Being pregnant can bring a whirlwind of emotions, and sometimes pregnancy myths can be stressful. There are many pregnancy myths that cause a lot of confusion and controversy.
Everything from magazines, websites, and relatives have a copious amount of pregnancy advice and dos and don’ts, but what is actually true? Some myths sound silly while others can really make people think, but the best way to know is to skip out on google and ask the doctor.
Every pregnancy is different, and myths can cause a soon-to-be mama to freak out and make her think something is really wrong. With the right perspective, all of what we hear can be fun and entertaining. The myths are like a rite of passage, and people cannot help but share. There are is a myth for every aspect of pregnancy- nutrition, gender, activities, weight, emotions, dreams, the list goes on and on.
If women worry that a specific type of cheese will cause the baby to grow an extra toe or a sleep position will make the baby less smart- rest assured that most of the things they think and hear are just the mommy brain worrying about every possible risk and problem.
14 Once A Cesarean, Always A Cesarean
Many people believe, “once a cesarean, always a cesarean." The truth is, most woman with one prior cesarean and some woman with two prior cesareans are good candidates for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean.)
A VBAC is not out of the question for the majority of those who have had a prior C-section. 60-80% of woman with prior C-sections have had a successful vaginal delivery! The risk of a uterine rupture during a vaginal birth after a cesarean is very low.
If the pregnancy is deemed low risk and you have no other health complications, you can successfully have a VBAC. It is not right for everyone, there are risks, but doctor will determine. This is something that you have to discuss with your OB team and see if its right for you.
13 Wide Hips Means A Painless Delivery
Every woman wishes for an easy, painless and complication free delivery. There has been some talk about wide hips making some woman set up for a smooth and easy delivery. For some woman that may be the case, but the truth is, your hips are not to thank for that. It is not the hips, but the pelvis that is related to delivery. The hips and pelvis are two completely interconnected parts of the body.
If you have hips that look “childbearing” that does not mean you have a wide pelvis and there is no test to prove how narrow or wide the pelvis is, only way to know is to give birth. The pelvis plays a role in childbirth whereas the hips play no role. This is a common myth that holds no truth according to doctors.
12 Doing The Deed Will Seriously Harm The Baby
There is some confusion on the topic of intercourse during pregnancy. Some people say it will harm the baby. Doctors are confident in their belief that intercourse does not harm baby.
Your little peanut is well protected by the mucus plug and amniotic fluid. Even if baby’s head is engaged in your pelvis, deep penetration cannot do harm to baby. doctors say doing the deed is fine until your waters break. At that point, it is an absolute no-go due to risk of infection.
There are so many physical and psychological benefits, and pregnancy is not a reason to stop. Of course, some women are too nauseous, complain of sore breasts and back, or are too tired to make love, in that case, you can always try again another night.
11 To Dye Or Not To Dye?
Some people claim that getting your hair dyed during pregnancy is a big no-no. It is understandable why people assume that, if you’ve ever been within ten feet of a hair dye application, it does not smell safe. People assume that hair dye will harm the baby once it passes through the mother.
Doctors claim otherwise, it is been reported that hair dye has never been directly linked to birth defects. There is very limited evidence on hair dye and pregnancy. That may be worrisome, because no one is 100% sure either way, but doctors are leaning more on the safe end.
There are no reports on hair dye causing changes in human pregnancies. If you decide to color it is recommended to wait until the second trimester.
Doctors suggest considering highlighting, frosting or streaking in which chemicals have little or no contact with scalp.
10 What Do Food Cravings Say About The Pregnancy? Nada.
Pickles and ice cream, cheese wiz on Oreos, ketchup with every meal- some pregnant ladies know cravings oh too well. But, do they have any real meaning? Doctors say that despite research, there are no apparent reasons for cravings.
Mostly likely, all it really means is that your pregnancy hormones are making you think you HAVE TO eat certain foods. What is known is that food cravings can’t really predict a baby’s gender.
What we do know is that your body is not actually craving a burrito bowl, but it may need something specific in that food. Your taste buds may interpret it as a craving for something specific. So yes, there is some truth, maybe your body needs some calcium when it is craving yogurt, but your body does not need one food in particular.
9 Manicures Cause Birth Defects During Pregnancy
Polish does contain trace amounts of harsh chemicals, they are not absorbed into your nail beds. Manicures have never been liked to birth defects in baby. You are more likely to have nausea in a nail salon due to strong fumes (so ask them to open up a window!) than to have any pregnancy complications.
Doctors say mani-pedis are fine, so treat yourself mama! Some are concerned about issues with hygiene and sterilization of tools- an infection during pregnancy is concerning. Make sure your technician is wearing gloves and that the tools are properly sanitized and that metal files and buffers are not reused.
A mani-pedi is a safe and healthy way for mamas to feel beautiful during pregnancy, as long as the salon follows proper protocol!
8 Does Heartburn Really Mean More Hair?
If you experienced heartburn as your belly grows, you are absolutely not alone. Heartburn may affect mamas-to-be at some point due to hormones such as estrogen that surge during pregnancy.
These hormones can relax the sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus which can cause stomach avid to leak through and cause that lovely burning sensation. These same hormones can play a role in how much hair your fetus grows in the womb. Many believe heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will have a full head of hair!
Is there truth to that? Sort of. There have been some studies on this topic, and research shows that It is not the hair on your baby’s head causing the heartburn. Some woman have no heartburn and have babies with a head full of hair or have severe heartburn and have bald babies. Doctors say you can not 100% pinpoint the amount of hair your baby will have due to heartburn.
7 And Morning Sickness Means A Girl?
There is some evidence that hormones produced by girl babies can make mom’s more nauseated than if carrying a boy. Studies show that a girl baby has a higher level of HCG than boy baby. This is the primary reason some believe that women with morning sickness are more likely to be carrying a girl.
The idea of being able to predict your sweetie’s gender due to the severity or morning sickness is a very old wives’ tale. There are some studies that support this myth, but the reality is woman pregnant with boys also can have severe morning sickness. This is not a specific one gender issue, so doctors cannot back this up. This is not a dependable way to predict your babies gender.
6 Breastfeeding Can Act As Birth Control
It is assumed by many women that breastfeeding is a natural form of birth control. There absolutely is truth to that, but, unless you’re okay with having an “oops” baby, don’t chance it. It is true that breastfeeding can delay ovulation, but the issue is that the amount of time breastfeeding delays ovulation is unpredictable and varies beetween mamas.
To be safe, use some form of birth control every time you have intercourse. Fever than 2 in 100 women become pregnant while breastfeeding, but some are not as lucky. Odds can change rapidly once your sweetie starts nursing less (whether it is sleeping through the night, eating solids, teething etc.)
Even if your babies nursing habits have not changed, it is still possible because you’re fertile around the time you ovulate, and that happens before you get your period. This works for some woman, but doctors do not list this as a form of birth control.
5 Exercising Is Bad For Mom And The Baby
Exercise can have a positive impact on mom and baby. Outcomes such as shorter labors and better pregnancy outcomes.
Every pregnancy is different, and some woman are more high risk and have complications, so for those women it is best to always check with your doctor first because there are some cases where exercise may not be okay. Even if you are not high risk, it is good to check with doc so she can give you tips on how to safely get moving.
A note to all pregnant woman though is skip out on dangerous contact sports or ones that may throw off your balance (so no basketball, horse back riding, or surfing!) Dancing is great workout as long as you make sure you stay within your limits. It is super important to stay hydrated and not push your pregnant body too far.
4 Carrying Low: It's A Boy
Rumor has it that if you are pregnant and carrying low you’ll be adding a sweet baby boy to your family and if you’re carrying high that you’ll be adding a precious little girl.
There is no study or scientific proof that says the gender of your baby influences how you carry. How you carry your baby depends on a variety of factors (length of torso, stomach muscles, position of baby for example).
There is nothing harmful about wondering if how you carry is a hint to the gender of your baby, but , it is just a guess. In some cases, your guess will be right, but doctors want you to know that there if you’re curious about your babies gender, a sonogram is your best go to.
3 Eating For The Baby Is A Must
Many women believe while pregnant they must eat for two. That means it’s okay to add extra fries and an extra scoop of ice cream, right? Not necessarily according to doctors.
Consuming twice as much does not double your chances of having a healthy baby, but can lead to excessive weight gain. If you are at a healthy weight, you don't actually need any additional calories in the first trimester. In the second trimester only about 340 calories a day needs to be added and in the third only 450.
It is best to try to minimize “extra” foods that have few nutrients but the extra calories. It is okay to splurge occasionally, but a healthy daily intake is an excellent way to get your sweetie the healthy calorie he needs.
2 Iced Coffee Or Iced Water?
There is a lot of controversy on the consumption of alcohol and coffee during pregnancy, so what’s the deal? When it comes to alcohol, doctors say there is no way of knowing how much alcohol is harmful or if it is safe to drink at any given point in a pregnancy.
Alcohol can permanently harm a baby’s development. Plenty of woman have had an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy and kids were fine. So, it is better to be safe than sorry, so lay back on the alcohol, despite what your mom group may tell you. When it comes to coffee, that is safe to consume, in moderation.
Limiting caffeine consumption to fewer than 200 mg per day is best. Going over that can be risky, risks of miscarriage, low birth weight and still birth. If you need a caffeine boost, choose a latte 75 mg of caffeine (plus milk in latte gives you extra calcium and protein!)
1 Avoid Seafood Like The Plague
Most pregnant woman are overwhelmed with the very long list of pregnancy don’ts. Some must change some of the foods they eat (for very important reasons.) It is well known that fish is a big no-no during pregnancy. But, how accurate is that?
When it comes to fish, woman can eat fish (with a few exceptions.) There are many fish to stay away from- raw fish, swordfish, and refrigerated smoked seafood to name a few. Avoid fish high in methyl mercury and other environmental toxins when pregnant due to risk of serious kidney, central nervous system and brain damage of your baby.
The good news is, fish are full of iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein which is super healthy for baby (and you too mama!) There are safe fish such as- Pollock, shrimp, crab, salmon and tilapia for example. Before consuming fish check local advisories.