doctor.
Staying fit is the new sexy. After all, you want to be the most fashionable mom in the upcoming parents-teachers meeting.
Drinking coffee can harm the baby
This is false. But, the coffee consumption should be done in moderation.
Drinking small amounts of coffee will have no affect on your baby. But take care that you do not indulge in more than three cups in a day. Consuming high amount of caffeine can result in an under-weight baby.
Flying is not really safe for pregnant women
This is both true and false at once.
There is no harm in taking a small-distance flight during the first and second trimester of pregnancy. The airport scanners too will not harm your baby.
But a long-distance flight, anything that is more than 5 hours, can be a cause of worry, especially if you are prone to blood clots. During the third trimester, you must avoid flights completely coz that might induce labour on the route.
Pregnant women shouldn't change cat litter
Why on earth will you be concerned about cat litter, anytime?
No one says – Cleaning cat litter is my hobby. Pregnant or not, stay away from it – it is never a fun thing to do. If you have free time then invest on Netflix, thank me later.
For those who are deeply in love with their pets, don’t worry! You will forget about cat shit and very soon you will be busy changing nappies!
Coming back to the point, yes, this is true. Pregnant women are advised to stay away from cats in order to avoid any infections.
Cat faeces contain a virus that may cause toxoplasmosis infection. This can be very harmful during pregnancy. If you have a pet cat at home, it is best not to clean your cat’s litter to avoid exposure to the virus. The virus can also be tracked anywhere a cat walks, including its paws. The safest approach would be to have limited contact with your cat and keep the house extra clean.
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