The phase of pregnancy is very amazing in a woman’s life. All the loved ones start to showcase their love and care. With this huge bundle of love comes some tidbits, which might not be entirely true. There are a lot of myths attached to pregnancy symptoms that may confuse or lead a pregnant woman on an unhealthy path.
A pregnant woman might end up risking her and the baby’s health. It is always advised to eat healthy and follow an active lifestyle. Be sure to not fall prey to one of the below mentioned myths that might make you miss out on fun, healthy regime during your pregnancy.
It is important to take care properly because of the delicacies involved. We have listed out some of the old myths and the actual facts behind them to help make the journey safe and happy for the new mums and their kids.
15 Myth: Hair Color Does Not Harm Baby
It might sound weird that something that is applied externally can trouble your health, but hair colors are not good for pregnant woman. Hair dyes/ color contain harmful chemicals that have the capability to reach your bloodstream when applied on the scalp. These chemicals might harm the fetus in your womb during earlier stages of pregnancy and end up hindering growth of the baby.
It is advisable to not apply hair color during first trimester, as it is quite risky for the fetus. However, you can apply dye during the latter half of your pregnancy. To avoid the risk altogether, it is best to use herbal or home-made packs for coloring your hair.
14 Myth: Baby’s Slow Movement Means Slow Development
That is not entirely true. Some babies just love to laze around in the womb. The baby's movement continues on at its own pace and time. Understand that each woman’s body is different thus resulting in dissimilar movements. So you can't really compare your pregnancy with that of your sister or friend.
As the baby develops, it increases its movement in the womb. If you wish to, then you can just keep a count of 10 movements over twelve-hours span in a day. Although, if you are not regularly checking the movement counts, then you might miss some count and end up worrying over nothing. In case you do not feel any movement for 2 hours, then you might consult your doctor to avoid any risks.
13 Myth: Low Belly Depicts a Boy and Acne Means a Girl
This is just a popular myth circulating around about the baby’s gender. The truth is simple. Low belly appearance and acne has nothing to do with the gender of the baby. Low belly depends on the body type of woman. In fact, if it is your second pregnancy, then too there are chances that you will have a low belly, as the muscles of the stomach have already become loose during the first pregnancy.
In addition, acne during the pregnancy are all part of hormonal changes that a woman goes through during this cycle. Acne is a natural result of a variation in hormonal levels. If you experience a return to teenage acne, talk with your doctor about baby safe acne treatments you can use until everything goes back to normal.
12 Myth: Eating Papaya Leads to Miscarriage
This myth is widely believed, but the truth is that ripe papayas are good for health and are safe, as it contains a good amount of Vitamin A. It is recommended to not eat unripe or raw papayas, as they contain chymopapain which can lead to miscarriage or early labor pains during pregnancy.
Otherwise, papayas are rich in beta carotene, which are good for eyes. Ripe papayas also help in preventing constipation. Best of all, most grocery stores will have pre-cut papaya available, so you don't have to guess whether the papaya you want to buy is ready fro you to eat or not.
11 Myth: Every Pregnant Women Crave for Pickle and Ice-cream
This is a stereotypical myth, but it holds no ground. Craving for ice-creams and pickles during pregnancy is not necessary. Some pregnant women may desire eating these things and others might not, which is completely alright. You can have any kind of cravings that differs from others’ pregnancy cycles.
It is also believed that if you craved for sweets in your first pregnancy, then you might switch to spicy food during your next pregnancy. That is also not true. It is not really craving for pickles, but it just means that you want some salt.
Also, craving for ice-cream might occur because you want to eat sugar. Additionally, sugar makes you feel comforted by making your body release serotonin. Thus, helping you to cure your mood swings that often occur during pregnancy.
10 Myth: Completely Avoid Fish and Fish Oil
The fact is partially false. There are some variety of fish that have high levels of mercury in them, which might not be good for the nervous system of the unborn baby during pregnancy. Pregnant woman should avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, as they contain high level of mercury in them. It is advisable to eat fish with lower mercury level like shrimp, tuna, salmon and catfish.
Overall, fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and other important nutrients that are good for health. Fish are also good for the development of brain of the fetus. So if you feel like having some salmon, go ahead and have yourself a tasty salmon dish.
9 Myth: Pregnant Woman Should Eat for Two
It is true that during pregnancy, the body of a woman needs extra nutrients and proteins to keep up with her health and baby’s development. However, the diet needs to be only full of nutrients and should not be excess. It should not lead to overweight issues or increase cholesterol level, which might risk health of the mother and the baby.
Pregnant women’s diet should be balanced. She should stay away from fatty foods and excess sweets that will eliminate the risk of occurrence of high blood pressure and gestational diabetes during this cycle. Never overindulge if you don't have to and listen to your digestive system when it says you're full, the amount of extra calories you need per month are actually miniscule.
8 Myth: Traveling is Not Safe During Pregnancy
This is not true. As long as your due date is six weeks away from the current date, you can easily travel by train or a flight during the pregnancy period. Pregnant woman can try to avoid traveling by road, as this might be a bumpy ride for you and the baby.
However, road traveling is also not completely banned. During long journeys, it is advisable to take breaks in between. You should keep stretching your legs and arms in intervals or if there is space and safety then you can take a round in the passageway as well. This will help prevent leg cramps and swelling in feet.
7 Myth: Mobile, Microwave and Computers Are Harmful
Computers do not emit any harmful rays that are unsafe for your baby, and you can work on a laptop or a computer as long as you feel alright in your sitting posture. However, it is advised not to sit for longer hours in front of the computer and to take short breaks.
Microwaves are known to emit harmful rays, but that is the case only when there is some kind of leakage. So, it is always good to maintain a safe distance from the microwave while you are using it. In addition, mobile phones do not cause any harm to your baby. Although, it is always recommended to keep phones at a distance, while you are sleeping.
6 Myth: Morning Sickness Leads to Loss of Health
Morning sickness is one of the common symptoms of pregnancy. It continues mostly throughout the first trimester of your pregnancy and subsides during the second and third trimester. It happens due to hormonal changes that your body goes through during pregnancy.
Unless there are symptoms of severe morning sickness which leads to dehydration or weight loss, there is no need to hit the panic button. Take your supplements as advised by the doctor for your baby’s health and eat healthy. Morning sickness might occur due to some smells or sights that you are not able to tolerate during pregnancy.
5 Myth: Carrying Heavy Things is Prohibited
This is true up to some extent, as carrying heavy weight might lead to spinal injury or backache. You can carry some weight as long as it doesn’t hurt you. Always bend down first on your knees and then lift up things by bringing them close to your body. Always divide the weight in two arms instead of carrying everything on just one side or in one arm. This will maintain your balance when you walk.
Women who have a short cervix or have been advised bedrest by their doctors should also avoid carrying heavy loads as this can cause preterm labor. The best advice is, don't do heavy lifting if it isn't something you do on a regular basis, otherwise, if lifting is part of your routine, just make sure you're lifting heavy objects safely.
4 Myth: Exercises are Not Allowed During Pregnancy
Light exercises are allowed, as advised by your doctor. It is best to not try to over strain yourself. This will keep you fit and increases your stamina to carry your daily work in an active way. Brisk walk, swimming, breathing, meditation and yoga are the safest to practice during pregnancy.
Don’t overdo them in order to be fit, just do as much as your body feels good about. Most importantly, during brisk walking if something comes in your way then gently pick it up and keep it on a side to avoid stumbling or losing your balance.
3 Myth: That Glow is Because You Are Pregnant
You must have heard people associating the glow on your face with pregnancy, but that’s not really true. Due to a lot of hormonal changes that your body goes through during pregnancy and high intake of nutrients and proteins, it brings a natural glow to your skin.
You will also get thick hair and beautiful nails. So, eating up well will lead to beautiful skin, whether you are pregnant or not. The glow has nothing to do with the pregnancy because some women might even have dull skin and suffer from hair fall and calcium loss throughout their pregnancy cycle. If so, kindly consult your doctor for supplements.
2 Myth: Fetal Heart Rate Might Predict Gender of Baby
Neither the belly size and its appearance, nor the heart rate of the baby will decide whether it’s a boy or a girl. Fetal heart rate varies from every prenatal visit that you will make to the doctor. Depending on the weeks of the baby in your womb, its growth and your activity level, the heart rate will change.
However, you need to keep track of your baby’s heartbeat in the womb so that, if you notice something that is not right or regular then you can easily consult your doctor without wasting any further time. The same goes for kicks, if your baby's activity level suddenly drops, call your doctor. Always listen to your inner instincts when it comes to your body and your baby.
1 Myth: Coffee Cannot Be Consumed at All
Caffeine that is present in coffee is not good for baby’s health, but only if it is taken in high quantity, like more than 3 cups in a day. If coffee is consumed in higher amounts during pregnancy, then there might be chances that the baby will be born with a low-birth weight.
It is better to sip on warm mugs of coffee in little amounts, which will not affect the health of the baby in the womb. Also, if you are planning on avoiding coffee for your baby’s sake, then there is no harm in it. There are always other nutritional things that you can add in your daily diet instead of coffee.