There are so many myths, old wives tales, and superstitions in regards to pregnancy to the point that people don't know which ones to believe and which ones are truly bunk. Many myths and superstitions are cultural or were created centuries or decades ago that so many people nowadays still believe.
The old pregnancy myths that have been debunked have been proven through scientific research that these myths have no truth to it. One example of a myth that many people know is false due to the fact that science basically stated that being the case is whenever you have heartburn during a pregnancy- that means that the baby has a full head of hair.
Another silly myth that has been proven to be wrong is that as soon as you find out that you are pregnant, you must start eating for two! We know the answer to that, and that is to only add another 300 to 400 calories starting in the second trimester. That is not eating for two!
And, it is time to go through 15 other pregnancy myths that really don't make sense! At the same time, we will cover five pregnancy myths that are not really myths because they are true.
20 Stay Away From Seafood - False
Even though pregnant women are told to stay away from certain types of fish like King mackerel, orange roughy, tuna steaks, shark meat and swordfish due to high mercury levels- that does not at all mean that all types of fish must be avoided. In fact, most other types of fish are not only safe to eat during pregnancy but are excellent for the baby.
According to Parents Magazine, kids whose moms who had eaten at least twelve ounces of seafood a week ended up having kids that had excellent communication skills, great motor skills, and better social skills. That is because most types of fish that have very small amounts of mercury and high levels of essential omega 3 fatty acids are great to eat during pregnancy. Especially salmon! So just stay away from fish that have high levels of mercury and go for some trout and salmon instead.
19 If Mom Is Carrying Wide, It's A Girl - False
It was believed for a long time that mom is carrying wide, then that means it is a girl- and if she is carrying low, then it is a boy. According to a report done on CBS News, that is nothing but a silly myth, and yes, it is false. A doctor had clearly stated that the way mom carries her baby has nothing to do with the sex. It only has to do with two things which are the function of her anatomy as well as how the unborn baby positions him or herself! That is all it is.
Ironically I do remember when I was eight months pregnant with my daughter, I had attended a function and someone who I was chatting with told me that she figured I was carrying a girl because of the position. I had not told this person about the fact that I already knew I was having a girl. It was just a lucky guess, that was it.
18 Pregnant Women Can't Dye Their Hair - False
Pregnant women have been told to not get their hair dyed because the dye could seep through the skin and harm the unborn baby. However, according to a report done on NBC News, it is actually quite safe to dye your hair during pregnancy. Only traces of the dye seep into your skin and it is not nearly enough to do anything to the baby.
The only thing they stated was that because hair dye contains ammonia, it can trigger nausea. Therefore it is better to have steaking done instead of completely dying the hair. Other than that, go and dye your hair if you are pregnant and have a strong desire to do so!
17 Unborn Babies Can Catch Colds - False
If you are pregnant and catching a cold, don't be afraid that your unborn baby will catch the virus as well. Just because you are feeling miserable with a sore throat and a stuffed up nose does not at all mean that your unborn baby is suffering! In fact, according to a report done on CBS News, there are very few infections that cross the placenta!
A cold most definitely will not, and neither will the flu. However, if you are pregnant and sick, you still need to tell your doctor. You will also need to be treated with oral antibiotics if you have a UTI because that could lead to a kidney infection otherwise, which you will not want to face!
16 Eating Spicy Foods Can Hurt The Baby’s Eyes - False
There is no doubt that this myth is the craziest of all, in my opinion anyway. However, according to Britannica, the consumption of spicy food must be forbidden during pregnancy because it could potentially harm the baby's eyes and cause blindness. Spicy food has also been blamed for miscarriages and premature labor. And, it is still not known if spicy food really does trigger labor either.
However, in my case, I do wonder only because within 48 hours of eating very spicy food from a Mexican restaurant, I went into labor with my daughter and I was a few weeks early. But, the food may have had nothing to do with it, and it may have been all of the walking I managed to do as well- or maybe it was meant to happen since I did have a burst of energy at the time. And by the way, her eyesight is better than mine.
So, spicy food is fine to eat. It won't hurt your baby. It may give you heartburn though.
15 Exercise During Pregnancy Is Bad - False
It was believed in the past that exercise was dangerous for pregnant women, and this myth is believed still in certain parts of the world as well as in China. However, according to a report done on NBC News, the way mom moves has no bearing on the fetus at all.
It is true that one in four babies will end up with cords wrapped around their necks, but that can happen randomly, and exercise has nothing to do with it. In fact, doing moderate exercise is not only good for mom and the unborn baby but is recommended to keep the circulation going and to stay healthy overall. But keep away from intense workouts. That actually can cause premature labor and you will be exhausted beyond belief.
14 If Mom Is Glowing, She's Having A Boy - False
If a pregnant woman is having an excellent pregnancy and has that glow, if you would believe the myths out there, then you would think she is having a boy. That is because according to Britannica, girls steal a mother's beauty- which is another silly myth that ties in with this one.
That is because it is believed that there is a higher chance that if a mother is dealing with excessive fatigue and morning sickness, then it is likely that she is carrying a girl. Therefore, that is why a mom dealing with these awful pregnancy symptoms would not be glowing at all. However, each pregnancy is different.
I have heard of women who had excellent pregnancies with their daughters and horrible pregnancies with their sons. If the pregnant mom is having a good pregnancy and has that glow, then she is simply lucky to be having a good experience. It does not mean she is having a boy either.
13 Stay Away From Cheese - False
If you are pregnant and have a craving for pizza, but you are afraid to eat it because of the cheese- ignore that worry and enjoy that pizza. Otherwise, you are falling for a myth that has been debunked! According to Science Of People, it is only a problem if pregnant women are eating soft cheeses that are not pasteurized such as Brie, as well as blue cheese. That is because there is a higher chance that a harmful bacteria called Listeria is lurking in those cheese which can cause a miscarriage, a stillbirth or other serious complications.
But if you are craving that cheddar or mozzarella cheese, or any other cheese that you know is pasteurized- it's fine! Go for it! Pasteurization kills off the bacteria and it is safe to eat- unless it is past its expiry date which you would immediately know based on the gag-inducing stench!
12 The No Flying Rule - False
I remember seeing a few pregnant women on a plane in the past and I was confused as to why they were there. That was because I believed that flying was forbidden during any stage of pregnancy. However, according to a report done on NBC News, as long as the cabin on the plane is pressurized, then flying during pregnancy is completely fine.
The only thing is that many airlines will not allow pregnant women to fly during the eighth month and later due to the fact that they could potentially go into labor. Therefore, the last thing the airline staff wants to deal with is having to deliver a baby during a flight.
And, the other thing that was noted was that women who fly during earlier stages of pregnancy are encouraged to walk every two hours on the plane to keep the circulation going. Otherwise, a blood clot could be formed.
11 Cats Can Pose A Risk - False
If you had just found out that you are pregnant and you are upset about the idea of having to give up your beloved cat- there is no need to do that at all! You can enjoy snuggling up to your cat during your pregnancy just like you did before! The only thing you must not do though is clean the litter box.
According to NBC News, cat feces can spread a dangerous bacteria called toxoplasmosis that can cause birth defects. That means your partner will have to be in charge of cleaning out the litter box, or you can probably find someone who can help you with that if you are single. Other than that, keep enjoying your kitty snuggles.
10 Keep Away From Skin Care Products - False
You are probably terrified to use any kind of makeup, self-tanner, moisturizer, cleanser or any kind of sunscreen during pregnancy- and definitely, don't skimp on the sunscreen! You need to protect your baby and yourself from those nasty UV rays. However, a report that was made on NBC News made it clear that pregnant women don't need to be afraid of using skin care products.A doctor had stated that there is no issue when it comes to pregnant women using cleansers and creams that contain less than two percent of containing salicylic acid. All they have to do is be mindful of the ingredients, that is all. Otherwise, skin care products are safe to use during pregnancy!
9 Eating Chocolate Is Like Drinking Coffee - False
It is a known fact that pregnant women need to be careful when it comes to eating too many sweets. And, it is also a known fact that pregnant women need to be cautious when it comes to their caffeine intake. However, whoever said that pregnant women need to avoid chocolate like the plague is completely wrong.
According to Parents Magazine, recent studies have shown that pregnant women really need to eat small amounts of chocolate per day! That is because there is a link between moderate chocolate consumption (five or more servings a week) and happier kids. Studies have also indicated that there is a 40 percent lower chance of women developing preeclampsia in the third trimester if they get their chocolate fix! Therefore, don't listen to anyone that says that chocolate is bad for pregnancy! Studies have clearly shown that it is not.
8 Morning Sickness Can Affect The Baby - False
Women who are experiencing morning sickness, especially if it is in the morning, feel guilty about the possibility of starving their unborn baby because they can't eat breakfast. However, according to a report done on NBC News, that is untrue. The baby will not be starved if you can't eat a meal because you have no appetite or are sick.
In fact, many women may end up losing weight in the first trimester due to morning sickness, and their babies end up fine. Babies can always get nutrients from your fat stores, even if you are not overweight. However, if you are too sick and can't eat at all, then you will need to go to the hospital for an IV. But not having a meal here and there will not harm the baby at all!
7 The Baby Can Feel Mom And Dad - False
So many pregnant women are terrified to become intimate with their partners due to the possibility of a fun time under the sheets can potentially harm the baby. And, this myth has been around for the longest time, and in countries like China, couples stick to this rule as well.
However, according to a report done on NBC News, couples can absolutely have fun together even while the woman is pregnant. Unless she has placenta previa, unexplained bleeding during pregnancy, cervical insufficiency, or has been in preterm labor- then there is no issue. The baby will be just fine and will have absolutely no idea of what is even happening!
6 Stay Away From Concerts - False
I clearly remember the time when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I had gone to a party that was put on by my husband's employer. The music playing there was incredibly loud, and the only thing that I worried about was will it upset or harm my unborn daughter! I ended up leaving the area until it quieted down.
However, according to a report on NBC News, loud music will not harm an unborn baby at all. The baby may hear a little of it, but it will bother mom more, not the baby. In fact, a doctor basically stated on there that you can compare the baby hearing the noise to you hearing the noise while you are underwater. It will sound muffled and not loud at all.
5 There Is A Way To Fix Stretch Marks - True
It is a known fact that nothing can completely remove those pregnancy stretch marks. However, on the Vaseline site, it was confirmed that even though cocoa butter can't get rid of those pesky marks- it can help with soothing the skin if the stretch marks are too itchy and dry.
The reason that cocoa butter is helpful as because it contains vitamin E, which is helpful for softening up skin through moisturization and hydration. The only way that cocoa butter can "reduce" stretch marks is by making them a little less visible due to the fact that you won't need to scratch the areas over and over again. But removing them? No sorry, that simply can't happen.
4 Stress Is Bad For The Baby - True
If a pregnant woman is stressed beyond belief, then many studies have indicated that too much stress is indeed bad for the baby's nervous system. Stress causes there to be an increase in cortisol levels and too much cortisol can be detrimental to the baby's development.
However, according to Parents Magazine, even though it is true that too much stress is bad for the baby, some stress is actually good. A small amount of moderate stress can actually be good for the baby's nervous system, just like some stress is good for us as well. If there was no stress at all, then we would not be challenged enough, and that actually could be bad for the baby's brain development. That is another example of anything in moderation is just fine.
3 Big Mom Means Big Baby - True
Even though your weight can be blamed on genetics (or be thanked), according to Parents Magazine, if a mom eats too much during pregnancy, there is a high chance that her baby will be overweight.
In fact, according to the same source, mothers who overate during their pregnancies were four times likely to have kids that would be battling their weight during their lifetime. That also means kids who were born to the same mother who did not eat much or ate in moderation would be less likely to be facing a battle with the bulge.
Research has also shown that kids born to mothers that did not overeat and ate well during their pregnancies would be able to process fats and carbohydrates in a healthier way as well. Definitely another thing to keep in mind if you are pregnant and insatiably hungry. Go for healthier options that don't turn you off!
2 Go Easy On The Sweets - True
Eating sweets in moderation is quite alright during pregnancy. That means if you make a vow to eat healthy foods most of the time so you can allow yourself to give into a sweet craving every now and then- that is okay.
However, according to LiveStrong, if you eat too many sweets, not only will it cause weight gain which is a no-brainer! That also increases your chance of developing conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. And, consuming too many sweets also provides no nutritional value to the baby! Therefore, if you have heard that eating too many sweets during your pregnancy is bad for the baby, then that is absolutely true.
Enjoying some candy every now and then during your pregnancy is fine, so enjoy those moments when you have to indulge in that craving.
1 Moms Intuitively Know The Baby's Gender - True
Even though the only sure ways you can find out what you are having is through amniocentesis as well as through chorionic villus sampling (CVS). And, you have a high chance of finding out what you are having through the ultrasound, especially if it is done while you are far enough along in your pregnancy for the technician to see it clearly.
However, according to Parents Magazine, studies have found that there actually may be some truth to old wives tales when it comes to knowing the sex of your baby otherwise. Studies have shown that severe morning sickness is more likely to happen while pregnant with a girl. Also, the mom's intuition is more accurate than she would think.
Therefore, if she feels strongly that she is having a baby that is one sex over the other- then she has an incredibly high chance of being right. That also means if she has had dreams about having a baby of a particular sex, then again, she is likely right.